is a four-player card game
, with 2 partnership
s on 2 team
s, often used to practice for bridge
. The object of the game is for your team to reach a predetermined number of points before the other team. Players determine how many trick
s they can win out of 13, and they gain or lose points depending on if they make their bid
or not. There are different variations that make the game more interesting.
consists of the standard 52 cards. Partners sit across from each other and players should not be able to see any of the others' hand
s. Every player eventually deal
s, but the first dealer
is whomever agrees to it. The dealer should start dealing cards face-down
to the player on his/her left and continue clockwise
so that each player has 13 cards in their hand at the end of the deal. The player to the dealer's left leads the first trick. (A trick consists of 4 cards, one card from each player
.) Thereafter, the winner of each trick leads the next. Whenever possible, players must follow suit of the leading card, that is, if they have any cards of the same suit in their hand. If not, players can play any card they wish.
During play, players must follow suit of the first card leading the trick. When leading with hearts, clubs, or diamonds, the owner of the highest card of the corresponding suit wins the trick, unless a spade is played within the trick. All other suits fall to the spade if a lone spade is played in a trick. Otherwise, the owner of the higher or highest spade wins the trick.
Spades cannot be played until the suit "broken". A spade can be broken in the cases that a player cannot follow suit and chooses to play a spade or there are no suits left to play except spades.
For scoring, if a team makes their bid, their score for that hand is their bid x 10. If a team is short of their bid, their score for that hand is -their bid x 10. If a team wins more tricks than their bid, they only get their bid x 10, plus the number of extra tricks they won x 1, called sandbags or bags. For instance, if a team bids 7 tricks and they win 9, 72 points should be added to their score. ((7 x 10) + 2 extra tricks.) As the game progresses, any team that accumulates 10 bags should have 100 points subtracted from their running score.
In th case that a player feels he or she cannot win any tricks, he or she can bid "nil", 0. If a nil bid is made at the end of a hand, the team gets +100 points added to their score plus the bid of the non-nil partner with bags always applying. If not, they get -100 points plus the bid of the non-nil partner and bags if any. When aiming for a nil bid, the nil player's partner must cover for him or her, to guarantee that he or she make their nil bid. This is because the other team may try to "set" their opponents' bid by purposefully playing lower cards so that the nil-bidder may be forced to win a trick.
Play continues until a team reaches the predetermined number of points, usually 500 or 250.
Here is an example play of one hand of spades:
North and South are on team "US". East and West are on "THEM".
South bids 4. West bids 4. North bids 2. East bids 4.
Team "US" bids 6 tricks. Team "THEM" bids 8 tricks.
N = North S = South E = East W = West
♣ = clubs ♠ = spades ♦ = diamonds ♥ = hearts
trick# 1st card 2nd card 3rd card 4th card Team that
played played played played wins the trick
1 W4♣ N3♣ E9♣ S2♣ THEM by E
2 EA♣ S6♣ W7♣ N5♣ THEM by E
3 EK♥ S2♥ W3♥ N6♥ THEM by E
4 EQ♥ S7♥ WA♥ N10♥ THEM by W
5 WK♣ NJ♣ E4♥ S6♠ US by S
6 S6♦ WA♦ N3♦ E9♦ THEM by W
7 W8♣ N4♠ EJ♠ SA♠ US by S
8 S7♦ W2♦ NK♦ E10♦ US by N
9 NQ♠ EK♠ S7♠ W3♠ THEM by E
10 EQ♦ S8♠ W4♦ N5♦ US by S
11 S8♥ W8♦ N5♠ E5♥ US by N
12 N10♠ E2♠ S9♠ W10♣ US by N
13 NJ♦ E9♥ SJ♥ WQ♣ US by N
s 7 tricks.
"THEM" wins 6 tricks.
The "US" team makes enough tricks so "US" gets 60 points for making the bid of 6 plus 1 point for 1 overtrick
The "THEM" team failed to get enough tricks so they get -80 points for not making their bid of 8.
is my favorite card game
because it involves other people and some sly
ness. I first learned how to play spades between classes when I was a freshman
back in 1996. We would play to 500 points and sometimes when games would run into class time, I would choose finishing a game over class. Imagine