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Play Spades - Card Game

A popular trick taking card game where you play against 3 computer controlled players.

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Spades game info

Players

Spades is played with four players in two partnerships of two players each.

Cards

Spades uses a regular French-suited deck of 52 cards. The cards are ranked as follows from highest to lowest: A - K - Q - J - 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2. The trump suit is always spades. This is different from most other trick-taking games, in which the trump suit is determined during the bidding phase or by chance.

Deal

Each player is dealt 13 cards. The dealing direction is clockwise.

Bidding

All players bid the number of tricks they are aiming to take. All players play in a partnerships so bids by each member of the partnership are added together.

You can bid Nil if you think you will not earn any trick. In this case, your bid will be scored independently of your partner. You can also bid Blind Nil (Double Nil) even before you view your cards.

Gameplay

The objective of the game is to win the amount of tricks that was bid.

The playing direction is clockwise. You must follow the suit if you can, otherwise any card can be played. A player may not lead with a spades until spades have been broken (a spade card has been played to trump another trick).

A trick is won by the player who played the highest value card. If one or more trumps are played, the highest trump card wins, otherwise the highest card of the suit which was led wins.

Scoring

When a team wins the amount of trick they bid, they earn 10 points for each trick in the bid, and one point extra for each additional trick.

When a Nil bid succeeds, this is worth 100 points, and -100 points in case of failure. Blind Nil is worth 100 points.

Every trick above your bid will count as a bag. For every 10 bags, 100 points will be deduced from your score.

Game end

The first team to reach 500 points wins.

Variations

Spades has many variations, both in terms of dealing, bidding, trump, gameplay and scoring. We highlight only Deuces High, our personal favourite.

Deuces High

In the Deuces High variation of Spades, the 2s in the game become the highest spades. The order of the cards in the spades suit now becomes from highest to lowest: 2 of spades, 2 of diamonds, 2 of clubs, 2 of hearts, Ace of spades, King of spades , …, 3 of spades. This variation is played without the Jokers.

If you like Spades, try our other trick taking game Hearts.