Spades Card Game

Spades Card Game

Spades is a trick-taking card game created in the United States in 1930. At the beginning of the game, players place bets on how many tricks they will win. The trump card in the spades card game is the Spades card. That is how the game got its name. If a player lacks a card from a specific suit, they can use the Spades card as their trump. A few games that are played similarly to Spades are Call Bridge, Whist, Call Break, and Hearts.

What is a Trick-Taking Card Game?

Each player in the game places a card on the table one by one. The player who has the best card takes away all the cards.

Want to play the Spades game? Find out how to play Spades below.

How to Play Spades Game?

  1. Players and Cards

a.) Players

  • There are four players in the spades card game.
  • They are seated in fixed partnerships, with partners facing each other.

b.) Choosing a Dealer

  • Each of the four players draws a card.
  • The player who has the highest-ranking card becomes the dealer.
  • In the next rounds, the player sitting to this dealer’s right becomes the next dealer.

c.) Dealing Cards

  • A standard 52-card pack is used to play the Spades card game.
  • The highest to lowest ranking of the cards is A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
  • The cards are shuffled and then dealt individually, in a clockwise direction.
  • The cards are dealt with one at a time.
  • The dealer gives every player a total of thirteen cards.
  1. Bidding

a.) Regular Bid

  • Each player decides the number of tricks they can win.
  • The player sitting to the left of the dealer makes the first trick, followed by the rest of the players.
  • Everyone must bid a number between 0 and 13, which can be any number between 0 and 13.

b.) Nil Bid

  • A nil bid is where a player declares that they will not win any tricks in the round. In case the player does not receive any trick and lives up to their declaration, then they win 100 points. However, if the player wins the trick during the game, then they get a penalty of 100 wins.

c.) Blind Nil Bid

  • A player can choose not to look at their cards and make a nil bid. That is, they can declare that they will not win any tricks in the round. In case the player does not receive any trick and lives up to their declaration in the blind nil bid, they win 200 points. However, if the player wins a trick during the game, then they get a penalty of 200 points.
  1. Gameplay

  • Before the game starts, the number of points that the winner needs to make is decided. Usually, it is 500 points. For a shorter game, the decided score can be 200 points.
  • The player to the dealer's left leads any card to the first trick except a spade.
  • Each player, in turn, must follow suit if they can do so.
  • If they are unable to follow suit, the player may play any other card.
  • If a trick contains a spade, the highest spade played wins the trick.
  • If no spade is played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.
  • Each trick's winner leads to the next.
  • Spades may not be led until either a player has played a spade on the lead of another suit, of course, or the leader has no spades left in hand.
  • The act of playing the first spade is known as breaking spades.
  • When one team wins a game, this is referred to as a Boston.

Below are the spades rules for using the trump card.

When Can You Play the Spades Card?

You can play the spades card only when:

  • The player has no card in the suit laid by the previous player.
  • A spade card is used as a trump already.

Post the basics of how to play spades, you can now have a look at the scoring and variants of the game.

Scoring in Spades

Understanding scoring is important when you play spades online.

  • If a player wins the exact number of tricks he bid, his team receives 10 times his bid in points.
  • If a player or team takes more tricks than they bid, they will receive an extra point for each overtrick (bag). The team receives a -100 penalty, and their bags are reset to zero when they reach ten bags.
  • If a team wins fewer tricks than they originally bet, they lose 10 times their bid in points.
  • If a NIL bet wins, the player receives 100 points; if it loses, the player loses 100 points.
  • A successful BLIND NIL earns 200 points, whereas a failed one loses 200 points.
  • The first team to reach 200 points wins. The team that has -150 points loses the Spades game.


  • The goal is to bid as correctly as possible and then use gimmicks to complete the bid.
  • Each completed trick is worth ten points.
  • Each extra trick is worth one point if a player underbids but completes more tricks throughout the game.
  • The overall score is added up, and the player with the most tricks wins.
  • A player's score is 0 if they complete fewer tricks than the number they bid.
  • Sandbagging occurs when a player repeatedly breaks his or her contract.
  • If they bid 5 tricks but accomplished 6 their score is 61, or 10x6+1 for an overtrick. However. If you bid 5 and completed 10, you will lose 10 points for each overtrick. As a result, your score is sandbagged by 50-50, which equals zero.

