How to Play Speed with Cards 

Learn how to play speed with cards and two or more players. Follow these easy steps for hours of fun!

How to Play Speed with Cards 

Do you want to learn an exciting card game that will keep your friends, family, and guests entertained for hours? Speed is a dynamic and fast-paced card game not only loved by hardcore gamers but also a great choice for casual players. 

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to spruce up your gaming repertoire, this blog post will show you how to play Speed with cards. We’ll provide step-by-step instructions so that everyone can understand the rules and objectives of this popular game! 

Get ready to take your gaming up a notch as we guide you through everything from setting up the cards, understanding hands in Speed, dealing out tips on winning strategies – and more!

What Is Speed? 

Speed is a fast-paced card game that requires quick thinking and speedy reflexes. 

This is a popular shedding-type card game that has captured the hearts of players worldwide. With its fast-paced gameplay and no-turn approach, the speed of your literal hand becomes essential to claiming victory.

Played with a standard fifty-two-card deck, Speed challenges your quick thinking and reflexes as you strive to be the first to shed all your cards. 

As part of the “shedding” family of card games, this exhilarating game offers an opportunity for intense competition and exhilarating moments. And if you’re up for a challenge, explore “Spit,” a similar shedding card game with intricate rules.

Unleash your speed and strategic skills in this captivating card game that promises endless excitement and triumph.

Basic Speed Card Game

Get ready for an exhilarating experience with Speed, the timeless card game perfect for two players. All you need is a standard deck of 52 cards and players aged 6 and up. In this fast-paced game, 2s take the back seat while Kings reign supreme. 

And don’t forget about the Aces – they can either be the lowest of the low or the highest of the high. The goal? Be the quickest player to rid yourself of all your cards. 

How to Set Up: A Guide to Playing Speed

Speed is an exciting two-player game that is best enjoyed with a partner. To start, you will need a standard 52-card Anglo-American deck.

First, you will need to determine who will be the dealer. This is done by each player selecting a random card from a shuffled deck. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. In case of a tie, additional drawings can be made until a dealer is determined. Once the dealer is chosen, they will shuffle the deck.

Once the deck is shuffled, both players will be dealt 5 cards. These cards will be the starting “hand” for each player. Players can look at their cards at any time.

Next, both players will be dealt 15 cards face-down. These cards will form each player’s “deck”.

Once all the necessary cards have been dealt with, the dealer will place two cards face-down side by side.

In addition, the dealer will create five single-stack piles of cards, each containing a face-down card. These piles will be placed to the left and right of the two original cards, creating a total of 12 cards on the board.

Now that the setup is complete, you are ready to start playing Speed.

Card Dealing

Step 1: Shuffle and Deal

Get ready for an exciting game of cards by shuffling a standard 52-card deck. You and your opponent will each receive 20 cards, which should be kept face-down. For the best playing experience, use a hard and sturdy surface like a table or wood floor.

Step 2: Creating the Central Piles

Create four piles in the middle of the table. Start by dealing the remaining cards into these piles in a single row. Follow this placement from left to right:

The far left pile should receive 5 cards, serving as one of the reserve piles.

The middle-left and middle-right piles should each receive 1 card, both of which will be actively used during gameplay.

The far right pile also gets 5 cards, serving as the other reserve pile.

Step 3: Setting Up the Player Hand

Each player should now deal 5 cards from their initial pile of 20. These 5 cards will become the player’s hand for the game. The remaining 15 cards will serve as their draw pile. Keep the 5 cards of your playing hand face-down until the game begins.

Throughout the game, ensure you always have exactly 5 cards in your playing hand by drawing from your draw pile.

With this clear and concise guide, you’re well-equipped to dive into the world of card dealing and take on your opponent with confidence.

How to Play Speed with Cards?

To start the game, each player will place one hand on the two center cards. One player will say “Speed” and both players will attempt to flip their cards simultaneously. These two cards will serve as the “play area”.

To win the game of Speed, a player must empty both their hand and deck of cards. To discard a card from their hand, a player must place it into the play area, which consists of the two cards in the center of the board.


To legally discard a card onto the play area in the game of Speed, follow these rules:

  1. The discard must be made on top of one of the two cards in the play area.
  2. The discarded card must be equal to, or 1 rank higher or lower than the chosen card in the play area. The suit does not matter.
  3. Players can only move one card at a time, using their dominant hand.
  4. The non-dominant hand should be holding the “hand”.
  5. A player wins in Speed when their hand and deck are empty.

