The Rules for Spit, Speed or Slam Card Games

The complete rules for the card game Spit

Father and son playing cards

Spit, a card game also known as Speed or Slam, is very fast-paced game and it could result in damage to the cards -- so don't use your best deck.


2 players.


Standard 52-card deck. Ace is high; 2 is low.

Don't use your best deck -- Spit has been known to cause damage to the cards.


To get rid of all your cards as quickly as possible.


Shuffle the cards and deal them evenly to the players, so that each player receives 26 cards.

Each player then deals out five piles of cards in a row in front of himself, with all cards face down. The first pile has one card, the second two cards, and so on, until the fifth pile has five cards. Turn the top card of each pile face up. These are known as the "stock piles."

Now, each player will have 11 cards remaining in his hand. He should not look at these cards; they are known as the "spit cards."


When both players are ready, they say "spit" simultaneously and each player turns his top spit card face up, placing it in the middle of the table between the two rows of stock piles. These two cards form the "spit piles."

Play then proceeds as quickly as the players can move. There are two restrictions: (1) each player can only use one hand, and (2) each player may only move one card at a time.

The goal is to play the 15 cards in your stock piles onto the spit piles before your opponent can do the same.

To play a card onto a spit pile, it must be the next card in sequence (either higher or lower). Suits and colors are irrelevant.

NOTE: When an Ace is showing on a spit pile, either a King or a 2 can be played on top of it.

When a player moves a card from one of his stock piles to a spit pile, he may turn the next card in the stock pile face up.

If a player has less than five stock piles (because one has been exhausted by playing cards into the spit piles), he may move the face-up card from another stock pile to fill the empty slot. He may then turn face up the card that was below the one he moved.

NOTE: A player may never have more than five stock piles.

A card is officially played on a spit pile as soon as any part of that card touches the spit pile. If both players are trying to play onto the same spit pile at nearly the same time, the player whose card touches the spit pile first gets to place his card.

Once a card is officially played, it cannot be removed.

No More Legal Plays

If the game reaches a point where neither player can play from his stock pile, both players once again say "spit" simultaneously and each player turns his top spit card face up, placing it on one of the spit piles. Play them resumes as described above.

End of the Round

A round ends when one of two things happens: Either a player runs out of stock cards by playing them all, or neither player can make a legal play and both players still have cards remaining in their stock piles (but not their spit piles).

In either situation, both players slap one of the spit piles with their hand, trying to slap the smaller pile.

If the players slap different piles, each takes the pile they slapped. If they slap the same pile, the player who got there first (whose hand is on the bottom) gets that pile; the other player gets the other pile.

Both players then add any spit cards and stock cards remaining on their side to the spit pile that they took and shuffle their cards. The cards are then used to create a new layout as described in "Setup" above. At this point, however, the players could have unequal numbers of spit cards in their hands.

When both players are ready, they say "spit" simultaneously and play continues as described in "Gameplay" above.

Fewer Than 15 Cards

If one player has fewer than 15 cards at the end of a round, he can’t deal a complete set of stock piles. When this happens, that player deals the cards into five stock piles as far as they will go, turning the top card on each pile face up.

Since he can't spit, there will only be one spit pile (started by his opponent).

Winning (Standard)

When only one spit pile is being used, the first player to get rid of his stock cards doesn't take anything from the center. His opponent takes the spit pile and his unplayed stock pile cards.

If the player with no spit cards in his hand also is the one who gets rid of his stock piles first, he wins the game. If his opponent gets rid of his stock piles first, the game continues.

Winning (Variant)

Play a series of rounds, with each player scoring one point for each card that player has remaining at the end of each round. When at least one player scores 100 or more points, the game ends. The player who has the smallest score is the overall winner. (You can play to a higher point total for a longer game.)