Winning the Spades Card Game

  1. Make The Best Use of Trump Cards

    The best use of the trump cards is to draw the opponent’s cards. Your goal should be to stop your opponents from winning tricks. Have a look at the cards already in use and guess which cards your opponents may have. Checking out the cards already in play and seeing your cards will serve as a guide in guessing the cards with other players.
  2. Have A Look at Your Opponent’s Betting Style

    Checking your opponent’s betting style can help you find out if a player has an aggressive or conservative playing style. This can help you figure out if the player is overbidding or underbidding.
  3. Win Tricks with Other Suits

    With other suits, try to win as many tricks as possible.
  4. Don’t Overbid or Underbid

    Make appropriate assumptions about your tricks. If there are fewer or more tricks than required, it can lead to penalty scores.
  5. Use Mirror Bidding Technique While Playing Ace-High

    Even while playing Ace-high, try to use the mirror bidding approach. You'll be less prone to undertrick or overtrick in this manner.
  6. Save a High Spade Until the End

    Save a high Spade card for the end if you have one. This will ensure that you have not just high-ranking cards to beat another hand, but also trump spade cards as backup.

Spade Game Variants

If you want about the variants to play the spades game online, have a look below:

  • Mirror.
  • Suicide.
  • Whiz.
  • Ace-High.
  • Joker-Joker-Ace.
  • Joker-Joker-Deuce-Ace.
  • Joker-Joker-Deuce-Deuce.
  • Mirror

    Every player has the option of bidding the same number of Spades cards they have or bidding Nil.
  • Suicide

    Suicide is most utilized in two-player games when one partner can bid 4 tricks or more or declare Nil while the other uses the Mirror strategy.
  • Whiz

    When blind bidding is prohibited, players can bid the quantity equal to the number of Spades cards they have.
  • Ace-High

    In the Ace High variant, the Ace is the highest card and the two is the smallest card. However, in a regular game of spades, the Ace is the smallest card.
  • Joker-Joker-Ace

    Removes 2 of hearts and 2 of clubs from the deck and replaces them with a red Joker (H) as the highest Spade and a black Joker (L) as the second-highest Spade.
  • Joker-Joker-Deuce-Ace

    All the rules remain the same except that Ace of spades is ranked lower than 2 of spades.
  • Joker-Joker-Deuce-Deuce

    This variant is similar to Joker-Joker-Deuce- Ace, where the 2 of diamonds are considered a spade with a higher value than the 2 of spades.

You can play spades card game online through your smartphone. There are many free versions of the games available too. Poker is a trending card game. Have a look at the comparison of poker and spades given below.

Poker Vs Spades



Online poker is a game of skills.

Spades is a trick-taking game.

Mathematics and good mental skills are needed to win Spades. It is important to know your playing style to win a game of Spades. Most importantly, it is important to know when to get up and call it quits.

Spades can be played as a team game or as a solo/"cutthroat" game. The goal is to take the number of tricks that were bid before the start of the hand. The suit of spades is the only one that can be used in the spades game.

You can play poker online free games. There are many real money poker games available to win real cash daily.

You can play spades online free games. Many websites host free Spades games.

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Spades Card Game FAQs

Q.1) What are the rules for the game of spades?

  • In the game of Spades, each of the four players bids several tricks.
  • Each team adds the bids of its two partners, and the total represents the number of tricks that the team must attempt to win to receive a good score.
  • Bidding starts with the player to the dealer's left and moves clockwise around the table.

Q.2) How Do You Play Spades for Beginners?

  • The first dealer is determined by drawing for the highest card or the first spade.
  • Following plays are dealt with in a clockwise fashion.
  • The dealer distributes all of the cards face down so that everyone has an equal number of cards.
  • After all of the cards have been dealt, the participants pick up the cards, check the number, then arrange the cards as they see fit.