Jack Change It

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Jack changes
Players 2–6
Setup time 20 seconds
Playing time Typically a few minutes
Random chance Medium
Skill(s) required Strategy

Jack Change It is a simple card game popular among children. It is usually played by two to six players, although theoretically it can be played with up to ten. This game is a shedding-type card game whose purpose is to discard all of your cards before your opponents.

Basic game[edit]

Using one or more decks of cards, seven cards are dealt to each player, and the remaining cards are placed between the players, with the top card turned face up beside the deck, often called the "pile". The object of the game is to play all your cards on the pile before your opponent(s), and the game ends when one player wins by playing all of their cards, although some games continue until there is only one player left.

The player to the left of the dealer plays first, choosing a card that matches either the suit or the rank of the card on the pile. If the player cannot play a card on this turn, then they lift a card from the deck. When there are no more cards in the deck, the top pile card is removed and placed to the side, and the remaining cards are shuffled and placed face down, and the game resumes.

Trick cards[edit]

There are many variations on trick cards, often with different effects and "House Rules". Below are some of the more common rules, but some games can be played with less cards taking their effects, or more. Some games also may change a cards effect based on its suit, or what it was played on.

These rules can vary greatly, and should be agreed upon at the start of the game.

There are also differing rules on when a trick card can be played e.g. at any time, or only when it matches the suit or rank of the card on top of the pile.

A player cannot start on any of the cards listed below, and a general rule is that a game cannot end on a trick card. There are variations on this, e.g. in the case of a Queen, which can be used to finish when only two players are participating, and the 5 of Hearts, which can be used to finish in all games. Some also allow that if you have a pair you can play both at once. Again, these rules tend to change depending on the players, and should be agreed before the game begins.

Ace of Hearts[edit]

This is regarded as the most powerful card available in the game. The player immediately on their left will have to pick up five cards from the deck. This can sometimes be blocked by a specific card, e.g. the 5 of Hearts, in which case no cards are picked up. Some games also allow that a 2 of Hearts can be used to pass the effect to the next player, who then has to pick up seven cards.

2[edit]

When a 2 of any Suit is played, the next player in the order has to pick up two cards before they begin their turn. Some games allow that this can be "chained" by the next player playing another 2 or the ace of hearts, meaning the next player in the order must pick up four cards. This can continue indefinitely.

Games differ on whether a 2 can be used to chain another if it has been used to counter an Ace of Hearts. If this is allowed in a game with a standard deck, it can result in one player picking up a maximum of thirteen cards in one turn.

8[edit]

When an 8 of any Suit is played, the next player misses their turn; play passes to the next player. If player to the left has an 8, the 8 card has been parried and the game continues as normal with the player whom played the first 8 card.

Some games allow that 8s can carry over e.g. if a player places two 8s on the pile, and the next player places another 8 on the pile to block this, then the third player will miss three turns instead of one.

Jack[edit]

A Jack can be played on any suit of card. When a Jack is played, the player can choose the next suit of card to be played, usually by claiming "Jack change it to..." This is where the game gets its name. A variation is that a Jack can only be played on a suit that it matches.

Queen[edit]

When a Queen of any Suit is played, the order of play is reversed. The player to the right will take the next turn, and play continues in this fashion until another Queen is played. In a two player game, the Queen's effect if usually ignored as the play order cannot be changed. A variation is that the Queen acts as another 8 card, causing the other player to miss a turn.

King[edit]

If a player plays a King of any Suit, they can say "King calling on..." followed by a card rank. The next player must then play that card. If they can't play that card, they have to pick up a card from the pile. This continues until a player plays the card, or the turn moves to the person who played the King. No other card can be used to cancel out this, other than the card requested.

Further Variations[edit]

The number of starting cards can vary from the normal seven, usually still an odd number such as five or nine. Using five cards allows more players, while nine cards allows two or three players a longer game.

Strategy[edit]

Players try to hold on to the trick cards until needed because if they are used early, the opponent can tell if the player has any trick cards to block any moves. This can be risky, however, as most versions of the rules state that the game cannot end on a trick card.