How to Play Spit

By Neal Taparia - 08/22/2022

Spit, also known as Speed or Slam, is a classic shedding-type card game that involves two players and a standard 52-card deck. Shedding-type games are those where the aim is to empty one's hand of all cards. The first player to do so wins.

Apart from being a thrilling game, Spit can also help develop a child's counting and sequencing skills, meaning that playing the game is also beneficial, just like other card games that you can play at Solitaired.

Steps on How To Play Spit

Playing the game is easy, you just need to follow these steps and you're good to go:

Step 1: Start With A Dealer

Before the game begins, select one player to be the dealer. Each player draws one card from the shuffled deck, and the player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. The dealer will shuffle and deal out the entire deck so that each player has 26 cards.

Step 2: The Set Up

The players will then build five stockpiles or stacks in front of them on the table. The first stack must contain only one card, the second two cards, the third three cards, the fourth four cards, and the fifth five cards.

Next, turn the top cards of each stack face-up and keep the others facing down. Players will then put their remaining 11 cards aside. These will be their spit cards.

Step 3: "Spit!"

There are no turns in this game because both players will play simultaneously. The game begins when one of the players says “spit.” This will prompt each player to immediately take the top cards from their spit cards and place them in the center of the table. These two center piles will be separate from one another and are called the “spit piles.”

Step 4: The Play

Players will start adding cards onto either spit pile from the face-up cards on their five stacks, but only if the card is one higher or lower than the cards on the spit pile. For instance, if there is a ten on the spit pile, the next card should be either a nine or a jack. If a player tops the ten with a nine, you can then go for either an eight or a ten. Aces are both high and low so can be played on either a king or a two.

When a face-up card is played, the next card under it in the stack can be turned over and then played. If a stack runs out, the top card from another stack can be moved into that slot and the next card can be turned over. You can also place two face-up cards of the same value on top of each other.

You can't undo any action. If both players have no cards they can play, they will say "spit" and simultaneously place one card from their spit cards onto the spit piles, and the game continues.

Step 5: The Slap

When a player runs out of stacks, either player can quickly slap one of the two spit piles with their hand. The first player to do so will collect all the cards from the spit pile they slapped, regardless of how many cards there are. The other player will collect the cards from the other spit pile. Players add the cards from the spit piles to any remaining cards from their spit cards and stacks. Since the idea is to get rid of all your cards, each player aims to slap the smallest pile.

Step 6: The Winning Round

Both players will shuffle and place new cards in the same way, and then play another round. When a player has fewer than 15 cards, they won't be able to create a complete set of stacks, so they have to set the cards the same way as far as they can. This means they won't have spit cards, so the other player will start the game by creating a single spit pile in the middle of the table. This time, if a player with no stacks or spit cards slaps the spit pile, the other player will collect everything and the game ends.

The Important Rules in Playing Spit

Spit is fast but straightforward. Once you get the hang of Spit, the game can be even quicker and more exciting. But before you start a game, there are a few restrictions that players should follow:

  • Each player must use only one hand

  • Each player must only move one card at a time

  • Suits don't matter in the game

  • Aces can be played on either a two or a king

  • Always leave out the jokers

Spit Variations

Now that you know how to play classic Spit, you can try different variations. For instance, you can change the number of cards in your stacks, such as by using three, five, or six cards in each pile. In another variation, you can create a third spit pile in the middle of the table that's also playable. These variations help speed up the game and prevent players from being unable to play any cards.

Another version of the game enables the functionality of suits. So apart from adding cards higher or lower than the discarded ones, players should also match the suit of the card on top of the spit pile. This setup makes the game slower but more challenging.

Other Games To Play If You Like Spit

Spit is an enjoyable game for your staycations. If you love this game and would like to have more like this in your arsenal, consider learning the following:


Also known as Slaps, this fast-paced card game can be played by two-to-four people and can be played with children since it has straightforward rules and objectives. This game involves players discarding cards face-up in a quick motion from their face-down piles until a jack pops up. Players must race to slap that jack. The last player to place their hand on the jack has to collect all discarded cards along with the jack. The first person to run out of cards wins.

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights is one of the most famous shedding-type card games and can be played by two-to-seven players. This game revolves around players getting rid of their cards into a discard pile by matching the number or suit of the discarded card. It's easy to follow, and perfect for kids.

Go Fish

This game, also called Fish, is a classic card game for beginners and can be played with two-to-six players with a standard 52-card deck. Go Fish involves players exchanging cards until one player creates a set of four of the same numbers, one of each suit. This game, while fun, is slower-paced and more relaxing to play.


Golf is an enjoyable card game played by two-to-six players who try to reduce the scores or value of cards as much as possible over nine rounds. The challenge of this game is that it is played with all cards face down, so it’s also a memory game.


Spoons is a thrilling card game that up to 13 people can play, and is particularly fun to play with large numbers of people. The game involves 52 cards and several spoons, one less than the number of players. Players try to collect four of the same card (e.g. four jacks) and grab a spoon once finished. This game is fast-paced and exciting because several players may make a four-of-a-kind simultaneously, leading to a mad scramble to grab a spoon.

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy or Gin is a classic matching card game for two-to-six players using a standard 52-card deck. It's a fun game for all ages that involves scoring points by collecting particular combinations of cards.

Spider Solitaire

This game is a famous single-player game, although two players may also play it together. In the two-player version, instead of playing against each other, you'll be playing as a team while trying to finish the game as fast as possible.

If you're looking for more accessible card games wherever you are, check out Solitaired, which has over 500 free online games.

About the author

Neal Taparia is one of the founders of Solitaired. He loves playing card games and is interested in understanding how games can help with brain training and skills building. In addition to card games, he also likes fishing and mountain biking.

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