How to Play Spades: Here Are the Rules

Some games are simpler than others. If you want to learn how to play bridge, maybe you should start with a simple game, something like spades. Spades is a game of trick-taking, which is very similar to Hearts, Whist and Bridge. 

Spades is a different game, one that you should try to play if you want to dive into the world of trick-taking games. Spades is not easy, but it is also not that difficult. Here are the rules of spades, so that you can play the game with your friends.

The Basics of Spades

The only thing that we need is the ace of spades, or so the song goes. In this game, the ace of spades is the card that is always worth the most. Spades is a game where you have four players who are partnered up. A standard 52 deck of cards is used, with the jokers removed.

The game has two phases, bidding and card play.

The game requires two of the players to partner up.

The bidding phase comes after the cards are dealt, every player getting 13 cards. Bidding means that the players state how many tricks they think they can win. A trick is when all four players play a single card. 

Bidding is used to tell your partner the relative strength of your cards. Once you bid a number, or even zero, the game proceeds to the play stage.

Playing Spades

When the bidding is done, one of the players is chosen at random to start placing cards in the center. Every player places one card and this card must be followed suit if you have a card. If you don’t have one, you can place another card. The spades suit is always trump and placing a spade if you don’t have another card from the different suit takes the trick.

The highest card always wins, ace being the highest and the ace suit always wins against other suits, no matter the number. A deal is played until all 13 cards have been played. After that, comes the scoring.

Scoring in Spades

Scoring in spades seems complicated but it actually isn’t. In order to win points, you and your partner must both win at least one trick or zero if you bid zero. If you both win your bid, you get 10 points for every successful bid. Teams also lose points if they bid more than they could win. 

If a team bids zero but wins a trick, then they lose 50 points, or a 100, depending on whether the game is played until 250 or 500 points. 

Tips and Tricks

Spades is a game of communication where you should communicate with your partner, though not directly, of course. The bidding is the most important part of that, knowing where the cards might be. If your partner bid one, then that means that they have poor cards. If another bids 6, then their cards are very strong. Uf your partner bid zero, then you must manage to help them lose all the tricks that they play.

Spades is a great trick-taking game that you can play anywhere, as long as you find three more people. There are online versions which make things easier for upcoming players and those who are short on time.