How to Master the Card Game Spit

Video how to play the card game spit

Above is the set up for a traditional game of Spit

Spit is a timeless card game that requires only two players and a standard 52-card deck. The goal of the game is simple: get rid of all your cards. If you’re a fan of classic games, make sure to check out our guides on Crazy Eights and Slapjack for more fun.

To play Spit, you’ll need a standard deck of cards. You can find one here or explore our other available options.

Setting Up the Game

To start the game, you’ll need to select a dealer. Both players draw a card from the shuffled deck, and the player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. The dealer then shuffles the deck and deals all the cards one by one to themselves and the other player.

Next, the players will build the tableau by alternately creating five stacks. The first stack contains one card, the second stack contains two cards, and so on, until five stacks are formed. Remember to keep the top cards of the stacks face-up and the rest face-down. The remaining cards form the spit pile.

The Gameplay

The game begins with both players placing the top card from their spit pile onto the center of the table. Players use the two piles in the center to get rid of their tableau cards. Cards can be played from the tableau if they follow in an increasing or decreasing sequence compared to the cards in the center. Additionally, players can also place cards on their own tableau piles as long as they follow the sequence. In Spit, Aces can be both high and low, allowing them to be played against a King or a 2. Once a card is played, players will flip up the next card from the pile they just played and continue the game.

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Unlike traditional turn-based games, Spit has no specific order of play. Each player tries to get rid of their tableau as quickly as possible. If a player cannot play any of their cards against the cards in the center, they play the top card from their spit pile.

Once a player successfully gets rid of their tableau, any player can slap either of the two center piles. The first player to slap a pile gets to keep it, while the other player gets the remaining pile. Since the ultimate objective is to empty your own pile, players should aim to slap the pile with fewer cards. After a round, players shuffle their cards, build a new tableau, and continue playing.

If neither player has any spit piles left and neither can play on the center cards, the round ends, and the players try to slap the pile with the fewest cards.

The game continues until one player successfully gets rid of all their cards. If a player cannot build a full tableau, there will only be one pile in the center.

For more detailed information on the rules of Spit, you can refer to Wikipedia’s article here and Pagat’s article here.

If you’re looking to expand your repertoire of card games, check out this article:

40+ Fantastic Card Games for Every Occasion

About the author: John Taylor is an experienced content writer and freelancer who specializes in a wide range of subjects. You can view his freelance profile here. With a B.A. in English, focusing on technical writing from Texas A&M University, and an M.A. in English from the University of Glasgow, John has extensive knowledge and a passion for card games. Feel free to explore his previous articles on card games here and connect with him on LinkedIn.