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Spit (card game) facts for kids

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Alternative name Slam, Speed
Type Shedding-type
Players 2
Skills required Counting, sequencing, manual dexterity
Age range 8+
Deck French
Playing time 5-15 min.
Related games
Stress, Speed

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.


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.


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:

  • 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

These five piles are the player's tableau, and the object of the game is to move all of these cards into two "spit piles" that start empty in between the two player's tableaus. Each player's eleven remaining cards are placed face down in a pile next to the tableau; these are the spit cards.

Within each player's tableau, face-up cards of the same rank can be placed on top of each other, and the face-down cards that are revealed are turned over. This process continues until each player's tableau has face-up cards of five different ranks.

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, and only a card being played may be handled. Players may use either both or just one hand while playing Spit; however, both players need to agree on either one or both.


To begin, both players say "spit" simultaneously as each player flips over the top card from their spit cards into the center to start the two spit piles. Then, the two players attempt to play the cards from their tableaus into the spit piles at the same time as fast as they can; there are no turns. Each player can play their face-up cards from their tableau onto either spit pile, if the previous card in that spit pile is of a consecutive rank. For example, a 5 can be placed on top of a 4 or 6 (but not another 5). Ace is considered consecutive to both King and 2.

When a face-up card is used, the next card under it in its stack can be turned over and then played. If a stack of the tableau is empty, a player can transfer any face-up card into that slot and turn over the following card. As during setup, face-up cards of the same rank may be placed on top of each other within the tableau.

Once either player has played all cards from their tableau, each player tries to slap the spit pile that they think is smaller. Whoever slaps first gets the pile that they slapped, and the other player takes the other spit pile. (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 spit 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.

End of play

When one player starts with fifteen cards or fewer, there will only be one spit pile, and the first player to get rid of their tableau doesn't take anything from the center. The opponent takes the spit pile and their tableau cards.

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

Comparison to Speed

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 players 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 their 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.

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