Spit (card game)

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Alternative name Slam, Speed
Type Shedding-type
Players 2
Skills required Speed, Memorization, Counting
Age range 8+
Deck Anglo-American
Playing time 5-15 min.
Random chance Easy
Related games
Speed, Spoons

Spit, also referred to as Slam or Speed, is a game of the shedding family of card games for two players. The game is played until all of someone's cards are gone; at which time, the game has finished.


The goal of the game is to get rid of all your cards as quickly as possible. The players do not take turns - physical speed and alertness are required to play faster than your opponent. On each deal, by being first to play all your stock pile cards you can reduce the number of cards you have in the next deal. By being successful for several deals you can eventually get rid of all your cards, thereby winning the game.[1]


Spit is played by two players. The entire deck is split between them, and each player then makes five stacks in front of themselves in a row, similar to Klondike, as follows:[2]

  • Stack 1: (0 cards face down), 1 card face up
  • Stack 2: 1 card face down, 1 card face up
  • Stack 3: 2 cards face down, 1 card face up
  • Stack 4: 3 cards face down, 1 card face up
  • Stack 5: 4 cards face down, 1 card face up

The eleven remaining cards are placed face down in a pile next to the player's tableau, forming the stock. Room must be left next to the stock for a waste pile, and between the players to lay foundations.

There is an alternative setup where each person lays down four cards face up separately, and a stack of ten face-down cards with one face-up card on top, similar to the setup for Canfield. Players must leave their stacks on the table, only a card being played may be handled.


The player can only use the cards that are face up. Once such a card is used, the next card under the stack can be turned over and then played. If a spot of the stack is empty, a player can transfer any face-up card into that slot and turn over the following card. Cards of the same face value can be placed in the same pile to allow for another pile to be freed up.

Once the cards are set up accordingly, the players can begin. There are no turns; each player plays their cards at the same time as fast as they can. Players may use either both or just one hand while playing Spit; however, both players need to agree on either one or both. The object is to lose all of one's cards.

To begin, each player flips over the top card from their remaining pile in the center to start the two active piles. Each player plays their face-up cards in front of them placing them on either center pile in ascending or descending order. Once either player has played all cards in front of them, each center pile is open to 'slap' for the player who has finished their cards (in some variants the player who plays all their cards just chooses a pile). These cards are added to the remainder of the player's cards, and then shuffled together and dealt into the columns as they did in the beginning. There is no set number of rounds and the first to lose all of their cards is the winner.

If the game reaches a point where both players are stuck or choose not to play a card or cards, both players once again say "spit" simultaneously and each player turns their top spit card face up, placing it on one of the spit piles. Play then resumes as described above.[3]

End of play[edit]

When only one spit pile is being used, the first player to get rid of their stock cards doesn't take anything from the center. The opponent takes the spit pile and their unplayed stock pile cards.

If the player with no spit cards in their hand also is the one who gets rid of their stock piles first, they win the game. If their opponent gets rid of their stock piles first, the game continues.[3]

Comparison to Speed[edit]

Spit is similar to the game Speed in the sense that players attempt to get rid of all their cards first. Speed requires 4 stacks two having five or ten. Each player is dealt twenty cards if there are five cards in the outer stacks in the middle, or fifteen cards if there are ten cards. Speed permits you to use Jokers as wild cards, where in Spit, the Jokers are removed from the deck. For this reason, it is possible to purchase a deck of cards specific to Spit, as it removes the Jokers.

While playing Speed, when it comes to slapping your final pile, players have the option of shouting the word “Speed” as they slap the deck. This rule can be carried over to Spit, however it is not mandatory. The difference between Spit and Speed is in the arrangement of the stock piles. In Spit, each player has a row of stock piles, usually five, each with the top card face up. In Speed, each player has a single face down stock pile and a hand of five cards.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mcleod, John. "Spit/Speed". Pagat. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ "How to Play Spit / Speed / Slam –". 52pickup.net. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  3. ^ a b Arneson, Erik. "Spit Rules". About.com. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 

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