California Jack Game Rules

Posted by John Taylor on

(California Jack has the unusual feature of keeping the stock pile face up.)

(California Jack has the unusual feature of keeping the stock pile face up.)

Card Game Rules

California Jack is a trick taking game played with four people. It uses a standard 52 playing card deck with Aces high and 2s low. The objective of California Jack is to get the most tricks.

For more trick taking games, check out our guides for Pitch and Hearts.

If you are looking for cards to play California Jack with, check out a standard deck here or check out one of our recent arrivals here.

Set Up

Before gameplay can begin, a dealer must be selected. To do so, players must choose a random card from a shuffled deck. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. Ties are broken with repeated drawings. The dealer shuffles the deck and then passes out six cards to each player. The remaining deck is placed face up to form the stock. The first card showing establishes trump for the round.

How to Play

The dealer leads the first card and, going clockwise, players try to follow suit or trump if they can. The highest card takes the trick. Starting with the winner of the trick and going clockwise, players take one card from the stock. The winner then leads the next trick.

The round ends when all cards have been played.


Players receive 1 point for each Ace of trump, 2 of trump and Jack of trump won in a trick.

The first player to reach 10 points wins the game.


Shasta Sam

In this version of California Jack, the stock is faced down so that nobody knows what the next card will be.

Looking for more card games to play?  Check out this article:

40+ Great Card Games For All Occasions

About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about card games here and his LinkedIn profile here.

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Last update date: 08/29/20


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