Object of two-player Spades

Spades is a trick-based game with trumps. The winner must be the first to score 500 points (or 300 - 800 points) accumulated over several deals. Points are scored mainly for tricks taking during the play.


In two players Spades a standard 52 card pack is used. Cards rank A(high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2(low). Spades are always trumps.

The Deal

There is no deal in the common meaning. The deck is placed face-down, and both players take turns to draw cards. The first player to draw cards is selected randomly. The same player will start a game later. During the next hand the opponent will start the game and so on.

At each turn a player has a possibility to choose one card from two consequent cards drawn from the deck in a special way. A player draws the top card, looks at it (not showing to opponent) and decide whether he/she wants to keep it. If a player wants to keep this first card he/she has to you put it in the hand and draw the next card, which he/she looks at and must then discard face down. If a player decides not to keep the first card he/she discards it face down and then draws the next card to put in his/her hand. In Rubl.com Spades implementation this card is moved to the player's hand automatically in this case.

It is then the other player's turn to draw. This continues until the stock is exhausted. Each player then has a hand of 13 cards and has discarded 13 cards. So each player looked through a half of a deck.

The Bidding

Each opponent must make a bid, which is the number of tricks they expect to take, out of the total possible number of 13 tricks. It is important to realize that in Spades both players' bids stand (it is not like other bidding games in which only the higher bid counts). There is no second round of bidding - bids once made cannot be altered.

A bid of zero tricks is known as Nil. This is a declaration that the player will not win any tricks during the play. There is an extra bonus for this if it succeeds and a penalty if it fails. The opponent also has the objective of winning the number of tricks bid by the Nil's player.

The Play

The player who starts the game leads any card except a spade to the first trick. The opponent player, in turn, must follow suit if able; if unable to follow suit, the player may play any card including spades, but not necessary spades.

A trick containing a spade is won by the highest spade played; if no spade is played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of each trick leads to the next. Spades may not be led until either:
a) some player has played a spade (on the lead of another suit, of course), or
b) the leader has nothing but spades left in hand.
The player who wins a trick leads to the next.


A player that takes at least as many tricks as its bid calls for receives a score equal to 10 times its bid. Additional tricks (overtricks) are worth an extra one point each.

Sandbagging rule: Overtricks are colloquially known as bags. A player who (over several deals) accumulates ten or more bags has 100 points deducted from its score. Any bags beyond ten are carried over to the next cycle of ten overtricks - that is if a player reached twenty overtricks he/she would lose another 100 points and so on. (Note: it is not necessary to keep track of overtricks separately as the cumulative number of overtricks taken appears as the final digit of the player's score, if positive, for example 102 score means 2 overtricks).

The usual rule is that when a nil fails, the tricks won by the nil bidder do not count towards making the player's bid, but do count as bags for the player.

If a player does not make its bid, he lose 10 points for each trick he/she bids.

If a bid of nil is successful, the nil bidder's player receives 100 points. If a bid of nil fails - that is, the bidder takes at least one trick - the bidder loses 100 points.

The player who reaches 500 points first wins the game. If both players reach 500 points in a single deal, the player with the higher score wins.

Play Spades card game online. Spades Tournaments