Spades is a fun and strategic trick-taking card game for four players, divided into two teams. Teammates sit facing each other and aim to win rounds, called tricks, to score points. The goal is for a team to be the first to score 500 points. A standard deck of 52 cards is used, with Ace being the highest card and 2 being the lowest in each suit. Let me guide you through playing this captivating game.

Starting the Spades Game

A dealer is picked randomly to start the game. With each new round, dealing passes to the next person, moving clockwise. Cards are given one at a time to each player, beginning with the person sitting next to the dealer on the left. This continues until everyone has 13 cards each.


Players start by predicting how many tricks they think they can win and then bid that number in the bidding panel that appears in the center of the game. The total bids from each team are added up and that becomes the number of tricks that a team has to win to get points.

Spades card game with the bidding panel

Bidding Example:

The player next to the dealer starts the bidding and it continues clockwise around the table. Everyone must choose a number from 0 to 13. But if your partner has already bid, you can only bid up to 13 minus whatever they chose. So, if your partner bids 4, you can bid no higher than 9 (because 13 - 4 = 9).

Leading and Winning Tricks in Spades

The Spades card game starts with the player sitting to the left of the dealer. This player can play any card, as long as it's not a Spade (unless a player has nothing but Spades in their hand which is very unlikely). Until Spades are broken, players are not allowed to lead with a Spade, Spades are considered broken when they have been played in a previous trick because a player could not follow suit. The game continues clockwise, where each player must play a card that matches the first played card’s suit, but if they don’t have a card of that suit, they are allowed to play any other card (including Spades, if they are broken or if you can break them yourself). Winning a trick, depends on the cards played. If there are no Spades, the highest card of the first suit played wins the trick. If there are any Spades played, then the highest Spade wins. The player who wins then starts the next trick.


If a team’s bid is reached, they get 10 points for each trick they won and any extra tricks, known as sandbags or just bags, are worth 1 point each. When a team cannot fulfill their bid, they are deducted 10 points for each trick they initially bid.

Meeting or Exceeding the Bid Example:

Since Team A met their bid by winning 4 tricks, they would score 40 points (4 tricks x 10 points each). However, they won an extra trick, known as a bag, which gives them an additional point.

Not Meeting the Bid Example:

Team B didn’t meet their bid; they won fewer tricks than they bid. Therefore, they lose points. They lose 10 points for each trick they bid, which leads to a deduction of 60 points from their total score.

Special scores apply for a Nil bid. (A Nil bid is when a player bids zero, meaning they'll try not to win any tricks.) If a team successfully bids and achieves Nil, they earn an extra 100 points. But, if these bids aren't met, the team loses 100 points.

Accumulating 10 bags causes a team to lose 100 points and their bag count resets to zero. After the scoring is completed for a trick, a new round starts. The gameplay continues until a team reaches a total of 500 points, declaring them the winners!

The essence of the game lies in strategic bidding, masterful playing and the exciting unpredictability that Spades brings to the table. The game is simple to learn and our detailed strategy guide can help you get better faster.

Our website is easy to use, offering you a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. You have the option to change the design to make the game your own. Choose different cards, select various backgrounds and pick a unique avatar to represent you.