Spades Rules

All About Spades Rules: How To Play Spades

| December 29, 2022 | How To

First devised around the 1930s and that too in the United States of America, Spades is one of the most trick-taking card games. The best part? You can play this famous card game both in solo or partnership modes. The main purpose of the game is to obtain the total amount of tricks which are also called ‘books’ that were basically bid even before the hand play began. 

A descendant of the Whist category of card games, Spades belongs to the same family as Oh Hell, Hearts, and Bridge. The primary difference? Instead of trump getting decided at random or by simply the highest bidder like it happens in the other variants of the Whist family, in this game, the Spade suit is always the trump – which also explains the game’s name!

So, today, we will talk about Spades and, most importantly, speak at length about the Spades rules that can help you to play this game. 

Exploring Spades Rules: All That You Need To Know!

As we were saying, Spades is perhaps one of the most popular trick-taking card games most often played in partnerships. But before we can discuss the Spades rules, do you know how many spades are in a deck of cards? To clear all doubts, there are 13 cards in your standard deck of 52 cards.

Now that your confusion has cleared a little scroll down to find out all that you need to know about this popular card game! 

1. Players And Deck:

Players And Deck

A game of Spades is most commonly played between four players playing in 2 partnerships. Of course, the game uses a standard deck of cards with 52 cards – in this deck, while 2 is considered to be the lowest card, Ace is considered to be the highest card. 

2. Goal And Setup:

According to the Spades rules, you and your partner have to obtain five hundred points before your competing partnership. So naturally, since the game is played between two partnerships, most commonly, all partners will sit across each other on the playing table. 

Also, you will have to select a dealer whose work will be to simply souffle the card deck and deal out 13 cards to each player. 

3. Bidding:

Most card games have evolved over time, and Spades is no different – there are variants, and one of the most popular variants, in this case, happens to be spades with jokers. You can easily find out Spades rules with Joker since it’s not very different from the original game of Spades we are going to talk about – let’s start with bidding. 

The player sitting to the left of the dealer will bid first. In this context, every player will glance at their cards and then subsequently bid, indicating different tricks. Once the bidding is done, the bids by the Partners get added – the result is basically the total number of tricks which the concerned partnership need to win for scoring points. 

For every player, any number between 0 to 13 is counted as a bid that’s legal. No player is allowed to opt for a ‘pass.’ Farther, these bids need not increase with every player since there will be only a single bidding round. 

4. Bidding Nil:

According to the Spades rules, any player who bids Zero is basically making a claim that they will not win any of the tricks with their hand. If that player turns out to be successful, then their partnership will end up earning a bonus of 100 points. However, if the same player wins even one trick, their partnership ends up receiving a penalty worth 100 points.

Moreover, if the player bidding Zero has a partner who bids a certain number, then in that case, the partnership must attempt to win that particular number of tricks. 

5. Double Nil:

Before any player looks at their cards, they can opt for bidding Double Nil – it’s also called the Blind Nil. Once the player has made a bid of double nil, they can check their cards and even exchange 3 cards with their partner. If the concerned player turns out to be successful, then their partnership ends up earning a bonus worth 200 points. 

However, if the same player fails, then the partnership ends up receiving a penalty worth 200 points. 

The Spades Rules: How To Play Spades?

How To Play Spades

There’s no point looking for 3 player spades rules because it’s kinda same for all players. So, without wasting time, let’s focus on gameplay, scoring, and, more importantly, winning – scroll down to read about the same! 

1. Gameplay:

As we already mentioned, the game starts with the player sitting on the left of the dealer. This player might not lead with any spade unless their hand has only spades. The thing is, unless the player has zero options, spades might not be led ever, at least until the suit is considered to be ‘broken.’

The gameplay then continues clockwise, with every player following suit if playing a similar suit is possible. In general, the player who plays the cards of the highest rank of the leading suit wins the trick. But if some other player ends up playing spades, then the concerning trick is basically won by them. 

After a player has won the trick, then, they get to set that particular trick in front of themselves so that it becomes easy to know the number of tricks that every player has won. 

2. Scoring:

Every trick within each bid turns out to be worth ten points when the concerned partnership ends up meeting the bid. Moreover, tricks that are situated within any bid amount to ten points when the partnership ends up meeting the bid. Plus, tricks that are won above the player’s bid earn one point each. 

 If any partnership doesn’t meet its bid, then it will score ten negative points, and that too for every single trick that the partnership bid. 

3. Winning: 

The very first partnership that reaches 500 points turns out to be the winner. Now, if both of these partnerships can reach 500, and that too within the same hand, then the concerning partnership that has earned the highest score turns out to be the winner. In case there is a tie, then another hand can be played. 

And It’s A Wrap!

Learning all about the Spades rules can prove to be very effective, provided that you actually play the game; otherwise, no matter how many times you check out the rules, you will never master them. So instead of wasting time going over the rules multiple times, it’s better just to keep playing for the best results. 

So tell us what you think. And while doing so, don’t forget to share your card-playing experiences in the comments below.

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Barsha Bhattacharya
Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.


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