OBJECTIVE OF TWO TEN JACK: Be the first player to earn 31 points
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace, Trump Suit (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF TWO-TEN-JACK
Two-Ten-Jack is a Japanese trick taker for two players. In this game, players are trying to collect cards that earn points while also avoiding cards that deduct points. Hearts are the fixed trump suit, and the Ace of Spades is a special card that can be played as a Spade or as a the highest trump card.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Two-Ten-Jack uses a 52 card deck. In it, 2’s are low and Aces are high, Hearts are always trump, and the Ace of Spades is the highest ranking trump suited card with special rules applied.
Shuffle and dole out six cards to each player. The rest of the cards form the stock. Place it face down between the two players. For following rounds, the deal alternates.
The non-dealer leads the first trick. They may choose and play any card that they want. The following player must match the suit if they can. If they cannot match the suit, they must play a trump card. If they cannot match the suit or trump the trick, they can choose and play any card from their hand.
The trick-winner collects the cards and draws from the top of the stock. The trick-loser then draws the next card. The next trick is led by the previous trick’s winner. The round continues until the entire deck of cards has been played.
ACE OF SPADES
The Ace of Spades is considered a trump suited card as well as a Spade. Even when it is played as a Spade, the Ace is still the highest ranking trump card.
If a trump card (hearts) is led, a player may follow with the Ace of Spades (or any other trump card). If the Ace of Spades is the only trump card they have, it must be played to the trick.
If a Spade is led, and the following player only has the Ace and no other Spades, they must play the Ace. Of course, if the following player has other Spade cards, they may play one of them instead.
If the following player cannot match the suit and has the Ace of Spades with no other trump card, it must be played to the trick.
Finally, when a player leads the trick with the Ace of Spades, the player must declare it as a trump card or a Spade. That declaration determines how the following player must play.
Once all of the cards have been played, it is time to tally up the score for the round.
The 2, 10, and Jack of Hearts are worth 5 points each. The 2, 10, and Jack of Clubs each deduct 5 points from a player’s score. The 2, 10, Jack, and Ace of Spades are worth 1 point each. The 6 of diamonds is worth 1 point.
The first player to earn 31 points wins the game.