Speed is a two-player card game that really lives up to its name. In Speed, players compete to get rid of their cards as quickly as possible—which involves lots of fast movement. Fans of Spoons and Egyptian Ratscrew will probably like Speed a great deal.

Object of Speed

The object of Speed is to be the first player to run out of cards in both their hand and stock.

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Speed is played with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. While game play is not quite as boisterous as it is in Spoons, it’s still a good idea to use sturdy cards that aren’t easily damaged, meaning Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards is the safest option.

Shuffle and deal a hand of five cards to each player. Then, deal fifteen more cards to each player, each pile forming that player’s stock. Then deal two piles of five cards in the center of the table, which form the two talon piles. Finally, place the remaining two cards face down next to one another between the talons, forming the discard piles.

Game play

Players pick up their hands and examine them. Both players then place a hand on one of the face-down discard pile cards, and on the count of three, flip them face up. Players may now play cards from their hand to either of the discard piles; the players make their moves simultaneously, not taking turns. To be played to a discard pile, the card must be of consecutive rank from the top card of that discard pile, as in Neosho Rapids. Card ranks go “around the corner”; a king may be followed up on by an ace, which may be followed by a two. If two players attempt a play at the same time, the player whose card or hand is on bottom is accepted.

As players deplete their hands, they may draw replacement cards from their stock, up to a hand limit of five cards. Eventually, possible plays usually dry up, and both players end up being blocked. When this happens, both players count to three and flip the top card from one of the talons over onto the discard pile on the same side. Play then resumes if possible; otherwise, another card is flipped up from each talon. If cards from the talon piles are needed but they have been exhausted, each player shuffles one of the discard piles, forming a new talon.

Game play continues until one player has exhausted their hand and also has no cards left in their stock. That player is the winner.


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