Spit Card Game Rules & Instructions
As a kid I adored Spit. I never won but I played it obsessively with friends and family every time there was a lull in life, or even when there wasn’t. The rules are simple enough for children to understand, but the strategy is intense enough to make adults sweat.
So, how do you play Spit? The goal of the game is to be the first person to get rid of their cards by laying them down in numerical order. If you lay down a card that isn’t next in sequence, or if your card has been played before, you have to pick up a card from the discard pile. The person who plays all their cards first is automatically the best at Spit and gets to brag about it.
It’s great for parties because pretty much everyone knows how to play, and those that don’t can pick it up after a couple of hands. It’s also easy to fit into just about any schedule because each hand takes minutes to complete..
How To Play Spit
Here are some general rules for how to play Spit:
Number of Players
This game can be played between 2-8 players. I suggest just having it with 2 or 3 people for now until everyone gets used to talking faster without hesitation or stuttering.
It might also help if you’re not nervous around your opponent(s) because you might be more likely to stutter or hesitate if you are.
This is how you play Spit: One player starts by saying “One…” meaning they want the last card played to be their number. If they have a Two in their hand, they would say “Two…”. Once a number is said it can’t be used again until every single card in the deck has been played.
This means if Alice says “Two” and Bob has a Two in his hand he can play it after Alice’s Two was laid down because the round hasn’t progressed since Alice started. Once the card is played Alice would then say “Go” because at that point it’s too late for Bob to play his Two.
Players determine who goes first by rolling a die and the winner starts. The player will flip over a card and try to say the word on the card as fast as they can, while their opponent tries to say it faster (if the opponent says it as fast as they can without stuttering or stumbling, you say ‘pass’ and flip over a new card).
If the player can say the word as fast as their opponent without stuttering or stumbling, they may place the card in front of them face up for all players to see. If a player says a word before their opponent, they may also place the card in front of them for all players to see. The winner of each round is the player with the most cards.
Keep track of how many games are won by each player. If both players have won the same number of times, then roll a die and determine who wins that game (total number on a die). A 2-player game lasts for 3 rounds.
The player who goes first is determined by a roll of the die. If both players roll the same number then re-roll until someone gets a higher number. You can now begin play. The opponent must be able to say the word without stuttering or stumbling to win the round.
If this occurs, they get to keep the card and you must flip over a new one (the number of cards won is indicated in parentheses next to your name). You may not pause or say um while trying to say the word, and taking advantage of someone who does will incur disciplinary action (see rules below).
The player to the left of the dealer starts. The dealer will deal 5 cards to each player (you should have 10 in your hand). You must say the word on the card as fast as you can (without stuttering or stumbling) while your opponent tries to beat you. If your opponent says it faster without stuttering or
stumbling, they get to take the card. If they are unable to say it faster without stuttering or stumbling, you get the card instead.
A player can call a timeout at any time during play by putting the word card down in front of them and saying “timeout”. The next person to say their word must wait until the other person takes their turn before continuing.
Discussion During Game
You may not stutter or stumble while trying to say the word, and taking advantage of someone who does will result in disciplinary action (see rules below). No talking is allowed during gameplay unless it’s an emergency.
If you do talk, you must put the card down in front of you for all players to see and wait until the other person is done before continuing. If you win a game, take the cards in front of your opponent and place them in front of you for future reference.
The winner is the person who has won the most games when all cards are used up (if there’s a tie, roll a die to determine who wins).
How Spit Was Made
This is how Spit was made: Two decks of cards are placed on opposite ends of whatever covert playing arena has been chosen. I typically play at the kitchen table so we would put down two piles of cards on opposite ends of it.
Once you’ve laid your first card down, it can’t be moved until someone knocks or disturbs its foundation in any way. This is where strategy comes into play because people are always trying to maneuver their cards into convenient positions for when they are played.
Laying Down Cards
Everyone takes turns laying down cards, but the one rule is that you have to lay your card so it’s touching at least one side of another card or pile of cards. You can’t lay it right in the center of the table because then no other player would be able to play near it.
This means sometimes you have to play a card in the worst possible position, but it’s all part of the strategy.
Once you’ve laid your card down, it can’t be moved unless someone disturbs its foundation after another player lays one down too close to yours.
You can knock any other stack that hasn’t been disturbed back into place with one swift kick from your foot. However, if you make a mistake and you knock the wrong stack then all cards that have been disturbed are collected by the player who knocked them down.
This is where Spit becomes exciting because it’s not always the loser of each round who has to collect all the cards. Sometimes people forget their cards aren’t safe until both piles of cards have been built back up again.
They’ll knock down the wrong stack which means they have to pick up all the cards that have been played. Sometimes it’s intentional but usually, it’s just an accident because everyone is nervous about their card being played before its rightful time.
When all the cards have been collected by either player, whoever has the fewest amount of cards is the winner. If you’re playing with more than two people there are rounds where whoever has the most cards has to collect them, and if it’s only two people then that means the person who went out first wins.
The object of this game is to spit faster than your opponent.
Players must say the word on the card as fast as they can without stuttering or stumbling. Taking advantage of someone who does is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action (see below).
If you get a timeout, put down your card and wait until your opponent is done before continuing. No talking during gameplay unless it’s an emergency. If you do talk, put the card down in front of you for all players to see and wait until your opponent is done before continuing.
As far as disciplinary action goes, it’s up to the discretion of the other players to determine if someone is doing this deliberately or not. Usually, if they are yapping too much or stuttering too much, your opponents might just yell at you, but if they catch you purposely not saying your words with confidence then that’s when disciplinary action can be taken.
At any time during the game, a player may choose to “spit” by saying “spit” and putting down their word card. If someone does this, all players must put down their word cards and wait until the round is finished before continuing to play.
Lastly, if you don’t want people to mess with you at all during the game, feel free to make up some disciplinary action of your own (just make sure it’s not too harsh). That way no one will try anything funny while you’re playing.
Spit is a really fun card game that I don’t think many people have even heard about, which makes it even more exciting to play. It’s a lot like Speed, but with cards instead of a timer. Imagine a really fun round of speed mixed with the tense moment right before a card game when you’re deciding if you should play your three or save it for later in case someone lays down four. That’s the game of Spit.