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Play Spite and Malice

A two player card game also known as Cat and Mouse or Skip-Bo.

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Spite and Malice game info

How to play Spite and Malice

Table of contents

Goal

The object of Spite and Malice is to get rid of all your cards in your goal pile by placing them on the playing piles. The first player to empty their goal pile wins.

Players

Spite and Malice can be played with two to four players. In most computer versions, such as the one we feature here, the game is played with two players.

Layout & deal

Spite and Malice is played with three decks of 52 cards each, hence 156 cards in total. Each player has their own goal pile, four discard piles and a hand with maximum five cards. There are four common playing piles and a common draw pile. At the start, a certain amount of cards are dealt to each player's goal pile, face-down. The top card of the goal piles is turned face-up. The rest of the cards go into the common draw pile, face-down.

Play

Strategy

Hopefully, you can use some of these tips on how to win at Spite and Malice in your next game.

History

With its origins dating back until the mid-1800s, people have been playing Spite and Malice for a very long time. Originally from Europe, its popularity in the United States rose after the First World War. A variation of Spite and Malice called Flinch was released in 1905. The commercial version of Spite and Malice called Skip-Bo was released in 1967.

Variants

The most common version of Spite and Malice is the two player version where you play against a computer opponent. There is a commercial variation of Spite and Malice called Skip-Bo. Cat and Mouse is mostly synonymous with Spite and Malice but can have some slight variations in its rules, e.g. two decks instead of three, the amount of cards dealt to the goal pile, and three playing piles instead of four. Although mostly known as a two-player game, Spite and Malice can be played with three or four players. Read this guide for the rule variations.

FAQ

Are Kings wild in Spite and Malice? Yes, Kings are wild in Spite and Malice and can substitute any other value.

How many decks do you need for Spite and Malice? To play Spite and Malice, you need three decks of 52 cards each, hence 156 cards in total.

Can you play Spite and Malice with three players? Yes, Spite and Malice can be played with more than two players, if some rule variations are taken into account. The number of cards dealt to the goal piles is 17 for three players and 13 for four players. The game is played in a clockwise direction. The player with the highest card on his goal pile after the deal starts.

When was Spite and Malice invented? Spite and Malice is believed to have been invented in Europe in the mid-1800s.

More info