I played as at summer camp, in the late 90s, so jacks has NOT yet gone out of style. We played with 10 jacks. we did onesies up to 10, and we played with strict rules, no moving any other jacks, no horse before carriage (such as, picking up the 2 before the 8 on eightsies, etc.), and even no moving your butt off the ground. After tensies was a level called lollipop, and then we had to descend down from 10. After that we did 3 tricksies (such as cherries in a basket, cracking the egg, no bouncies, double bounce, squeezing the lemon, etc.), and then 3 flipsies in a row without dropping anything. The person who finished first was the winner. One girl in my bunk was amazing, I remember she once did it all in one turn. My whole bunk was obsessed with jacks. We would play it everywhere and anywhere we could. When I worked as a counselor, I would teach it to my campers and they loved it too. It is definitely a timeless game.
So many memories! I ended up being the elementary school champ in 6th grade, about 1959, in Arizona. What about the original “Pats” we used to do between games? Another game I remember playing was ‘pat-cherry-pat’, with the additional version of that plus ‘turnover-pat’. I am having a summer activity with girls 6 to 10 y/o from the neighborhood in a couple of weeks. Thanks for jogging my memory! Dot
I finally remembered the name “fancy” today while teaching my kids my old jacks style (dating back 40 years or so)….I vaguely recalled “sweep the parlor” but the rest were a blank….am pleasantly surprised to see this much company on this subject….so does anyone know if there is a book that explains all or some of the fancies…this has helped me stroll down memory lane …i’d love to go further…
Hi everyone. I would like to begin a Jacks website with video to keep this wonderful game alive. I have been teaching my children. I have to admit that I have limited knowledge about the “specials” – I remember we did the flip (as talked about above) to see who would go first. Whoever caught the most went first – if you all caught them all then it was elimination going around until everyone dropped but one person. We would play up to ten and back down to one in the normal fashion. Then we would play one where we scooped the jack with one hand into the cupped hand on the floor and then caught the ball (don’t recall what this was called!). We would play one where we would put the jack in our palm up other hand before we could catch the ball (don’t recall this name either). Anyhow, all info would be appreciated at whit_larson [at] yahoo [dot] com and I’ll give credit on the site when I set it up. It will be http://www.whitlarson.com/jacks – THANKS!!!!
Where and when I grew up (Casper, Wy — mid to late ’40s were my main jack-playing years) Jacks were a very big thing for girls — there were even tournaments. Not sure who sponsored the tournaments — I was never good enough to qualify, but my big sister was. The official game was played with only six jacks, and we “flipped” to see who went first. Beginners could “flip” with two hands, but once you were experienced, you were expected to use only one. The “official” game included babies, baskets. upcast, downcast, halves, wholes, up-picking-daisies and down-picking-daisies (if I’m remembering correctly). I’m not sure I can explain any of these in text — they almost have to be demonstrated. Sometimes we played other additional sets, but the only one I can remember is “around the world.” Even my brother played jacks, but we all agreed that was a secret we’d never tell his friends. My kids grew up in Southern California, and Jacks wasn’t played there, though I taught them the game I grew up with, and they loved it — my son included. There was no stigma for him, since it wasn’t known as a “girl” game in CA — and I know it helped improve his eye-hand coordination.
Wow! You really can find anything on the internet. I just started playing Jacks again after 45 years. I decided to teach it to my 2nd grade students to help them remember the combinations of 10 (my set has ten jacks),to improve their eye hand coordination, and to just have fun. I could only find plastic jacks in the stores, but I ordered some that work fine and are made of metal from Oriental Trading Company. The jacks are not as heavy as I remember them back in the 60’s but they are better than the plastic. I got a dozen sets for under $5. Thanks to all for the helps on this site.