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Home Card Games California Jack Game 101: How to Play, Rules, & Variations

California Jack Game 101: How to Play, Rules, & Variations

California Jack, a variant of Seven Up, is an All Fours card game with the same trick-taking rules as those games. The goal of this point trick-taking game is to win tricks that contain desirable cards such as Aces, Tens, and Court cards. California Jack is a two-player card game.

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What exactly is All Fours?

All Fours, commonly known as Seven Up, is a trick-taking game that may be played by two to seven people. All Fours is indeed a very old game that originated in English taverns; it may be found in game books dating back to 1674, including The Compleat Gamester. Its regulations have evolved over time, but the core notion of the match points for high, low, jack, and game—has stayed constant.

All Fours is the first game to utilize the term jack, relating to the score for capturing what was then known as the central character of the trump suit. Over time, the name “jack” came to refer to the physical card, rather than merely the point it granted. By the time indexes on playing cards became widespread, the most junior of the court cards carried a letter “J,”  for a rank of decks of cards was essentially a linguistic quirk.

The Objective of All Fours & California Jack

The goal of All Fours will always be the first player to hit seven points. Players get score by collecting the highest and lowest trumps in play, as well as the jack of trumps and the greatest cards in play. 

While California’s Objective Jack has to be the first player to hit ten points. Players get points by collecting certain trumps and amassing far more card overall points on a given hand.

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Setting up the Game

California Jack plays using a conventional 52-card deck of cards. It is entirely up to you whatever kind to employ. 

Shuffle the deck and hand six cards to each participant. Then, facing up, place the stub in the center of the table, making the stock. The suit of the stock’s top card is the trump suit for the playing hand.

How to play California Jack?

The first trick is led by the non-dealer. They are free to follow any card they like. Either the dealer must follow suit or the trump. Only if they don’t have a card from the lead suit or the trump suit may they play a card from any other suit. 

The best card of the suit lead wins the trick, unless a trump is dealt to it, wherein the highest trump wins the trick. The victor of the trick places the two cards in front of them in a won-tricks pile, then pulls the top card from the stock. The following card is drawn by the player who did not win the trick. The victor of each trick advances to the next.

Every player should keep an eye out for the subsequent card in the stock. If a player wants that card or not often determines how strongly he or she contests the trick. Furthermore, a player with a good memory can maintain track of the actual details of their opponent’s hand as the hand progresses. 

When the stock is depleted, the players just play the remaining six cards without drawing.

Scoring the points

Following the conclusion of the hand, the following four points are awarded to the respective players in the following order: 

High— having the ace of trump, Low— having the two of trump, Jack— 

having the jack of trump.  

Game—acquire the most cards throughout the hand, scoring ten for each ten, four for every ace, three for every king, two for every queen, and one per jack. 9s and lower do not contribute to the game score. If two players draw for the game, no point is earned. 

Following the scoring of the cards, the non-dealer from the previous hand deals new hands. The game will continue until one participant has accumulated 10 points. When a player earns their tenth point, the clock stops.

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Variations of California Jack

There is a version of California Jack in which the stock is turned face down. To establish trumps, the top card is dealt face up. On each consecutive trick, the top card is turned face up, with the winner taking the top card and the loser receiving the next face down card. Points are distributed in the same manner as they are for California Jack.

Gaurav Sangwani
Formerly a startup journalist, Gaurav now works as a Content Manager & Writer for Mobile Premier League. A non-fiction author with a flair for technology & games. Gaurav has also contributed hundreds of blogs for different media publications.


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