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How To Play Spades


How To Play Spades

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How To Play Spades

How to Play Spades in Standard American English


Spades is a classic trick-taking card game for four players in two partnerships. It is similar to Bridge and Hearts, but with some unique features that make it a popular and challenging game.


The objective of Spades is to be the first partnership to reach 500 points by winning tricks and taking spades.


Deck: A standard deck of 52 cards is used.

Players: Four players form two partnerships, sitting opposite each other.


The game begins with a bidding round. Each player bids the number of tricks they believe their partnership can take, including any spades they plan to lead. The minimum bid is 1, and the maximum bid is 13.

Players bid in turn, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. A player can pass or make a bid. If a player passes, they cannot bid again during that round.

Setting the Contract

Once all four players have bid, the partnership with the highest total bid wins the contract. The number of tricks bid by the winning partnership is called the "contract."


The game is played in a series of tricks. Each trick consists of four cards, one from each player. The player to the left of the dealer leads the first trick with any card they choose.

The other players must follow suit if possible. If they cannot follow suit, they can play any card, including a spade.

The highest card of the suit led wins the trick, with spades being the highest-ranking suit. If two or more cards of the same rank are played, the card that was played first wins.

The player who wins the trick leads the next card.

Spade Points

The winning partnership receives 10 points for each spade it takes. If the partnership takes all 13 spades, they receive an additional 100 points.

Trick Points

The winning partnership also receives points for each trick it takes beyond the contract. Each trick is worth 10 points.


Points are tallied at the end of each hand. The winning partnership adds up their trick points and spade points. The losing partnership does not receive any points.

The first partnership to reach 500 points wins the game.

Special Bids

There are two special bids in Spades:

  • Nil: A bid of "nil" means that the player believes they will not take any tricks. If they successfully make nil, they receive 100 points. If they fail, they lose 100 points.
  • Blind Nil: A bid of "blind nil" means that the player believes they will not take any tricks without looking at their cards. If they successfully make blind nil, they receive 200 points. If they fail, they lose 200 points.

Tips for Playing Spades

  • Count your cards: Keep track of the cards that have been played to estimate the distribution of the remaining cards.
  • Lead your longest suit: If you have a long suit, lead it early to increase your chances of winning tricks.
  • Use spades wisely: Spades are powerful cards, but use them strategically. Avoid leading spades early除非你有一套很强的花色。
  • Communicate with your partner: Pay attention to your partner’s bidding and playing style to get a sense of their hand.
  • Don’t overbid: It’s better to make a low bid and exceed it than to overbid and fail.


Q: What is the difference between a nil and a blind nil?
A: A nil is a bid of "nil" after looking at your cards. A blind nil is a bid of "nil" without looking at your cards.

Q: What happens if a partnership reaches 500 points before the last trick is played?
A: The game ends immediately.

Q: What is the penalty for failing a nil or blind nil?
A: For a nil, the penalty is 100 points. For a blind nil, the penalty is 200 points.

Q: Can I bid "nil" or "blind nil" if I have the spade queen?
A: Yes, you can bid "nil" or "blind nil" with any hand, including one with the spade queen. However, it is not recommended as it is very difficult to make nil with the spade queen.

Q: What is the best way to learn how to play Spades?
A: The best way to learn how to play Spades is to practice with friends or family. You can also find online resources such as tutorials and forums where you can ask questions and get advice from experienced players.