How to Win at Spades

By Anthony King
Win at Spades

Spades is a card game in which each team of two players must work together to successfully take the number or "tricks" they bid. Teams do not see one another's hands, so making your bid and allowing your partner to make his bid is a complete team effort. Spades can be played with a regular deck of cards, or online at one of the numerous spades websites.

How to Win at Spades

Calculate how many "tricks" or "books" you can win with your hand.

Make your bid based on what you calculated in Step 1. You get 10 points for every trick your team wins. You can bid "nil" if you think you will take no tricks; successfully going nil is worth 100 points.

Identify what the total number of bids are as well as your partner's bid. If your partner bids nil, you are responsible for helping him not win any tricks.

Make the other team go "set" by not letting them get their bid. If your team wins enough tricks so that the other team cannot make their bid, the opposing team loses 10 points for every trick they bid as a team.

Make the other team "bag" by making them take more tricks than they bid. If the other team accumulates 10 bags, they lose 100 points. However, you have to balance giving them bags with trying not to "set" yourself.

Start the game by playing a card. Play goes around to the left with each player putting a card in the center. The person with the highest card wins the trick.

"Trumph" a trick by playing a spade. Players cannot start a hand with a spade until one has been used to "trumph" another suit. A player cannot "trumph" a suit until he is completely out of the card suit that was played.

Win the game by getting your team to 500 points before the opposing team does.

About the Author

Anthony King is a freelance writer and amateur filmmaker. His work has appeared in various online publications. He is currently working toward graduating with a B.A. in English-writing.