Spades

About Spades

Spades is a partnership whist trick-taking card game. The aim of the game is to be the first partnership to reach more than 500 points.

Play Spades campaigns against the computer players in our take on this classic card game. Check your all time and session stats to see if you are improving over time. It takes real skill to beat the computer players with their perfect memory.

Spades is a simple game to learn, but it will take a while to master!

How Spades plays:

After the cards are dealt evenly between the four players, each player will bid on the number of tricks they think they can win. The player left of the dealer will lead first. Each player must play one card in a clockwise order, following suit where they can. The winner of each trick is the player who plays the highest card matching the suit of the first player to play. If you cannot follow suit you can play any card from your hand. No player may lead with a spade until the first spade is played ('spades are broken')

At the end of each round, the total tricks taken by both team members is totalled. Each partnership receives 10 points for each trick bid if the bid is successful, or -10 for each bid trick if the partnership fails to take as many tricks as they bid.

If any player bids 'nil' for a round, the partnership receives 100 bonus points if the player takes no tricks, but -100 points if the nil bid fails.

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Available on App/Play Store

How To Play

Spades is a classic four player partnership game using one standard deck of 52 cards.

The aim of the game is to be the first partnership to exceed 500 points.

At the end of each round, points are scored by the number of tricks each partnership has collected. 10 points are awarded for every trick collected if the partnership bid is matched or bettered, and 10 points are deducted for every trick bid if the partnership bid is not matched.

Deal

The dealer is initially chosen at random, and then moves clockwise round the table for subsequent rounds.

13 cards are dealt to each player.

Bidding

Before each hand commences, every player must say how many tricks they will win, between 0 (or nil) and 13.

Play

Whoever is left of the dealer leads a card to start. Each player must play one card in a clockwise order, following suit where they can.

The winner of each trick is the player who plays the highest card matching the suit of the first player to play, unless a trump (spade) is played, in which case the highest spade will win the trick.

If you cannot follow suit you can play any card from your hand.

No player may lead with a spade until the first spade is played ('spades are broken').

Scoring

At the end of each hand, the tricks each partnership collects are totalled and compared to the combined bid.

10 points are awarded for every trick bid if the bid is successful. 10 points are deducted for each trick bid if not.

Successful nil bids are awarded 100 points, unsuccessful nil bids are deducted 100 points.

Every trick a partnership wins over the total bid is awarded one point, but a bag is added to the teams total bags. When the team reaches 10 bags, a bag penalty is applied and 100 points are deducted from their score.

Tricks won by a nil bidder are not counted towards their partnership total tricks won, but still count for the bag score.

Settings

Choose from the following settings (defaults shown in italics):

Sound: off, on.

Speed: normal, fast.

Hand display: one row, stacked (choose whether large hands are arranged in one or two rows).

Cards: modern, classic.

Deck: 4 card backs to choose from for the classic cards, and 16 for the modern cards.

Theme: A range of background styles and app themes to choose from.

Single click play: on, off.

AI level: easy, hard.

Interface

Home screen:

From the home screen you can access the following options:

  • Start new game or continue game.
  • Settings (cog icon, bottom left).
  • Statistics (trophy icon, top left): View all time stats and view and reset session stats.
  • Sound (speaker icon, top right): Tap to toggle between sound on and off.
  • Information (question mark icon, bottom right).

During a Game

Your cards are displayed face up at the bottom of the screen, your partners are face down at the top of the screen, and your opponents’ cards are face down at the left and right. Your cards are ordered by suit then low to high from left to right. Your partners and opponents’ cards are ordered at random.

During play, each player’s score for the game is shown in front of their hand. A green or red light is displayed next to your score to display green when it is your turn to act, or red when it is not. A bid panel is shown when approriate each round when it is your turn to bid.

When it is your turn to act, tap on a card from your hand that you want to select, and then tap it again to play the card (or tap it just once if the 'single click play' setting is turned on). Alternatively you can drag the card into position. You can change which cards are selected before playing or passing by selecting other cards.

At the end of the hand the scores each player parnership receives are displayed, as well as the total bags and total score for each partnership for the game.