How to Play Spades With Five People

By Robert Preston

Spades is a popular four-player card game in which two pairs of players attempt to accurately predict how many "tricks" they will win in each round of play. However, with a few simple variations to the rules, Spades can be altered to accommodate five players, with each playing for themselves.

Remove the two of hearts and the two of diamonds.

Deal each player 10 cards. If it is the first turn, draw cards to determine the first dealer, with the highest card winning. For later hands, the dealer passes one seat to the left.

Starting to the left of the dealer, each player must bid how many of the 10 tricks she believes she will take. A player may bid blind, for which she earns a predetermined bonus for an accurate guess, but loses the same amount for failing to reach her bid. Similarly, a bid of "nil," or no tricks, earns a bonus or costs the bidder an equal amount.

The opening player (the player to the dealer's left for the first turn of a hand, the player to win the last trick on subsequent turns) places a card from their hand face-up on the table.

Play passes around the table to the left, with each player playing a card of the same suit as the opening player. If a player has no cards of the opening suit, he may play any card in his hand.

The trick is won by the highest spade played that turn. If no spades are played, the book is won by the highest card of the origin suit.

When all 10 turns are played, players count the number of tricks they won. Players failing to reach their bid lose points accordingly. Players who reach or exceed their bids receive points, but overreaching too often can lead to a penalty.

Play continues for a set amount of hands or until a player has reached a set number of points.

Tip

Here's a suggested scoring method used by many players: - 10 points times the number of cards in a bid are earned or lost for reaching or failing to attain a bid (Ex: A bid of five would earn or cost the player 50 points) - One Point is earned for each trick won over a player's bid (This is known as a bag) - 100 points lost for every 10 bags earned - 100 points earned or lost for a successful "nil" bid - 100 points earned for reaching a blind bid, but lost for failing to reach a blind bid (No bonus or penalty is awarded for exceeding a blind bid) - The winner of the game is the first player to reach 500 points

Warning

A player can't lead with a spade until spades have been "broken" by a player laying one after being unable to match the origin suit of a turn.