What is the Card Game Spit?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Spit or Go Spit is a card game that many children learn after they know how to play simpler games like War, Go Fish, and Old Maid. The goal of Spit is to get rid of all your cards. The knowledge required is the sequence of card rank and the ability to count. Spit is played with Aces ranking both high and low.

Young boy eating an apple
Young boy eating an apple

Setting Up the Card Game Spit
The game of spit requires two players, but may be played by any practical number, each of whom has his or her own deck of cards with a distinctive design and/or color, so that each player’s cards can be identified.

Players arrange themselves around a table or a space on the floor with plenty of room. Players each shuffle their own deck, and place the top four cards face up in a row immediately in front of them, but keep the rest of the deck in one hand, ready to play cards from it.

How to Play the Card Game Spit
Play begins when one player announces, “1, 2, 3, Spit!” or “Go Spit!” On this command, each player takes the top card from the deck they are holding and starts a pile in front of them, closer to the center of the area than their four-card line-up, and where everybody playing can reach them.

Play proceeds immediately with each player using their four-card line up to play cards onto one of the central piles. Cards are played in sequence, either going up or going down. An Ace may be played on a King or a 2, and a 2 or King may be played on an Ace. Suit does not matter, and players may play on anyone’s pile, not just their own, but only one card can be moved at a time with one hand—the other hand must remain holding the deck.

If someone else has played a card first, the player puts his or her card back in the four-card line-up. Every time a player has less than four cards in his or her line-up, s/he can refill the line-up from the top card(s) from the deck in his or her hand. Play continues until no player can place any more cards. Then the command to spit is repeated, and play begins again.

A player must use up all the cards in his or her deck as well as all the cards in his or her four-card line-up in order to go out. The first player to use up all his or her cards wins. If play gets stuck when no player has been able to use all cards, the player with the least cards left wins. If players wish to play multiple games, they can give a point for each card a player has left, in which case the winner will be the player with the least points when a designated maximum number of points has been reached by one player.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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