In my childhood, boys played marbles and girls played jacks. These were a set of 10 little metal objects and one red rubber ball. While it was possible to play jacks alone, the only reason I ever did that was to hone my skill. The real fun was playing with an opponent.
Reading up on the subject, I learned that there were actually a variety of ways this game was played. All I remember was THE way jacks was played in my neighborhood. You would find a flat surface and drop the jacks from your hand onto the ground. Then you would bounce the ball, pick up one jack and then catch the ball as it came back. If you were successful at that you went on to pick up two, then three, and so forth. When you erred, the other girl got a turn.
Of course, the wider you scattered the jacks and the higher you bounced the ball, the more likely it was that you would be unable to achieve the perfect ten pickups. I mostly remember gales of laughter as the ball went flying or jacks went spinning.
A few years ago I tried to find a set to teach my granddaughter. I could only find plastic ones, which felt all wrong in my hands. I see that now they are available in very expensive “retro” packaging. Apparently they are after the “nostalgia” market. I am not particularly nostalgic about jacks. I just think they were a great inexpensive way to spend an afternoon.