Slap Card Game Rules – How To Play This Fun, Addicting Game

A young father playing a game of cards with a little boy and girl.

The Slap card game is a fun and easy-to-learn game that is great for introducing kids to playing cards or as a party game with adults.

One of the fun things about the Slap card game is that you are free to make up “house rules” as you play and can really make the game your own.

How do you play the card game Slap? To play the game of Slap, all the cards are dealt and players take turns flipping their top card onto a center pile. When certain card combinations appear, such as two Queens, or when a Jack is the top card, players rush to slap and win the pile. Whoever eventually wins all the cards is the winner.

This article will teach you everything you need to know to learn how to play the Slap card game, including tips and variations.

Playing the Slap Card Game: Quick Guide

All you need to play the Slap card game is a full deck of 52 playing cards and 2-4 players.

  • Number of players: 2-4 is ideal, although more can play. 
  • Deck: A single deck of 52 playing cards.
  • Object of the game: The object of the game is to be the player holding all the cards!
  • Winning the game: Slap the most combinations and collect all of the cards to win the game. You can also play rounds of the game.

Setting Up the Game

Choose a player to be a dealer, and have them take the Jokers out of the deck and shuffle the cards. Deal all the cards face down and evenly among the players.

If there is an extra card, it’s alright – just be sure to switch dealers for each round.

Playing the Slap Card Game

The Slap card game starts with the person to the left of the dealer. Cards are ranked in order from lowest to highest: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A. 

Flip the Cards

Once everyone has a stack of cards, make sure that they don’t look at them, and have each player keep their cards face down in a pile in front of them.

Each player takes turns flipping a card from their pile to a discard pile in the center so that it is face up.

It’s important that you flip the cards quickly and that all players have the chance to see the card get turned over at the same time.

Slap the Cards

Players watch for certain combinations of cards to slap, and they collect the cards from the discard pile and add them to their hand if they are the first person to slap the combo.

Whoever’s hand is touching the combo first wins all of the cards in the discard pile. 

When To Slap

Players can slap the cards on the following combinations:

  • Same Suits: When the top card played matches the suit of the card directly beneath it.
  • Slap Jacks: When the top card is a Jack.
  • Plus One: When the top card is one card higher in value than the card directly beneath it.
  • Double: When the top card is the same value as the card directly beneath it.
  • Minus one: When the top card is one card lower in value than the card directly beneath it.
  • Sandwich: When the top card is the same as the card that is two cards beneath it. For example, a 7 was played, then a 5, and then a 7. 
  • Marriage: When a Queen is played directly before or after a King.
  • Tens: When two consecutive cards are played that add up to 10, such as two 5’s or an 8 and a 2.
  • Four in a row: When 4 cards are played in a row in either ascending or descending order, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, or 9, 8, 7, 6.

Face Cards in Gameplay

Jack, Queen, King, Ace, and Joker cards fanned out.

Aces are higher than Kings, Kings are higher than Queens, and Queens are higher than Jacks. The Jokers are not played, unless they are used as Wild cards. 

If a face card or an Ace is played, the next player must play a face card or Ace as well. If the next player does not play a face card or an Ace, then the previous player gets the cards in the discard pile.

Slap rules override face card rules, so if, for instance, a double or a sandwich is played, then the player who slaps the combo wins the discard pile.

For each face card or Ace played, the next player has to lay a certain amount of cards down.

  • If  someone plays a Jack, then the next player has one chance to play a face card or an Ace.
  • If a Queen is played, then the next player has two chances.
  • A King gives the next player three chances, and an Ace gives them four chances.

If a player plays a face card or an Ace before they have played all their chances, then the play continues to the next player on the left. 


If a player runs out of cards, they are out of the game. You can have them be out permanently, or you can play that they are allowed to stay in the game and slap back in.

Whoever collects all of the cards wins. 

Tips for Playing Slap Card

All players should be seated equal distance from the discard pile.

If a player slaps the discard pile when there is no special card combo present, then they have to pay a penalty of two cards to the bottom of the discard pile.

Those cards do not count for future game play. 

If a player is out of cards when they slap the pile and there are no card combos present, then they are out of the game.

They may still slap in at a future opportunity if all players agree to play that way.

Slap Card Variations

Slapjack is the most well-known version of the Slap card game, but there are other variations, including Irish Snap, Silent Sevens, and King Salutes.

You can also add the Jokers to the deck and play them as Wild cards. 

Slapjack can be played where players can only slap when a Jack is played, or it can be played where any matching sets of cards can be slapped in addition to the Jack rule.

Irish Snap is played with the goal of getting rid of as many cards as possible, or when a player gets two piles in a row they can make a new rule for the game.

King Salutes is when each player has to make a salute to the King card when it is played before slapping it. 

Triples is a version with the stipulation that if 3 cards of the same value are played in a row, then the player who slaps them first instantly wins the game.

Triple Sixes is when three 6s in a row are played. If a player slaps the 6 combo, then they instantly lose and are out of the game.

Another fun way to play the Snap card game is to add your own House Rules.

You can use a Joker or choose a card to be a Wild card and create your own rule for what happens when that card is played or slapped. The possibilities are endless!


The Slap card game is a quick game that relies on speed and luck. It’s a fun option for children and adults alike, and it is easy to learn.

One of the biggest benefits of the Slap Card game is that all you need to play is a regular old deck of cards!

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I am a writer and an artist taking opportunities every day to transform my dreams into reality. I love learning new things and am always creating and innovating. I worked as an Art Instructor, teaching painting and art techniques to artists of all levels and ages. I have hosted countless paint parties and taught children’s art classes both in my home as well as an art teacher at a Montessori school.