How to Play Spit

July 14, 2020

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Spit, or speed, is a fun, fast-paced card game that will have your heart racing nearly as fast as your hands.

Step 1: Set up cards
Split the deck so each player has 26 cards. Set up your tableau opposite your opponent by dealing your cards face down into five piles. The first pile has one card, the second two, up through five in the fifth pile. Flip the top card of each pile. The 11 remaining cards are your stockpile.

An older deck prevents slipping.

Step 2: Sort your tableau
Place the face-up cards in descending order, alternating red and black suits. As you move a card from a pile, turn the next card in the pile face up. If there is an empty space, you may fill it with any card, always keeping five piles in front of you.

Step 3: Call spit
Hold your stockpile cards in one hand, face down, without looking at them. To start, players say ‘one, two, three – spit,’ simultaneously. Turn over the top card in your stockpile and place it between your tableau and your partner’s. Your partner does the same. These two cards start spit piles.

Step 4: Play the spit piles
Play a card from your tableau on either spit pile, using one hand. You and your opponent play at the same time, so you must be the first to get to the pile with your card to play it. Cards placed on the spit card must rank one higher or one lower; suit does not matter.

Watch your opponent’s cards to anticipate future moves.

Step 5: Spit again
Spit again when neither player can play a card. When one player runs out of cards, slap the smaller spit pile. If your opponent slaps that pile first, they pick it up.

Point out moves your opponent misses, but only if you think it will benefit you.

Step 6: Set up again
Take the spit pile you slapped and set up your tableau again. If you have fewer than 15 cards, build your tableau as far as you can, leaving no stockpile. Your opponent spits into a single spit pile and play continues. The person who runs out of cards first is the winner.

Did You Know?
In 2008, Sarasota, Florida, rescinded an anti-spitting law enacted in 1908.


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