How to Play Spit Poker
Saturday, 17. December 2011

Spit is a variation on 5-card draw poker and it is a great game to play for up to seven players. It includes a wild card variation that adds uncertainty and some fun to the game for many players. Some poker purists may not consider Spit a “true” poker game but it is still a staple at many poker night get-togethers, so it pays to understand this game well. Many players like the unpredictability of the game and even the most serious-minded poker players will sometimes vie with themselves to shout “spit” first. At the very least, spit is fun variation on the game that can add some laughs to your next poker night.

To begin the game, each player puts their ante into the pot. The dealer deals five cards face down to each player. At any point in the game, any player can shout out the word “spit!” When “spit” is declared the dealer immediately has to deal the next card in the deck face up on the table. This card is then the wild card for every player. For example, if a three is dealt as the wild card, then any player holding a four of any suit is holding a wild card.

Once all the cards have been dealt and a wild card has been declared, then players try to create the best hand from the cards they hold. The player to the left of the dealer begins betting and the betting round proceeds around the table. Each player needs to match the bet, raise it, or fold. After this first round of betting, each player is allowed to discard up to three cards and draw three new ones. After the discard, another round of betting takes place, again beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. After this round of betting, the showdown takes place in which the remaining players decide who has the highest hand which wins the pot.

To play spit well, it pays to play decent hands from the start. Unlike poker games, spit games rely less on having very good hands from the beginning. Since spit is usually a low stakes game and since each player can discard cards, one high card or a pair are both good ways to begin the game. It pays to stay in the game if you have these cards at least because it does not cost much to stay in the game and try for a decent hand. If you have a bad hand, you may want to try calling out “spit” yourself to help your hand along. The ability to shout “spit” and be given the chance at wild cards in your hand is a great way to give yourself the chance to bolster a hand that otherwise might be quite weak.

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