Originally from VFA club Footscray, Jinks was recruited by Carlton in 1906. Although he spent only four seasons with Carlton, he played in a Grand Final each year for three premierships. He played mainly in the ruck but was also used as a half forward flanker. In 1908 he became the club's vice captain and left two years later as a response to the sacking of coach Jack Worrall. He returned to the VFA where he played with North Melbourne, winning a premiership in 1910 and acting as captain-coach in 1912.