Spite and Malice | How to Play & Win

Spite and Malice is a Double Solitaire like game that requires huge patience among the players. The game is played by taking turns and not simultaneously like a race. If you want to know more about Spite and Malice, how to play the game, Spite and Malice Rules, then keep reading further.

·        Spite and Malice Goal – The objective of Spite and Malice is to play all your cards from your ‘payoff pile’ to the center stacks.

·        Total Number of Players – 2 players 

·        Total Cards – Two 52 card decks

·        Order of Cards – Q (high), J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A

·        Game Type – Patience

·        Game Audience – All Ages

How to Deal

The dealer shuffles the two decks together and deals 5 cards to each player. The dealer then deals 20 cards to each player’s pay off pile. The rest of the cards form the stock pile.

In order to decide the rank of playing, the players flip the top most card from their pay-off pile and the player with the highest card value begins the game. In Case both the players get the cards of the same value, then they have to shuffle their pay-off pile and flip the top most card once again to chose the player who will begin the round.

How to Play

As mentioned above, the aim of Spite and Malice card game is to play all the cards from the pay-off pile to the center stacks. The players are allowed to play only the top card from the pay-off pile and cannot rummage through the entire stack. Also, the players, when they play the top most card from the pay-off pile, they have to flip over the next card in that pile so that it faced up on the pile.


The card that starts the Center stack, that is the first card in the center stack has to be an Ace. The cards are to be added to the Center stack in the ascending order of ranking. Which means, you will go from Ace to Queen. No ranks can be skipped in between.

Not more than 3 center stacks can be played during the game at one time. Whereas not more than 4 side stacks can be played by a player. They are, however, not required to be in any specific order.

Taking Turns

Once the first player is chosen by the method mentioned above, the turns are taken alternately for the rest of the game. But in case a player does not have 5 cards in hand they have to start their turn by drawing up cards from the Stock pile. And if the stock pile is exhausted, the game ends there and it is a draw with no winner.

At their turn, a player can do either of the two options –

1. Play an Ace to begin a Center stack or Add to the Center Stack. Players can play the cards from their hand or the top card of their pay-off pile or top card from a side stack. Note that the cards are to be played faced up.

2. Players can play a card to their Side Stack. At your turn, you can play a card to the side stack and this will end your turn. In case there are no empty stacks, you will have to play a card on the top of the existing stack. This will make the card below that card unavailable to play.

Spite and Malice Rules

·        Players can play any number of cards on center stacks in their single turn. There are no limitations to the number of cards.

·        Kings are Wild cards and can be used by the players to represent any card.

·        When a player plays all of their 5 cards from hand in a single turn, they can immediately draw back up to 5 cards and go on with their turn.

·        No player can play Pay-off cards on side stacks.

·        No player can move cards from stacks to other stacks.

·        When the center stack is completed, the player who did not complete it shuffles the stack and adds it to the bottom of stock. This will free up the space for a new center stack.

How does the game end?

The Spite and Malice game ends when a player plays their last card from the Pay-off pile to the center stack. That player wins the game. There is another scenario when the game ends. If the stock pile dries up or is exhausted, the game ends with a draw. No winner is announced in such a game.

That was it all about Spite and Malice game and Spite and Malice rules. In case you have any questions related to the game, feel free to shoot at us in the comments below and we will come back to your rescue!