Spit in the Ocean

A casual draw poker game with many variations.

Number of Players



A standard deck of 52 playing cards, jokers removed.


Each player is dealt 4 cards face-down. A single face-up card is then placed in the center of the table. This card is called the “spit” card and is common to every player’s hand.


Play consists of nothing more than a round of betting followed by a draw (players may exchange 1-4 cards in their hand with new cards from the deck), followed by another round of betting, followed by a showdown.


There isn’t a whole lot to this game. Of course, you are looking for the best 5-card poker hand to win.


It is here that the game becomes a lot more interesting. Variations are really only limited to the imagination, but there are several already out there to choose from. In many instances, players may combine different variations.

The first variation merely involves adding more rounds of betting in the form of a “rollout.” The deal takes place as usual, but after the draw, each player arranges their 4 cards in whatever order they wish and places them face-down on the table. Once the cards are in order, they may not be rearranged. Each player then turns the top card of their hand face-up, revealing it to everyone else. A round of betting follows. Players then reveal the second card from their hand, followed by another round of betting and so on.

The second variation adds more cards to the mix. Instead of one face-up card in the center, the dealer lays out 3. Each player may now decide which one of the three face-up cards will be the fifth card for their hand.

Wild Widow
In this variation, the spit card is wild as is every card of the same rank (for example, if the spit card is a 4, all 4s are wild). At the dealer’s discretion, the spit card can remain “natural” but the remaining 3 cards of the same rank are wild (for example, if the spit card is the 4 of diamonds it would not be wild, but the 4 of spades, clubs, and hearts would be). This is the most common variation of the game, with many people accepting this as the actual Spit in the Ocean.

Stormy Weather
This one follows the second variation in that there are 3 cards in the center. The difference is that those 3 cards are dealt face-down. Play begins with a round of betting, after which one of the three center cards is turned face-up. There is a second round of betting and a second card turned face-up, a third round of betting and a third card turned face-up, and then a final round of betting. At the showdown, each player chooses only one of the 3 face-up cards to be the fifth card in their hand.

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