Etymology
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jacks (n.)

dexterity game played with a ball and small objects, 1900, from earlier jackstone "small round pebble used in games" (1792), which seems to be an alteration of checkstone (1745). The metal pieces with five arms or tines, made to be used in the game, are so called from 1908.

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Definitions of jacks

jacks (n.)
a game in which jackstones are thrown and picked up in various groups between bounces of a small rubber ball;
Synonyms: jackstones / knucklebones
From wordnet.princeton.edu