I'm still writing up these rules, so in some places it says "TBD," which in this case means "to be described (better)".


created in 2002

influence of Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Hearts, Tarot, mathematics, tennis, economics, politics, religion, plus a tribute to one odd English teacher

General Gameplay Rules

The basic gameplay is like Crazy Eights: There is a draw pile and a play pile (plus a discard pile, unlike Crazy Eights). Cards from your hand are playable if they match the top card of the play pile by either rank or suit.

  • The dealer plays first. Deal 7 cards to each player. Play continues clockwise (ie to the dealer's left).
  • If you do not have a playable card on your turn, you must draw until you can play. Then you must play that playable card.
  • If you have two identical cards in your hand, you may play them together on the same turn. See the card effects section for details as to their effect when played as multiples.
  • If you play a card identical to the one on the top of play pile, you may call suit.
  • (TBD: runs; novelties and Knights optional)
  • (TBD: 5 Jokers; otherwise, 1 each of the non-pip and non-face cards)
  • (TBD: if the draw pile runs out, shuffle the play and discard piles together and add to the bottom of the draw pile. Leave the top few cards of the play and discard piles in place.)

A few cards require choosing a random player. In the rules below, this is described as "spinning the Spinner," because we originally spun something (eg a glue stick, a pencil, etc) that would point to a player in the circle. Use whatever means you want to choose a random player where the rules talk about a "Spinner." If the Spinner falls evenly between two players, flip a card to break the tie.

Winning the Game

You win by doing one of the following:

  • Play the last card in your hand (including any standing cards).
  • "Shoot the moon" by playing all 3 Queens of Spades, including the Queen Mother (this is the only time they are playable).
  • Play all 4 black Kings.

Specific Card Effects

Pip Cards


3 each of A A A A
  • Effect: Take another turn.
    • Additional identical Aces let you take an extra turn; eg, for 2 Aces, take 2 extra turns.


1 each of A! A! A! A!
  • Effect: Give one card of your choice to the next player, then take another turn.
  • Volley: If the next player has a Return, they may play it, return the card you gave them, and give you a card of their choice. If you have your own Return, then continue the volley, adding a card each time. Whoever plays the last Return "wins" and gets to continue their turn.
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty Ace.


3 each of 2 2 2 2
  • Effect: The next player draws 2 cards.
    • The drawing 2 cards does not constitute the next player's turn; the drawing occurs on your turn. The next player gets their turn after drawing their cards.
  • Chain of Twos: If the next player has their own Two, they may play it. In that case, the next next player draws 4 cards. This "chain of Twos" may continue until a player has no Two to play, at which point they must draw the sum of all previously played Twos in the chain.

Novelty Twos

1 each
  • Effect: (Double Two, 22) The next player draws 4 cards.
  • Effect: (Triple Two, 222) The next player draws 6 cards.
  • Effect: (Skip Two, 23) The next player is skipped; the player after that draws 2 cards.
  • Effect: (Four Two, 24) Play any additional Twos at the same time. The next player draws the sum of all played Twos.
  • Effect: (Chaos Two, 26) Spin the Spinner to determine the next player. The "chain of Twos" then affects that player.
  • Effect: (Reverse Two, 27) Reverses play direction; the new next player draws 2 cards.
  • Effect: (Nine Two, 29) Choose the next player; they draw 2 cards.
  • Effect: (Ten Two, 210) Take a Ten from the next player before they are allowed to respond to the "chain of Twos." If they have more than 1 Two, they get to choose which Two to give you.
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty Two.


3 each of 3 3 3 3
  • Skip the next player.
  • Additional identical Threes skip another player (in a leap-frog pattern).


1 each of π π π π
  • Effect: (1π) The player halfway around the circle from you becomes the next player. "Round" to the player closest to you if there is an odd number of players.
  • Effect: (2π) Take another turn.
  • Effect: (3π) Same effect as 1π, although the people between and the people across from you are technically skipped twice.
  • Effect: (4π) Take 2 turns.


3 each of 4 4 4 4
  • Effect: Play as many Fours as you want, in addition to your inital Four.


3 each of 5 5 5 5
  • Effect: All players with more than 5 cards must discard 1 card. All players with less than 5 cards must draw 1 card. All players with exactly 5 cards do nothing. Additional identical Fives make players discard or draw again.


3 each of 6 6 6 6
  • Effect: (1 Six) Determine who has the least number of cards in their hand. All players pass that number of cards in the direction opposite of play.
  • Effect: (2 Sixes) Switch the positions of two players, one of whom may be yourself.
  • Effect: (3 Sixes) Look at all players' hands and exchange hands with a player of your choice.
  • Aka: "Chaos"


3 each of 7 7 7 7
  • Effect: Reverses play direction.


