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Spades Game Rules by Trisha Ellington
This game uses one standard deck containing 52 cards.
There are four players in two partnerships.
Aces are high.
Play progresses to the left.
There are two teams, North and South make up one team, and East and West make up the other.
Spades are always trump. They beat any other suit.
A dealer is selected, and the dealer rotates to the left after each round of play.
Object of the game
The object of the game is to score as many points as possible.
The winner is the team who finishes with the highest score.
At the start of the game
Each player is dealt 13 cards a piece for a total of 52 cards.
Each player tries to forecast the amount of tricks they think they can win. This is called bidding.
If a player decides that no tricks can be won, then the player can bid zero or 'Nil'.
The dealer bids first, and after the bidding is complete, plays first.
The course of play
The dealer or the winner of the last trick leads first.
The player to the leader's left must follow suit if possible.
Spades cannot be led until they have been played in an earlier trick. The player can lead spades if there is no other choice, however.
If one cannot follow suit, then any card can be played. Trump (spades) would normally be played if possible.
After four cards are played, the player with the highest card that matches the lead card or with the highest trump (spade) wins the trick.
The trick winner gets credit for winning one trick and then leads the next trick.
This continues for thirteen rounds until all cards are exhausted.
After a round
If a player has bid Nil, then the bids are scored separately.
Each trick is worth ten points for the team if the bid is made, but worth ten points against if not made. Any tricks made beyond the bid are worth one point.
A bid of Nil is worth 100 for the team points if made, but worth ten points against the team if not made.
Any tricks made beyond the bid are counted as bags. If a team collects 10 bags, they lose 100 points and ten bags are subtracted from their total bags.
End of the game
The first team to go over 500 points wins. If both teams go over 500 the higher score wins.
Ties must be broken with further play.
About the Author
Trisha Ellington works for Softgame Company, maker of card games, video poker and puzzles. She works on web sites, designs games and does graphic work.
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