The Rules for Spit, Speed or Slam Card Games

Father and son playing cards

@melissadoar / Twenty20

Spit, a card game also known as Speed or Slam, is a 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.


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 or herself, 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 "stockpiles."

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


Watch Now: Complete Rules for Spit, Speed, or Slam Card Games


When both players are ready, they say "spit" simultaneously and each player turns the top spit card face up, placing it in the middle of the table between the two rows of stockpiles. 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.
  2. Each player may only move one card at a time.

The goal is to play the 15 cards in your stockpiles 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.

When a player moves a card from one of his stockpiles to a spit pile, he or she may turn the next card in the stockpile face up.

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

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 or her card.

Rules to note:

  • Once a card is officially played, it cannot be removed.
  • When an Ace is showing on a spit pile, either a King or a 2 can be played on top of it.
  • A player may never have more than five stockpiles.

No More Legal Plays

If the game reaches a point where neither player can play from his or her stockpile, both players once again say "spit" simultaneously and each player turns his or her top spit card face up, placing it on one of the spit piles. Play then 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 stockpiles (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 or she can’t deal a complete set of stockpiles. When this happens, that player deals the cards into five stockpiles as far as they will go, turning the top card on each pile face up. Since the player can't spit, there will only be one spit pile.

Winning (Standard)

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

If the player with no spit cards in his or her hand also is the one who gets rid of his or her stockpiles first, that person wins the game. If the opponent gets rid of his or her stockpiles 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.