1 each of R R R R
  • Effect: (TBD: return a card given to you by an Ace!)
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty Seven.


3 each of 8 8 8 8
  • Effect: Choose the suit that the next player must match, rather than the printed suit of the Eight played.
  • Plays On: Any card.


3 each of 9 9 9 9
  • Effect: Choose the next player, which cannot be yourself. Play direction is not affected.


3 each of 10 10 10 10
  • Effect: (TBD: next player gives you a card of their choice)

Gold Star and a Happy Face

1 each of 10
  • Effect: All Tens in play go to bottom of the discard pile. They do not get re-shuffled into the draw pile ever. The Ghost and the Bitch do not affect this card's happiness. :)
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty Ten.

Face Cards

Face cards can play on any Joker-like card.


3 each of J J J J
  • Effect: (1-eyed J J) (TBD: all players draw 1 card)
  • Effect: (2-eyed J J) (TBD: all players discard 1 card)


1 each of F F
  • Effect: (TBD)
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty Jack.


1 each of An An
  • Effect: (TBD)
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty Jack.


1 each of Kn Kn Kn Kn
  • Effect: (TBD: look at the next player's hand and take 1 card of your choice from it)
  • Rank: Counts as its own rank, optionally between Jacks and Queens in runs.


3 each of Q Q Q, 2 of Q
  • Effect: (red Queens, Q Q) (TBD: give 1 card of your choice to a player of your choice)
  • Effect: (Q) (TBD: all players must discard any cards of a rank of your choice)
  • Effect: (Q) (TBD: unplayable, undiscardable — but see "shoot the moon" at the top of this page)
  • Aka: (Q) "Old Maid"

Queen Mother

1 each of Q
  • Effect: (TBD: unplayable, undiscardable; if another player makes you draw or take a card, you may give the Queen Mother to that player)
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty Queen.


2 each of K K K K
  • Effect: (black K K) (TBD: has no effect)
  • Effect: (suicidal K K) (TBD: you must draw 2 cards; you may also give a Q to a player of your choice)


2 each of Kp Kp Kp Kp
  • Effect: (TBD)
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty King.


2 each of Km Km Km Km
  • Effect: (TBD)
  • Rank: Counts as a novelty King.

Joker-like Cards (Suitless)

Unless otherwise specified, these Joker-like cards play on any face card.


  • Effect: (TBD: look at the hand of a player of your choice)

Middle Man

  • Effect: (TBD)


  • Effect: (TBD)
  • Plays On: Any "male" card.


  • Effect: (TBD)


  • Effect: (TBD)

Wild Cards


  • Effect: (TBD)


  • Effect: (TBD)


  • Effect: (TBD)

Standing Cards

These cards are placed face up in front of you on the table. They still count as part of your hand.


  • Effect: (in your hand) (TBD: your hand becomes the discard pile)
  • Effect: (when played) (TBD: give 1 card of your choice to each player, as revenge for being their discard pile while this card was in play)
  • Rank: Counts as a suitless Queen.


  • Effect: (in your hand) (TBD: acts like a Joker, but is only playable if it's the last card in your hand)
  • Effect: (when played) You win! (because it was your last card; otherwise it wasn't playable)


  • Effect: (TBD)

Other Cards


  • Effect: (TBD)


  • Effect: (TBD)


  • Effect: (TBD)

Learning the Game

As you can see, there are many special cards in the game of Spite. To have fun while learning all the card effects, use the following suggested order of introducing special cards to a standard poker deck.

Standard Poker Deck

Start playing Spite with only cards from standard poker decks. The game plays best if you use 2 decks, but 1 deck is also playable. Leave the Jokers in the deck and play with them.

It's also useful to know you can play a simplified version of Spite when you don't have a complete, custom Spite deck with you.

Basic Special Cards

After you've mastered the effects of all the cards in a standard deck, add some basic special cards. I suggest adding the following special cards to 2 standard poker decks (including their Jokers):

  • Ace!s
  • novelty Twos
  • πs
  • Returns
  • Gold Star and a Happy Star
  • Knights
  • Queen Mother
  • Bitch
  • Traitor

More Special Cards

Add some more special cards to 2 standard poker decks:

  • Middle Man
  • Whore
  • Trick
  • Draft
  • Justice
  • Diplomat
  • Bug
  • Trump

Remaining Special Cards

Add the rest of the special cards to 3 (not just 2) standard poker decks, including 5 Jokers:

  • Fascists
  • Anarchists
  • Kapitalists
  • Kommunists
  • Doppleganger
  • Ghost
  • Wall
  • Devil

Open Questions

  • If you play an Ace as your last card, do you win? Or do you have to draw a card and play again?
  • Nines append, not insert.