How to Play Spades

Spades is a fun card game that involves teamwork, strategy, and prediction. All you need to play Spades is a regular deck of 52 cards. Once you learn the rules, playing Spades will be a breeze!

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Setting up the Game

  1. Split the players into teams of 2. Spades should be played with 4 players. These 4 players should be divided in 2 teams of 2. If you have extra players, play a tournament and have the winning team meet new opponents for each new game.
    Play Spades Step 1 Version 5.jpg
  2. Figure out what the winning score will be to end the game. Before starting to play, decide what score will determine the winner and end the game. This score is usually 500, or another is usually a multiple of 100. Players can determine it to be lower or higher than 500 depending on how long they want the game to last.[1]
    Play Spades Step 2 Version 5.jpg
  3. Remove the jokers from your deck and deal the card evenly. Spades should be played with a regular deck of cards with the jokers removed. Deal the remaining 52 cards evenly between players. Each player should have 13 cards.[2]
    • Standard spades etiquette is that all players refrain from picking up their cards before all the cards are dealt out.
  4. Give players a few moments to assess their respective hands. After all the cards are dealt, leave a few moments for players to look over their hands. Each player can take the opportunity to assess how good their cards are and organize them as they wish. During this time, players can double-check how many cards they have to ensure they have 13.[3]
    • Players should be sure to conceal their hands from their opponents.

[Edit]Following the Rules

  1. Assess your hand to see how many tricks you can win. As a general rule, a hand with higher cards has the potential to win the most tricks. Note how many good cards you have to decide what your individual bid should be. You should also note how many spades you have, as they will beat all other suits.[4]
    • In spades, the cards are organized from highest to lowest in this order: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
    • You have a very good hand if you have high cards (A, K, Q, J) that are spades.
  2. Decide on a “contract” bid with your partner without discussing your hand. The rules of Spades allow you to exchange general information about your hand with your partner so the two of you can place a joint “contract” bid. You can tell your partner how many tricks you know you can win, and how many others you have a chance of winning. Once you each disclose your winning potential, choose a combined bid and write it down.[5]
    • A “trick” is a round where each player puts down one card, and the player with the best card wins.
    • If you decide that you will not win any tricks, you can bid “nil”.
  3. Play the game in a clockwise direction. In each round, one player will play a card of the suit of their choice. To try to win the trick, other players must play a card of the same suit in increasing order. If you do not have a card of the same suit to play, discard a higher card from a different suit or play a spade.[6]
    • Discarding a card from a different suit will not win the trick.
    • For example, if player 1 leads with the 7 of clubs, each other player, if possible, must put down a club this round.
  4. Collect cards for every trick won. Tricks are won by the highest card played, or the highest spade played if applicable. When you win a trick, take all 4 cards from that round to tally your score later. You will have to divide the number of cards by 4 to find out your score at the end of the game.[7]
    • Keep these cards to the side to add up your score at the end of the game.
  5. Tally your scores after all 13 tricks have been played. Count the total number of tricks you won with your partner. If you met your “contract” bid, multiply that number by 10. If you did not meet that number, penalize your team by that amount of points. [8]
    • Successful “nil” bids earn 100 points, while unsuccessful bids will result in a penalty of 100 points.

[Edit]Video

[Edit]Tips

  • Try not to trump your partner, which will be counter-productive.
  • Remember that spades are trump and will beat any other suit.
  • Be careful about bidding more trucks than you think you can win just to receive insurance of extra points. Those extra points (bags) may seem desirable, but when you accumulate 10 in a game, 100 points are subtracted from your score.

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[Edit]Quick Summary

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