MENU

History and How to Play the Game of Spades

Spades is a widely played card game, introduced in the 1930s in the United States. It belongs to the Whist family of games, which all involve taking “tricks” laying down the highest card in a round or playing a trump card. Unlike the majority of the Whist games, where the trump suit can change, Spades are trumps, hence the name. Let’s find out How to Play the Game of Spades.

It is quite an easy game to understand and play. It is often considered a good game to play before going on to learn the rules of Contract Bridge. It’s greatly played for fun, but can be also be wagered on.

Here we have briefly talked about the history of Spades and we have also explained the rules.

History of Spades

History of Spades
History of Spades

It’s not entirely clear how the game of Spades was originated, but it’s generally accepted that it’s originated from either Bid Whist or Contract Bridge, or a combination of the two. It’s believed that the game was developed in an Ohio college at some point in the early start of the Second World War.

During the war, it was introduced in various US military bases around the world. It became a favorite with soldiers, as it was much simpler than many of the other card games being played at the time.

At the end of the war, the soldiers continued to play the game back home and it spread all over America where it’s still commonly played today. It’s also popular in many other parts of the world. This will make you know How to Play the Game of Spades.

Game Basics

Game Basics
Game Basics

Spades is a game played by two or more players, and it’s played with a standard deck of 52 cards. It is played by four players in pairs, in a variant known as Partnership Spades. The goal of the game is to be the first to score a pre-determined amount of points (500 is the standard).

Players make bids for how many tricks they are going to win in each hand, which will make the award or deduct points based on their success or failure to do so.

Dealing, Bids & Tricks

Dealing, Bids & Tricks
Dealing, Bids & Tricks

When a game of Spades starts, the first dealer is selected by way of a draw for the highest card. After each hand, the deal is passed to the dealer’s left. The dealer shuffles before the hand, with every player can cut the cards. The whole deck is then dealt, one card at a time, in a clockwise direction, until all players should have the same amount of cards. If there are any remaining cards, they are discarded.

Once the deal is over, the bidding starts. The player to the very left of the dealer bids first and declares how many tricks they expect to win. The bidding then continues clockwise around the table, until every player has made a bid. Unlike some similar games, a player doesn’t have to bid higher than a previous bid. Each player bids only once, and that bid stands for the current hand. They must then try and make that number of tricks during the hand.

Blind Bids

Blind Bids
Blind Bids

In some variants of spade, players may bid nil, which means they expect to win no tricks at all. Blind bids may also be permitted, where a player bids without looking at their cards. Blind bids and bids of nil can earn bonus points. In Partnership Spades, the bids of the two players in each pair are calculated for the total partnership bid.

Once the bidding is over, play begins with the player to the left of the dealer laying down a card of their choice face up. The game keeps moving in a clockwise direction, with each player also playing a card of their choice. They must follow the rule of the first card if they can, otherwise, they may play any card. When everyone has played a card, the trick is won by the player that played the highest value card in the suit initially played.

Here the exception is if one or more players played a trump Spade card, the player that played the highest value Spade card wins the trick. A rule is that a player does not lead with a Spade card until a Spade has been played to trump a trick. The player who wins a trick then leads with the first card in the next trick. This tip will make you understand how to play the game of spades.

After all the tricks are over, the number of tricks won by each player are counted up and compared to their bids for the hand. The scoring is then done.

Scoring

Scoring
Scoring

There are many different variants for scoring in Spades. The most common process is to award players with 10 points for each trick they bid to win; providing they win at least as many tricks as they bid. And to deduct players 10 points for each trick; they bid if they fail to win as many as they bid. For instance, if a player bid 4 tricks and won 4 or more tricks, they would get 40 points. If a player bid 6 tricks and won less than 6 tricks, they would be deducted 60 points.

A player gets the award of an extra point for every trick they won over and above the number they bid. So if a play bid 4 tricks and won 5 tricks, they would be awarded 41 points. The first player to score the pre-determined points target wins the game. These are the way how to play the game of spades and have fun.