How to Play Jackpot

Four Parts:Forming TeamsPlaying the GameScoring PointsAdding Variations

Jackpot is a fun card game that can be played with four, six, or even eight players. Jackpot is played with a partner and involves secretly telling your partner that you have four of a kind without letting the other teams know. Jackpot is a game that sometimes goes by other names such as Kemp, Kent, or Cash.

Part 1
Forming Teams

  1. Image titled 192885 1
    Divide into pairs of two. Jackpot is played with partners on teams of two. It can be played with multiple teams, but the difficulty dramatically increases when you have more than 8 players attempting to play.
  2. Image titled 192885 2
    Decide on signals. Before you begin the game, discuss a set of secret signals to use with your partner. The signals should be discreet so they are not deciphered by opposing teams.[1]
    • Signals are used to notify your partner that you have collected four of a kind.
    • Come up with fake signals as well to trick your opponents.
    • You can use signals to let your partner know what cards you are trying to collect as well.
  3. Image titled 192885 3
    Pick a strategy with your partner. In Jackpot there are different ways to score points. You can score by collecting four of a kind, or you can score by knowing when your opponents have four of a kind.[2]
    • Decide if you and your partner will both try to get four of a kind, or if one partner plays a support role trying to provide the other partner with the right cards.
    • Determine if you will focus on watching your opponents to score off their hands or if you will only try to score on your own hand.

Part 2
Playing the Game

  1. Image titled 192885 4
    Sit around a table or in a circle on the floor. Partners should be seated across from each other. If there are more than four people playing the game make sure that partners are not sitting next to each other.
  2. Image titled 192885 5
    Deal four cards to each player. Players should sit around a table where each person has access to the center of the table.[3]
    • If there is an even number of players, the person who is designated as the dealer can rotate between each player.
    • When playing with an odd number of players, one person can be selected as the dealer while the other players have a partner to collect four of a kind.
  3. Image titled 192885 6
    Place four cards face up in the center of the table. If you are playing with six or eight players, place six or eight cards respectively in the center. The cards in the center of the table are available for anyone to choose.
  4. Image titled 192885 7
    Begin the game. The dealer or a designated starter will say “3, 2, 1, Go!” Each player selects a card from the discard pile to add to his hand.
    • When a card is selected from the discard pile, the player will discard one card from his hand to only have 4 cards in his hand at any given time.
    • Take turns going around clockwise.
    • Each turn, a player must pick up one card and discard one card.
  5. Image titled 192885 8
    Try to collect four of a kind. The goal of the game is to collect four of the same card in your hand. Choose cards that match what you already have in your hand and discard those that you don’t need.
    • If no players want the cards that are on the table, the dealer can place four more cards in the center to keep the game going.

Part 3
Scoring Points

  1. 1
    Call out “Jackpot” when your partner has collected four of a kind. Watch your partner for the secret signals you created at the beginning of the game. When your partner gives you the signal, yell “Jackpot!”[4]
    • You earn one point for correctly identifying your partner’s four of a kind.
      Image titled 192885 9
    • If you call out “Jackpot” and your partner does not have four of a kind, you lose one point.
  2. Image titled 192885 10
    Score points off your opponent's four of a kind. Watch your opponents to see if you can discover their secret signals. If you notice an opponent picking up a card and discarding the same card, they may have collected four of a kind.
    • Call out your an opposing team player’s name followed by jackpot, “John Jackpot!” If John has four of a kind then you score a point.
    • If the opposing player does not have four of a kind, you lose a point.
  3. Image titled 192885 11
    Win the game by scoring four points. Once a team has collected four points, they win the game. Longer games can be played by setting a higher point limit.

Part 4
Adding Variations

  1. Image titled 192885 12
    Play a free for all game. Instead of taking individual turns, players can all pick up and discard cards at the same time. This makes it harder to tell when someone has gotten four of a kind in their hand.[5]
    • Try to pay attention to what other players are doing so that you can be aware of their hands as they try to collect four of a kind.
  2. Image titled 192885 13
    Try a full contact game. In full contact jackpot, players can take cards out of other players hands. Set rules regarding whether you can only take the card that was just picked up, or if you are allowed to grab any card out of an opposing players hand.
  3. Image titled 192885 14
    Play in rounds. Set a point limit for each round; four points per round is a good limit. Play a game of best of 5 or 7 rounds. The first team to reach 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 7 rounds won is the winner of the game.
  4. Image titled 192885 15
    Use a dealer. If you have an odd number of players you can designate one person to be the dealer.
    • The dealer can add more cards to the center if no players want to pick up any cards on the table.
    • The dealer serves as a judge to determine who calls jackpot first in the event of a tie.
  5. Image titled 192885 16
    Set a rule of silence. Players must remain silent during game play. Decide on penalties for communication or talking during the game. Without talking, game play becomes more challenging due to each players desire to speak or shout at their opponents.


  • Playing a free for all version can be more fun, but also creates confusion. It is best to start with a turn by turn game for inexperienced players.
  • Watch your opponents throughout the game to see what cards they are discarding, you may be able to determine what they are trying to collect and play defense by not discarding the cards they want.
  • Use fake signals to try to get your opponent to call “Jackpot” on you and lose a point.
  • Set rules before playing regarding partners sliding cards to each other or passing cards back and forth.
  • Keep your cards close to your body so that opposing players cannot see what is in your hand.

Article Info

Categories: Card Games