Spades Card Games: Everything You Need To Know

Table of content:

What game is referred to as Spades?

If you have a knack for card games, here is an excellent one. Spades is a category of card games that is played both offline and online.

The game is called Spades because the particular suit is always the trump card. Therefore, a game of spades refers to any game where the 13 Spades cards have an upper hand to win the game.

For novice card players, spade in cards is the black set of cards that carries the symbol of a leaf. The no. of spades in cards is 13 with a distinct value designated to each.

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How to play Spades?

The objective of the game is to win as many tricks as possible. The number of cards of spades you have will determine how many tricks you can possibly win.

Log into your favorite spades game online and create an account. 4 players will be added to the table and the game will begin with a regulation deck of 52 cards. Based on the number of Spades suits you’re holding, you can bid the number of wins you expect.

Each player will declare their bid and it will be recorded. Following this, the player on the left side of the dealer will initiate the game by putting down one card from their hand. The other players reciprocate in the same suit but the player with the highest card wins the round, scoring 10 points. If a player lacks cards from that particular suit, then they can play a trump card, i.e., a Spades card.

You can play Spades both online and offline in its classic gameplay or variants. No matter what, the game is fun and entertaining.

Rules, Variations, Decks, Scoring, and Sandbagging in Spades

The rules of Spades online can be a little tricky to follow during the initial stages but after a few hands at the game, you will get the idea. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind during an entertaining round of Spades card game:

  • Players are only allowed to bid once when playing spades online based on the cards they are holding.
  • Each player must attempt to complete the number they bid with as many tricks as possible, i.e., winning the hand.
  • If a player bids lower than the total tricks they make during gameplay, then they score an additional 1 point for each trick.
  • If a player overbids but doesn’t complete the number of tricks, then their score is eliminated to zero.
  • Every player has to submit a bid before the game starts.
  • If a player is short of completing a trick with the suit running on the table, they may use a Spades card as trump.
  • If, however, a player has a card matching the suit on the table, they have to play the card. They cannot use a Spades trump card then.
  • A player who won the last trick must start the next trick but they can’t lead with spades if there are other suites available.

The game of Spades can follow one of the 7 variations

  1. Ace is high as in the smallest number in the deck is 2 and values ascend till Ace as the highest card.
  2. Mirror wherein every player can bid equivalent to the number of Spades cards they are holding or opt for Nil.
  3. Whiz is when blind bidding is disallowed but players can bid the number equivalent to Spades cards they have.
  4. Joker-joker-ace when 2 of hearts and 2 of clubs are replaced by the red joker as the highest spade and black joker as second highest.
  5. Joker-joker-deuce-Ace is similar to JJA except for Ace of spades is ranked lower than 2 of spades.
  6. Joker-joker-deuce-deuce is similar to JJDA but 2 of diamonds is considered a spade with a higher value than the 2 of Spades.
  7. Suicide is usually used in 2 player games wherein one partner can bid 4 tricks and above or declare Nil while the other partner calls in the Mirror technique.

Decks used in spades game

The Spades card game is played with a single regulation deck. It has 52 cards with no jokers.

Scoring: In order to score in Spades, the first thing you need to determine is an appropriate bid. If you overtrick, then in several options to play spades game online, the program adds sandbags equivalent to the number of overtricks.

The idea is to bid as accurately as possible and fulfill the bid with tricks. Each fulfilled trick is worth 10 points. If a player underbids but completes more tricks throughout the game, then each extra trick is worth one point. The total score is tabulated and the player with the highest trick scores wins.

If a player fulfills fewer tricks than the number they bid, then their score is zero.

Sandbagging: It is when a player breaks the contract and overtricks multiple times. For instance, if they bid 3 tricks but completed 4 then their score is 31, i.e., 10x3+1 for an overtrick. However, if you bid 3 and completed 6 then you lose 10 points for each overtrick. Therefore, your score is sandbagged by 30-30 which is zero.

Strategies to win at Spades Card game

There are a few ways you can ensure you win a game of spades consistently:

  • Try to win as many tricks as possible with other suits.
  • If you don’t have the high-value cards of spades, influence the holders to play those cards early -in the game.
  • Assume your tricks accurately so you don’t sandbag.
  • If your high cards are trumped earlier in the game, make up for them with future tricks as quickly as possible.
  • If you have a high Spade card, store it till the end. This will help ensure that you not only have high-ranking cards to beat another hand but you also have trump spade cards for insurance.
  • Try to follow the mirror technique of bidding even when you play Ace-high. That way, it is less likely that you’ll under or overtrick.

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