How to Play Spite and Malice

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

Spite and Malice is a card game in which a large group of people can all play together. The game can be adapted to 2 players, but is most fun when played with larger group of 6 or 8 people at a family gathering. You don't need to add any spite or malice in, just play all your cards quickly and let your opponents grovel at your feet. Here's how to play.

Set Up

Remove the Jokers and shuffle all the decks together. Add 1 deck per person playing the game. Use old casino cards or buy a bulk amount of playing cards from a warehouse or close-out store like Costco, Sam's or Big Lots.

Allow each person to count out 2 piles of cards. Count out 1 pile of 20 cards and another pile of 5 cards. Pass both decks to your left. The person to your left will play with the cards you dealt.

Place the 5 card pile in your hand and place the 20 card pile to your left center in front of you. Flip the top card of the 20 card pile face up on top of the pile.

Place the remaining cards in a pile in the center of the table. This will be the draw pile.

The Object and Procedures

Be the first person to get rid of all 20 cards in the pile to your left center.

Get rid of your cards when it is your turn by making piles of cards beginning with an ace and going all the way up to a queen. You can start as many different piles scattered throughout the table as your cards will allow. But remember that anyone can play on any pile.

The King is a wild card and can be used to substitute any number except the Ace.

Use the cards in your hand and the cards on the table to play the 20 card pile.

Discard after each turn to the right of your 20 card pile. You will be allowed four discard piles and may play the top card of each of the piles when it is your turn.

Play

Choose a player to begin. Start each turn by drawing enough cards so that there are 5 cards in your hand. Play the top face up card from the 20 card pile, your discard pile, or from your hand. Start by playing an ace to begin the game. If you do not have an ace, discard in one of the four imaginary slots next to the 20 card pile.

Play moves to the person on your left. Collect enough cards to equal five cards in your hand and play on any of the piles out on the table. If there is a pile with an ace, play a 2, then a 3, and so forth until the pile hits a Queen. Once the pile hits the Queen, the pile is dead and flipped upside down.

Play the top card that is face up on the 20 card pile first. If you can play this on one of the open piles, play it and then flip the next card in the 20 card pile face up. Try to use your hand cards and discarded cards to get the open piles up to this number so you can play it. Continue on until you have played all 20 cards in the 20 card pile. You have won.

Have losing players count out one penny for each card left in the 20 card pile and pay it to the winner. Omit this step if you don't want to lose you cents.

Tip

You will discard one card into each of the four imaginary discard piles in front of you and then you must start discarding on top of the 4 piles. You cannot play a buried card so stack the cards from high to low so you can play them.