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How to Play Spades

Updated on March 2, 2008

Spades Card Game

I'm pretty into card games, but the one that I just can't seem to get the hang of is Spades. My boyfriend has been trying to teach me the game for a while now, giving pointers and tips. So, please excuse my guide if it's a little rough around the edges.

The basics of Spades is similar to that of Bridge. You play in a clockwise direction in teams of two; your partner sits across from you.

The spades suit is going to be your highest value of all the cards Otherwise, from highest to lowest your cards are: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2.

The point of the game is to win the number of tricks that your team bids for; you win the tricks by having the highest card.

It doesn't matter who on the team makes to tricks, just as long as your team makes the same number of tricks that you bid for.

How to Play


Make sure that the deck is thoroughly shuffled. Deal the cards so that each player has 13 cards in their hand.

Looking at your cards, you want to make a bid as to how many tricks you think you can win. You can bid nil, or blind nil, if you don't think you'll win any tricks throughout the hand.

You want to evaluate the first bid from you opposing team, noting the special bids or nil bids. Make not of your partner's bid, too, because he is making part of the bid that you are both responsible for.

It may be easier to write down the bids. This will prevent any confusion.


The player with the 2 of clubs plays that card first, then going clockwise you want to play your lowest club when it's your turn. If you don't have a club, then play a heart or a diamond.

Whoever one the trick, or hand, will play first. If that's you, play any card except a spade. You want to follow suit as close as possible, holding your spades back, if you can.

Play an entire round, which is 13 tricks, or hands, until all of the players are out of cards.


The team that made the same number of tricks as they had bids, scores 10 times the bid for the total team bid. Plus, they get an extra point for the additional tricks that they played- this is called sandbag.

If there was a successful nil bidder, the team gets 50 points. You will, also, include the score of the partner's tricks, whether that's winning or losing.

A successful blind nil wins 100 points plus the score of the partner.

You will deduct 10 points for every trick that the team did that wasn't bidded on. Basically, for extra tricks, minus 10 points each trick. Add in the score that was won or lost by your partner.

Deduct 100 points for a failed blind nil bid, and add points won or lost by the partner.

The game ends when one team reaches 500 points, so keep score after every hand.

Hand Held Spades Game (Electronic Spades)

Play Spades Online

Once you think you've got the hand of how to play Spades, you may want to play an online game.

Try out the following websites.


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    • Hazok profile image

      Hazok 9 years ago from Malaysia

      U r right, it's too rough round the edges. Good try though.