Spades: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Story of Spades?

The card game Spades is believed to have originated in the United States in the 1930s. It evolved from the game Whist and it shares similarities with a few other trick taking games like Bridge and Hearts. Its exact origin is unclear but it is generally accepted that the game was first popular among members of the U.S. military, specifically the soldiers involved in the second World War (1939 - 1945).

Following the war, the soldiers brought the game back home spreading its popularity across the countries where they lived. Due to its simple rules and engaging gameplay, Spades was well received and became a staple in American and other Western households. Over the years, the game underwent several variations and adaptations which enriched its appeal.

With the rise of digital technology in the late 20th century, the game found its place in the digital world. The very first Spades computer game was published by ARESCO on the Commodore PET in 1978, this one was totally text based. Progress continued and in 1988 Tommy’s Spades became the first version with visual cards. Software developer Tommy's Toys published this innovative version on MS-DOS, marking a significant development in the game's computerized format.

Capture from Tommy’s Spades, the first visual card spades game on MS-DOS, created by Tommy’s Toys in 1988.

With the growth of the internet, we witnessed a new phenomenon: multiplayer games. Now people could play games online against others around the world. This digital adaptation also introduced Spades to a wider audience, making it one of the most popular online trick taking games today.

What is a Trick in Spades?

A trick is a round where each player plays one card and the highest ranking card, with Spades as trump, wins. The winner of each trick leads the next.

What is a Trump Card?

A trump card in card games is a special card that is stronger than all other cards. Before a particular game starts, one of the suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, or Spades) is picked as the trump suit. Cards from this suit are much stronger and therefore they can beat cards from other suits. For example, if Hearts are the trump suit, then a Heart will beat a Diamond, Club, or Spade, even if the Heart card has a lower number.

What is a Bag in Spades?

In Spades, bags are extra tricks won beyond a team's bid, adding strategy to the game. Bags can earn bonus points, but getting too many leads to a penalty, when a team gets 10 bags, 100 points are deducted from their total score. Therefore, teams adjust their bidding and playing strategy to avoid getting too many bags while still trying to meet their bid.

How Many Spades Are in a Deck of Cards?

A standard deck of 52 playing cards contains 4 suits: Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades. Each suit has 13 cards (numbers 2 through 10 and the face cards Jack, Queen, King and Ace). Therefore, there are 13 Spades in a standard deck.

What Does Nil Mean in Spades?

Nil in Spades is a bid where a player commits to winning zero tricks in a hand. Successfully doing so awards the team a significant point bonus of 100 points. Failing results in a penalty, subtracting 100 points from the team's score.

How Many Cards Do You Get in Spades?

In a standard four player game of Spades, the cards are well shuffled and shared out equally. Every player gets 13 cards, using up the whole card deck (52 cards). However, variations of the game may require adjusting the deck, such as removing certain cards when playing with fewer than four players.

How to Play Spades with 2 People?

If you want to play with just 2 people, you can change the rules. Deal 13 cards to each player. Players then bid the number of tricks they expect to win. Play as per usual Spades rules, with players leading and following suit where possible and using Spades as trump cards. Since there are only two active players, the dynamic of the game will be different and strategy may need to be adjusted accordingly.

You can put the extra 26 cards away and just play with the 13 cards you are dealt at the start. This way is simpler and lets players focus more on the game. Or, you can use the extra 26 cards as a draw pile. After each set of turns, each player can take a new card from this pile. This means players always have 13 cards until there are no more cards left to draw.

How to Change My Avatar?

To change your avatar, you can simply press on your current avatar in the game field. Then browse through the available avatars by pressing on either side until you have found the avatar you want to use. The game will remember your avatar every time you come back to play.

A finger taps the player's avatar in the spades game to switch to another one.

How Do I Change Cards and Backgrounds?

To change playing cards and backgrounds in the game, press the button with the gear icon on the top right side of the game screen. A new window will open, where you can choose different card layouts and backgrounds according to your preferences.

Game Troubleshooting Tips

Having issues with the game? Don't worry! We are here with some simple solutions and tips to fix the most common problems, helping you enjoy your game without any hassle. Our game should operate smoothly on all mobiles, tablets and desktops, but if you encounter a gray screen or partial load, here is what you can do:

Option 1: Refresh the page

Refreshing the webpage will reload all our content, here is how you can do it on various devices:

Problems persist? Consider clearing your browser’s cache. Choose your browser for instructions:

Remember to restart the browser afterward and ensure it has all the latest updates. You can also try a different browser, numerous free options are available online. Also, make sure you have no buggy plugins installed.

If none of these tips helped, you can always contact us for further support if necessary. We are here to help you!