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Spades Rules

   To play Spades download Net Spades for Windows.

   1. Purpose of the game

   To be the first to score 500 points (800 is option) or over accumulated over several deals. Points are scored mainly for tricks taking during the play. Two players use a standard 52 card pack. Cards rank A(high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2(low).

   2. Deal

   You can choose any of two variants of the beginning:
  • The deal. The dealer deals 13 cards face down to each player one at a time.
  • There is no deal. Instead, the deck is placed face-down between the two players, and they take turns to draw cards. At your turn you draw the top card, look at it (without showing it to your opponent) and whether you want to keep it. If you want to keep it you put it in your hand, and draw the next card, which you look at and must then discard face down; If you decide not to keep the first card you discard it face down and then draw the next card, which you put in your hand. It is then the other player's turn to draw. This continues until the stock is exhausted. You then each have a hand of 13 cards and have discarded 13 cards.

   3. Bidding

   Each opponent must make a bid, which is the number of tricks they expect to take, out of the total possible number of 13 tricks. It is important to realize that in Spades both players' bids stand (it is not like other bidding games in which only the higher bid counts). Each player may choose nil.

   4. Play of the cards

   The first trick depends on variant of the game:
  • Everyone must play their lowest club. A player who has no clubs must discard a diamond or a heart;
  • Non-dealer may lead any card exept a spade;
  • Non-dealer may lead any card.
   The player who won the first trick leads to the next. Any card except a spade may be led (exept the third variant of the first trick). Each player must follow suit if able; if unable to follow suit, the player may play any card. A trick containing a spade is won by the highest spade played; if no spade is played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.
   The player who wins a trick leads to the next. Spades may not be led until either
  • some player has played a spade (on the lead of another suit, of course), or
  • the leader has nothing but spades left in hand.
   Playing the first spade is known as "breaking" spades.

   5. Scoring

  • A player that takes at least as many tricks as its bid calls for receives a score equal to 10 times its bid. Additional tricks (overtricks) are worth an extra one point each.
  • If a player does not make its bid, he lose 10 points for each trick they bid.
  • If a bid of nil is successful, the nil bidder's player receives 100 points. If a bid of nil fails - that is, the bidder takes at least one trick - the bidder loses 100 points.
  • The opponent which reaches 500 points (800 is option) first wins the game. If both players reach 500 points in a single deal, the side with the higher score wins.

More Rules ...

   You can find Spades rules on the John McLeod page "Rules of Card Games: Spades". This is a very comprehensive library of the rules of hundreds of card games on the Web.

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