BlackJack Priestly College Rules

These rules are those used to play BlackJack at Priestly college whilst I was there in the concourse.  This would be for the time frame of approximately 1993-1996.


Game is played with a full deck of 52 playing cards (no jokers).

Each player is issued 7 cards from the shuffled deck face down.

The remaining deck is placed in the centre face down and the top card is turned over to begin play.

Players can look at their own cards to choose their next played card(s).

If a player cannot place a card, they must take one card from the un-used deck.

If the unused deck is depleted over the course of play, it is acceptable to keep the current top card and reshuffle the used cards to make a new unused deck to continue play.  NB due to the nature of play it is IMPORTANT that the deck is well shuffled.

To finish a player must place all of their cards, however they must have said prior to their next turn “Last card(s)”, if the player has failed to state “Last cards” they must take one card from the un-used deck.

Cards placed must follow the current active card in sequence numerically and suite, or be the same card in a different suite.  IE 4 of hearts is active, a 4 in any other suit can be played, or 5 of hearts.

A run can be played by a player, so in the above example the 5, 6 and 7 of hearts could be played

You may change the suite of the cards mid run as long as a numerical match is made.  IE 4 of hearts, 5 of hearts, 5 of clubs, 6 of clubs  could be played onto the 3 of hearts.

A run can go in either direction up or down.


There are several power cards, which have special actions

Pickup cards – there are 3 pickup card groups which can be stacked.  If stacked their total pickup must be picked up by the next player.  The pickup can however be passed onto the next player if the player can also put down a pickup card, this may also then lead into a run canceling the pickup completely.  It is not permissible to put down a run ontop of a pickup card if it does not itself begin with a pickup card.

The pickup cards are:

2’s – pickup 2 cards

Red Jacks – Pickup 3 cards

Black Jacks – Pickup 5 cards

Suite change – an Ace can be used to change the currently active suite to any which the player wishes at any point (except on-top of an active pickup).  IE an Ace of hearts could be placed and the player could choose the suite ‘clubs’.  Changing the suite ends the players turn.

Change Direction – Playing a 10, changes the direction of play amongst the players (has no use in a 2 player game)

Miss a Turn – Playing an 8 causes the next player to skip their go, playing multiple 8’s causes the same number of players to miss their turn.

Queens – A power card with a non beneficial action.  A turn cannot finish on a Queen, the Queen MUST be followed by another suitable card.  If it is not possible to follow the Queen, the player MUST pickup a card from the unused deck.


Big part of the fun is the almost certainty of disputes to peoples turns.  In the event of a questionable move, especially if a valid move stuffs your next turn it is required that a ‘constructive debate’ around the rules is performed.

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