How To Play “Jacks”

• A small, bouncy rubber ball
•  10 jacks
• A hard, smooth, level playing surface (floor, sidewalk, patio, or blacktop)

Sit on the ground and toss the jacks gently onto the playing surface.

Using one hand, gently toss the ball into the air, let­ting it bounce on the playing surface. With the same hand, pick up one jack and catch the ball before it bounces again.

Repeat until you have picked up all ten jacks. This round is called “onesies.”

Toss the ten jacks on the playing surface again.

Toss the ball into the air, letting it bounce once on the playing surface, and pick up two jacks at the same time. Repeat until you have picked up all ten jacks, two at a time. This round is called “twosies.”

Increase the number of jacks you pick up during each round until you pick up all ten jacks at once and catch the ball.

If you fail to pick up the correct number of jacks, fail to catch the ball, or drop the jacks from your hand, your turn is over and the next player goes.

When you get another turn, con­tinue where you left off. If you went out during “threesies,” toss the ten jacks, and start with “threesies.”

To make the game more chal­lenging, forbid players from touching jacks other than the ones being picked up and require players to place the jacks in their free hand before catch­ing the ball.

The first player to complete “onesies” through “tensies” wins the game.

For a variation on the game, require all play­ers to go from “onesies” to “tensies” and then back down to “onesies” again.

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