Setting Up The Play
Deal both players five cards to form their hand. Then deal 15 cards to each player, these cannot be looked at yet, set them aside as the draw pile for each player. If you want to use jokers make the draw pile 16 for each player. Make two five card stacks in the center of the table. The final two cards are set face down between the replacement piles.
How The Game Is Played
The players start the game by flipping over the two cards in the middle of the table. The goal is to play a card from your hand that is either higher or lower regardless of the suit. If, for example, one of the cards is a “9”, you can play an “8” or a “10” on it. The ace can be played on a king or two making it a continuous loop of options. There are no “turns” so as soon as those cards are flipped over players begin playing their cards in order. When you lay down a card you pick up another one from your draw pile so you always have five cards in your hand. If neither player can play, each player at the same time flips over a card from the two stacks in the center and the game resumes. The player who depletes their draw pile and runs out of cards first is the winner. If you are using jokers they are wild and you can play any card on top of a joker.
Variations of the Game
Because the game is learned through friends or family members, speed card game rules vary. It is not uncommon to encounter rules that only exist for a certain family or set of players. One such variation is the four card game, which makes it easier for players to hold a hand but is also difficult because there are fewer options to choose from. Another is “doubles”. Aside from being able to lay down a “4” or a “6” if the card is a “5”, a player can also match it with another “5”. Using jokers allows a player to choose whatever he or she wants it to be. Often, jokers are not used as one’s first option but rather as a last recourse when one has run out of cards to play on hand or as a winning card.
Versions of “Speed”
The Speed card game is one of those two player card games that become addictive. People create their own versions of it but some of the more popular are the “three and four way speed”, California Speed, Spit and Strategy. The three and four way speed is played with three and four persons respectively. California Speed is also known as Super-Speed in Wisconsin, Speed 2 in Texas, Rush in Missouri, and Speed 3 in Kentucky. Though the Spit card game follows the same basic Speed card game instructions, it is known as a more challenging and longer version of the game. Strategy refers more to the arrangement of cards at the start of the play. The game after all is called “Speed”, which takes into consideration how fast you can lay your cards down. There are card tricks that you can use to help you win a game of strategy. For example a hand with one “2”, two “3s” and two “4s” should be arranged 2, 3, 4, 3, 4 in that order instead of 2, 3, 3, 4, 4. You still have to lay one card at a time, but this will increase your chances of winning at the Speed card game.