Spades is a casual card game developed in the 1930's in the USA. Spades is played with a basic set of 52 cards and card value ranks from 2, the lowest, to Ace, the highest. The version of 24/7 Spades is the most popular and is played with four Spades players in a team format, where players across the table are considered teammates. Spades is a game of trumps, where all spades are the best cards in the game and will beat all other suits.
Each hand begins with all 52 cards being dealt to the players. The table then enters into the bidding phase where they estimate the number of tricks they can take with the hand they have been dealt. If you bid a Blind Nil, you must bid a 0 without seeing your cards. The payout will be higher if you achieve it, but the loss even greater if you don't - so bid this at your own risk! Teams must reach the total number of tricks they have bid together in order to get a positive score.
The Spades game begins gameplay with the player to the left of the dealer, who can play any card other than a Spade. Moving clockwise, each player plays a card to follow suit, unless they do not have the suit, in which they can play any card in their hand. If a trick is played without a spade, the highest lead suit card takes the trick. If a trick contains a spade, the highest spade wins. The winner of the trick leads the next trick. Spades cannot lead a trick until they have been broken in another trick or if that is the only suit the lead player has left in their hand.
Once the full hand has been played, the game is scored. If the bid for a team is met, each trick counts 10 points, with any additional tricks (sandbags) worth 1 point. If a bid is not met, each trick in the bid is worth -10 points. If a nil is bid and met, the team gets an additional 100 points. A won double nil gets 200 points. When either of these are not met, the team will get -100 and -200 points respectively. Once 10 sandbags are reached, the team looses 100 points and starts over with 0 sandbags again. Once the score is tallied after each hand, another deal begins. The first team to 500 points wins!
Spades Game Strategy
- Be sure to protect your Spades partner if they bid a nil or double nil.
- Play your Aces first to try to take Spades tricks early before other players run out of that suit.
- Try to bid as accurately as possible to avoid scoring Spades Sandbags.
- If the other Spades team bids a nil or blind nil, be sure to try everything to get them a trick.