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7/19/2018 - 09:29  EST

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How To play spades and tips Eliters_Inmate     8/24/2004 22:49

Disclaimer: I am not a great spades player, and I don't consider myself one. Someone asked me to help them learn and I wrote this little thing. Not everything is covered here. You can always search google for more tips and directions how to play. This covers important information.

Spades is a game that takes minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master. Even I continue to learn daily, new tips and tricks. Many disagree about what is the more important aspect of the game. Bidding or Playing. In my professional opinion you play the bid and donít beat yourself. All will agree that math is the number one thing that must be mastered and used in habit at the game, NO MATTER what format. If you do the math, bid to win, and play the bid, the worse cards can come out on top.

In Regular Spades:
Spades Are Trump
All suits values are; least to greatest:

A Nil is the bid of Zero. You do not take any tricks. A trick is a group of 4 cards played in a round of a hand. There are 13 rounds in 1 hand. Your partner attempts to keep you ďcoveredĒ by playing to make sure you do not take any tricks.

A Double Nil is going nil without ever seeing your cards before you bid. If you get this nil, you receive 200 points. However, if you get busted, getting a trick, You lose 200 points.

The hardest thing to learn about spades is bidding. One person can bid from a nil to 13 .
*Note: There are only 13 available books. Thirteen happens once in a blue moon.*

You then have your partners bid to take into concern. If he bids 4, you do not ant to bid 10, making the team bid 14. (An impossible bid.)

Depending on the score, cards, and bids by other players before you, you bid could be anything. We will come back to bidding in a bit.

Time and time again I see someone asking, why did I go back 100 pts.
This is called the bag penalty. Any trick that you or your partner receives after the team bid is made, is called a bag. You are allowed 9 bags. On the 10th bag however, you receive a penalty of -100 points. This is how it works on Yahoo!.

EXAMPLE: Your current score is 159 points. (The Ones Digit represents bags). You and your partnerís bid equals 5. You make but take one bag. This is the formula I use.

(S + T) + B -P=N When S=Score N= New Score B=Bags P = Bag Penalty T=Trick Score
So Actually you only go back 90 points since the 10th bag rounds up to the next ten.

Now since the basics are pretty simple. Here are some tips:

Avoid leading suits that your opponent is out of. You do not want them trumping you, or throwing off if they are bagging you.

If one person is going nil. And the other bids equal 11, make sure you get your bid. However, if itís your p going nil, do this with caution. The Nil should be the priority.

When avoiding bags, lead your short suit first to attempt to get rid of it. This makes it possible for you to get rid of high cards if that suit is led again.

Watch how your partner plays and play as a team. If he is throwing away high cards, then he is probably bagging. If he is throwing low and trumping, he wants to set.

Bid correctly! If the score is that you will lose the game if you do not set them, and you are the last person to bid. Push the bid to a total of 14. It doesnít matter if you canít make it or not. Because youíll lose anyway, if you donít set.

In general. Lead the highest card of a straight first. This avoids the possibility of your partner trumping your queen of clubs not knowing you had the Ace or king in your hand.

If you have a long non-spade suit, and are also long in spades, be aware of your increased set potential. You can clear out spades, and take the rest of the tricks with your non-spade suit, providing you have enough of the highest of them.

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