Playing spades is similar to playing euchre. Played in hands, spades cards are used in a variety of games, high-low games, and spades with jokers and Whiz. Each game has their own set of rules and allows for higher and higher levels of skill, point accumulation and winning trump. The object of a basic game of spades is to win the most tricks, valued at 10 points per trick, and the game. Most often the game of spades is played until 500 points is scored by a team. Shorter games are possible and setting the number of points necessary to win can be done at the beginning of any game. Conventional scoring consists of ten points per trick won, but if a player doesn’t win what he said he was going to, then ten points are subtracted for every bid that wasn’t won.
Spades cards are used to play by lots of different sets of rules and scoring formats. “urban” games are played in a format which dictates the winner from a best two of three or best three out of five and so on. The scoring is adjusted to allow for “overtricks”, “breaking contracts” and “getting set”. Sandbagging, Double Over Double Back and bidding are all skills that must be mastered if you are to be an Ace at playing Spades.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that card playing doesn’t require skill. It takes time to learn and develop strategies, skill sets and, as in mastering any other thing in life, lots and lots of practice. Mastering just one game using spades cards could be simple. What about “Aces” or “Bemo”; “Bid and Little Moe” or Blind 6? There are many others and all of them are variations of the original spades game. If you really want to test your skill, learn them and then play an “Around the World” version where the winner of each subsequent game picks the next version! What a long night! These are great for weekend camping trips, youth events or even a night like New Year’s Eve!
If you prefer the online version of Spades cards, there are places waiting to seat you at their table! With half tricks, Nil bids and double Nil bids, the online spades games will partner you up with another virtual player and the two of you will have the task of “passing cards” and making sure no contracts are broken as you try to win the most tricks and to cause the other virtual players to “break their contract” as you take trick after trick away from their original bid! In some places, you can play for money or other pieces of personal property; however, most spades card games are played merely for fun and not profit.
So, it doesn’t matter if you learn “No Trump Bids”, “Suicide” or “Boston on Fire”, you’ll have fun spending time stretching your brain, exercising your eyes and reaching and leaning as you hover over your cards, your tricks and your winnings!