Additional rules to keep in mind:

  1. If a player has no possible legal moves, they may draw a card from their deck.
  2. Players can only draw one card at a time and cannot have more than 5 cards in their hand at once.
  3. If possible, a player can play two cards at once, but they must be stacked correctly and played simultaneously.

For example, if the play area has a 5, Player 1 can draw the 6 and the 7 from their hand. They need to make sure the 6 is on the bottom and then place both cards on top of the 5.

Master the game of Speed with these simple yet essential guidelines.

Five-Card Piles

Introducing a special ruleset for those moments when both Players are stuck and need an extra challenge. When both Players have five cards in their off-hand and cannot make any legal moves, it’s time to bring out the five-card piles.

Here’s how it works: Each Player places their hand over one of the two five-card piles, but not the same one. Then, one Player declares “Speed” and flips one card from their chosen pile face up, just like at the start of the game.

But what if both Players still have five cards in their hand and there are no remaining cards in the five-card piles? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Simply shuffle all the cards in the play area, split them in half, and deal them into two new piles – face-down, of course. Then, both Players can dive right back in, choosing a pile and flipping the top card simultaneously after declaring “Speed.”

Bring more excitement to your game with the five-card piles’ twist. Try it out now and see how it elevates your gameplay experience!

No taking turns

In the game of Speed, players must place their cards simultaneously, eliminating the need for turns. This fast-paced aspect gives the game its name and is also reflected in the rules.

When both players try to place a card on the table at the same time, the first player to touch the table with their card is considered the official placement. For example, if there is a 3 on the table and both players try to place a 4, the first player to touch the table with their 4 gets to place it.

The second player must then retract their card and find another open space on the play area to place it or return it to their hand.

Summary of Speed Rules

  • Use only one hand to touch or move cards.
  • Once a card is placed in the play area, it cannot be moved.
  • Each player has a maximum of 5 cards in their hand.
  • If a legal move is possible, it must be made.
  • If neither player can make a legal move, they can draw from their deck.
  • If both players cannot make a legal move, they can use the 5-card piles to restart the play area.


In the thrilling game of Speed, victory is determined in a whole new way. The game concludes when one player masterfully plays all their cards, creating an exhilarating race to the finish.

But wait, there’s more! Speed is not meant to be played alone. Get ready for heart-pounding action as the game is scored using the exciting “Two-out-of-three” principle. This means that, due to its rapid-fire nature, players compete in a series of games, pushing their skills to the limit.

In this intense showdown, the first player to win two games emerges as the ultimate champion. So, gather your friends, sharpen your reflexes, and prepare for a thrilling experience like no other. Unleash the true Speed maestro within you and claim victory in this unforgettable card game sensation.

Basic Strategy & Tips

Mastering the game of Basic Strategy & Tips is all about finding the perfect balance between speed and accuracy. While rushing may result in costly mistakes, taking too long to rectify them using only one hand can also eat up valuable time. Aim to find a pace that is both fast and comfortable for you.

Remember, you can move two cards at once as long as they are sequential and create a legal move. Take advantage of this by organizing your hand before declaring “Speed.” This way, you won’t waste precious time shifting cards around during the game.

Having less than 5 cards in your hand doesn’t offer any advantage. Unless there’s an immediate opportunity to play another card on the table, draw a new card right away. Keep in mind that you can only draw one card at a time, so make sure to do it frequently and swiftly.

Variations of Speed


In this variation, not only can you play cards in ascending or descending order, but you can also stack cards of the same value. Picture the thrill of placing your king on another king, or your seven on top of another seven. 

This added rule not only amps up the excitement but also accelerates the pace of the game by offering more strategic options. It’s no wonder this version is often referred to as the “children’s version” due to its slightly easier gameplay. Get ready for endless fun and quick decision-making!

Laying down multiple cards at a time

Customize the game by reaching an agreement with your opponent to allow the laying down of multiple cards in either ascending or descending order.

For instance, if you possess a 3, 4, and 5 in your hand, you can strategically hold onto them until a 2 or 6 appears in the middle pile, and then swiftly place all three cards at once onto the pile.

Embrace this variation if you wish to expedite the game or seek an additional strategy to outwit and outmaneuver your opponent by discarding cards more rapidly.

