OBJECTIVE OF SPIT: Play all of your cards as fast as possible.

OBJECTIVE OF SPIT: Play all of your cards as fast as possible.


MATERIALS OF SPIT: Standard 52-card deck




If you are a big fan of card games like Snap and Old Maid, we have another fun family game for you! Spit is a fast-paced shedding card game that is sure to get your heart pumping! In this article, you’ll learn all the rules you need to play the perfect game of Spit.


Spit is a fast-paced two-player game. Before you begin, you’ll need a friend and a standard deck of 52 cards.


spit game setup

Choose a dealer, then shuffle the cards and divide them evenly; each player receives 26 cards.

Each player deals out their stockpiles in a row with five piles called a tableau. The first pile has 1 card, the second has 2.. and so on. The fifth pile should have five cards. These piles of cards should be dealt face-down, and then the top card from each pile should be flipped face-up. The remaining 11 cards are your spit cards. These must be kept secret, even from yourself!

Outline of tableau: 

  • 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 


After both players are ready, yell “spit!’ and start the game by turning over the top of your spit cards. Both players’ first spit cards are placed side by side in the middle of the table between their tableaus, forming the Spit pile. There are no turns. Players play at the same time, as fast as they possibly can. The goal is to shed all the cards in your tableau into the Spit piles.  Using one hand and one card at a time, you may do any of the following: 

  1. Play a face-up card from your tableau onto either Spit pile. To do so, the card played must be one up or one below in sequence. Cards ‘turn corner,’ so if you play an Ace, then you can play a King or two next.
  2. Play a card from your tableau stack and if it has a face-down card underneath. Turn the top card face-up.
  3. You may move a face-up card from the top of one of your tableau piles to an empty space. You should never exceed 5 piles. This is somewhat similar to Solitaire.

Once you play a card you can’t retract it. Remember that in this game, suits don’t matter; only the rank of the card matters.

If players reach an impasse and can no longer play on the center piles, both shout “spit!”, flip a spit card, and place it on top of their Spit pile. Play continues if possible. If both players are unable to play, repeat.


Once you play all the cards in your tableau, either player can then slap one of the Spit piles to end the round. You should slap the pile with fewer cards, as the goal is to have the least number of cards at the end of the game. A slap of the cards can happen when:

  1. One player gets rid of all the cards in their tableau.
  2. There is an impasse; both players are out of spit cards but have cards remaining in their tableau.

If players try to slap the same Spit pile, the player whose hand is underneath gets the pile, and the other player gets the other pile. This is somewhat similar to the gameplay of Slapjack.

Players then add the cards from their tableau to the Spit pile they grabbed, shuffle, and re-deal a new tableau and spit card pile. When both players are ready, they yell, “Spit!” and the game continues on.

If one player has less than 15 cards, they will not be able to deal a full tableau. In this case, they should deal out the tableau as far as they can, and then the game continues, but there will only be one Spit pile created by the opponent. 


One of the most important rules in Spit is that you can only use 1 hand during the game. This is because it is easier to play cards faster with 2 hands. The best way to prevent yourself from accidentally using both hands is to hold your Spit cards one hand and play cards with the other.


The first player to play all their cards, meaning spit cards and cards in their tableau, wins. 


  • Some games use only four stockpiles. 
  • Some versions allow the player who gets rid of all the cards in their layout to choose which spit pile they want, and there is no slapping.
  • There is also a variation that requires cards played on the spit pile to alternate in colors. 


Speed is a game that is quite similar to Spit. The basic gameplay is the same, but there are some key differences. 

In speed, each player keeps in their hand no more (or less) than five cards, which are kept secret from their opponent. They also have a stockpile to draw from.

There is normally only one round in Speed. Players continue playing until all the cards are gone from their hands. Once this happens, they win the game, and a new game can be set up.

For more fun duo games, check out our top 2 player card games picks!

Alan Lemus
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