SPADES

Players: 4 (2 teams of 2)

Goal: Gather tricks to reach 500 points first to win

Rules:

  • The players form two teams two. The team players must sit across the table from each other, with one opponent between them on either side.

  • The dealer deals out 13 cards to all. The player may look at their cards.

  • Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, the players announce the number of tricks they believe they can take (this is called "bidding"). The total number of tricks that each team bids is the number that team must meet or exceed during the hand. There is a point reward for capturing as many tricks as you bid and a penalty for coming up short.

  • A bid of zero tricks is called going "nil." If a player chooses to bid nil, then the player must take no tricks. There are bonus points for successfully losing every trick and a stiff penalty if a player attempts this bid and fails. The smallest standard bid is one trick.

  • The play begins once the bids have been placed. The person to the left of the dealer plays a card. The play continues around the table with each player putting down one card. If a player has a card of the suit that was lead, the player must follow suit.

  • The person who plays the highest card in the suit or the highest spade wins the trick for the team. The winning team collects the four-card trick.

  • If a team successfully captures the number of tricks it bid, it is rewarded with 10 times the number of tricks it bid. For instance, if a team bids 5 tricks and achieves that number, then it would get 50 points. Each additional trick won yields only one extra point. In the above example, if a team won 7 tricks on its bid of 5, then it would get 52 points.

  • If a team fails to achieve its goal, it is penalized 10 times the number of tricks it bid. If a team bids 5 tricks and only takes 4, then it loses 50 points. A successful nil bid is worth 100 points, while failing to take zero tricks will result in a penalty of 100 points.

  • The first team to reach 500 points wins.

  • If the winning team acquires one trick more than its bid, then the two winning players may ask the two other players one question each from the four-trick cards. If the winning team won more than one trick more than the bid, then the team can choose from which trick it will take the two questions.