All un-dealt cards are left face down in a stack placed central to all players called the draw pile.
The best move would be to be able to play the goal card directly on a playing pile (it would have to be an ace or a king at this point since all four playing piles are empty at this point). If this is not possible, the player may use the cards in his hand in to put cards into the playing piles and "play up" to the value of the goal card. If the player cannot do either of these things, the turn might simply consist of making a discard to one of his/her four discard piles.
However, if all five cards in the hand can be played in the playing piles, (For example if a player drew A, 2, 3, A, 2, he/she could play ace, two three on one playing pile and ace and then 2 on a second pile) resulting in running out of cards before making a discard, that player may draw five more playing cards to replenish his hand. It is possible, if not probable, for this to happen more than once, or even a few times in a row before someone is forced to make a discard because they cannot make any further plays.
Once a discard is made the turn moves to the next player. That person starts their turn by drawing cards from the draw pile to make their five card hand. On someone's first turn, they will always draw five cards but on subsequent turns they will draw however many cards are required.
For example, suppose they were able to play three cards and then ended their first turn with their discard. On the next turn, they would have one card left in their hand and they would then draw four more to reconstitute themselves back to a five card hand. Or possibly, a player's only possible move on their first play was to discard because they had no playable card on the playing piles. So they discard one card leaving him or her with four, in which case on their subsequent turn they would simply draw one card to end up with the standard five card hand. No matter how many cards are able to be played, a turn ends with the player placing a card from their hand into one of their discard piles, unless they play the winning move of putting their last goal card into play in which case they have won and no discard is required.
If everyone has a high goal card at the start of play, many turns may end up being just drawing one card, then deciding which card to add to the discard piles until someone gets a sufficient number of cards saved up in the discard piles of cards enough to reach their high number.
Or, one person may end up with a low goal card and in reaching that one and then ending their turn, they will have unavoidably helped someone else to reach a higher number that was their goal card.
As play continues many cards can accumulate in the discard piles. In order to make your goal card or prevent your opponent from reaching theirs, you can use both cards from your hand, and cards from your discard piles during your turn.
When you have just played a card from your goal pile, remember to immediately turn the next card in that pile over. Many players occasionally play from their hand before looking at the next card in the goal pile and discover when they finally flip the goal card over that they have blocked themselves.
Similarly, when your turn starts and you see that with some combination of cards from your hand and your discard piles that you can get to your goal card, do not remember the rule that you must play aces and deuces if you are able to and choose to play the ace first, and then get to your goal card (assuming that you are playing with this variant, see below). If the card under the goal card is an ace you will be sorry for the order you choose. The rule is that you must play the ace and deuce if you are able before your turn is OVER. So, do not let that rule distract you into not taking care of business first.
Additionally, when the card in your goal pile turns up a king (wild card) try to play it in a place that will allow you to play out all of the cards in your hand so that you can draw five more in the same turn, or, try to play it in such a way that it will not block your next goal card. For example, if the playing piles have two of the same number showing, threes for instance. Then playing the king as a four will ensure that if the next card under the king is a four, you can still play it and will not have blocked yourself.
Do not always play yourself out of every possible playable discard. It is often better to have a bank of well organized discards than to simply get rid of cards for no reason. However, if your discards are poorly organized or close to the maximum of four piles, play some off.
Spite and Malice is similar to a game called Misery. It is played with 2 players. Two decks are used instead of three (unless three people play then three decks) and two (goal) piles of 12 per player and a hand of 6.
Another Variation calls for all piles to be built up to the King, with Jokers being used as wild cards.
Another Variation calls for all piles to be built up to the King, and Jokers are used as wild cards (Wild represents all cards besides A, 2, 7, J)