Jokers as Wild Cards

Unleash the power of jokers in your deck and take your game to the next level. With two jokers at your disposal, they can serve as incredible “wild cards.” Watch as the rules bend in your favor and any card becomes fair game. Strategically place a joker on top of the deck and cover it with another card of your choice. It’s a game-changer that opens up a world of possibilities.

But hold your horses! Don’t be too hasty. Save your jokers for when you’re truly stuck and have exhausted all other moves. Make every play count by using them wisely. Remember, the joker cannot be the last card you play nor can it be the “top” of a deck.

By utilizing jokers as wild cards, you’ll be adding an exhilarating twist to your game. With 16 cards in the draw piles instead of the usual 15, the stakes are raised and excitement awaits.

Maximize your gaming experience and embrace the power of jokers as wild cards. Just remember, once you’ve played a Joker, there’s no going back. It’s time to make your move and seize victory.

Three or four players

Three or four players

Expand the excitement by including additional players through the creation of extra card piles in the center. For example, with three players, there should be three piles for players to place their cards. Each player will still receive 5 cards, with the remaining cards evenly distributed to create their draw pile.

To enhance the fun and excitement, consider using two decks instead of one when playing with four players. The additional cards will be added to the draw pile, providing even more possibilities for gameplay combinations.


What can I put on a King? 

During a game of Speed, the highest card is the King. To continue the sequence, you have the option to place either an Ace or a Queen on top of a King. This move allows the Ace to reset the sequence back to the starting point.

Can I play more than one card at a time?

In the basic version of Speed, you can only play one card at a time. However, if playing with variations that allow for multiple cards to be played at once, then yes, you can play more than one card at a time as long as they are in sequential order and create a legal move.

Can I use Jokers as any card?

Yes, you can use jokers as “wild cards” to represent any other card. However, keep in mind that the joker cannot be your last card or the top of a pile. Use them strategically to gain an advantage over your opponent.

What happens if I run out of cards in my draw pile?

If you run out of cards in your draw pile, simply continue playing with the cards in your hand. If you have no cards in your hand as well, then it’s a race to see who can use all their remaining face-up cards first. The first player to do so wins the round.

Can I play with more than two players?

Yes, you can play Speed with multiple players by using additional card piles and decks. Refer to the “Three or four players” section for more details.

What is the rule about suits? 

There are no rules regarding suits in Speed. As long as the cards are sequential and create a legal move, they can be played regardless of their suit. However, if playing with variations that allow for multiple cards to be played at once, all cards must still match in suit.

Can I play a card from my opponent’s discard pile? 

No, you cannot play a card from your opponent’s discard pile. Only cards from your hand or draw pile can be played. However, in some variations of the game, players may agree to allow this as a rule.

Is there a time limit for each turn?

No, there is no set time limit for each turn in Speed. However, it is encouraged to play swiftly and efficiently to keep the game moving at a fast pace. If a player is taking an excessive amount of time, they may receive a warning or penalty from their opponent.

Can I draw cards for my opponent if they are not present during the game?

No, each player is responsible for drawing their cards and managing their hand. It’s important to have all players present during the game to ensure fairness and accuracy. 

If a player is not present, it is best to wait until they can join in or find a substitute player. In some cases, players may agree to allow another player to draw cards on their behalf, but this should be discussed and agreed upon before the game begins.

Is there a penalty for playing an incorrect move?

Yes, there is typically a penalty for playing an incorrect move in Speed. This can vary depending on the agreed-upon rules and variations being played.

Some common penalties include having to draw two cards from your draw pile, skipping a turn, or restarting the current sequence. It’s important to establish these rules before beginning the game.

What happens if both players run out of face-up cards at the same time?

In this scenario, the game ends in a tie. If playing with multiple rounds, players can continue to play additional rounds until one player earns enough points to be declared the overall winner.


All in all, Speed can be a fun and even beneficial game as long as it is played responsibly. Developing speed-reading skills can help increase confidence when reading and can aid in remembering more at once. 

Establishing trust between players assuring that they are not cheating against each other is essential and allows for a smoother game. Don’t be afraid to be creative and add your own rules to the game, highly speaking, the main goal of playing Speed is to have fun! 

So if you ever want to spend some time with friends or family on an uneventful day – grab a deck of cards and try your hand at Speed! Who knows, maybe you’ll find your hidden talents.

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