How to Keep Score Playing Spades

By Jackie Johnson
Keep Score Playing Spades

The card game, Spades, is a really fun game. It's easy to learn how to keep track of each team's score. There are two steps to scoring in Spades. The first is recording the bids, and the second is recording the tricks and the bags after the round has been played and adding them up to determine the winners.

Learn the rules to scoring spades. In spades, the score depends on several things: the number of tricks you bid and the number you take. Each player bids the number of tricks they think they can take, and each trick is worth 10 points. If they take more than they bid, they get what is called a "bag" and after 10 bags have accumulated, they lose 100 points. If the team does not make its bid, they lose 10 points for every point they bid. For example, if they bid 8 and only take 6, they will lose 80 points. If they bid 8 and take 9, they earn 81 points. Each bag is worth 1 point. When they hit 10 bags in points, they lose 100 off their score.

Write down the bids made by each person. For example, if you are playing with three other people, the person sitting across from you is your partner. It's easy to create a matrix to write the bids down. Draw a line down the middle of the paper and write down the players' names from team one across the top on one side, and team two on the other. Use two columns for each player. One column will be for the amount of tricks they bid, and the other for the tricks that they take. Using tick marks for the tricks that they took is easier than trying to remember the number that they actually took during the round.

Add the tricks up, and see if they made their bid. If they did, multiply that number by 10, and write down their score. If they take more tricks than they bid, they get an additional point for each trick extra trick that they took.

When the players bid zero or nil, they can earn 100 points if they do, indeed, take no tricks. Players can also bid double nil by not looking at their hands before they bid. If they bid double nil, and don't take any tricks, they earn 200 points. However, if any tricks are taken, they will lose 200 points.

Total the scores after each round. The first team to reach 500 wins the game.

About the Author

Jackie Johnson is a published writer and professional blogger, and has a degree in English from Arizona State University. Her background in real estate analysis prepared her for objective thinking, researching and writing.