Released in the 1930s, Spades has become one of the most popular card games today. It was hardly known outside of the United States until recently, with the exception of a few countries where American forces were stationed, such as parts of Germany. In particular, Spades has become increasingly popular in online card rooms since the mid-1990s, and since then, it has had a huge player base.
Spades is a simple trick game in which the trump suit is always spades. This online game is most commonly played as a four-player partnership game. However, there are alternative versions for three, two, and six players.
How to play Spades for Four Players?
In Spades, the four players are seated opposite one another in established pairs. The game is played in a clockwise direction. The game uses a standard 52 card deck, the values of the cards in order of highest to lowest are: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
The first dealer is chosen at random, and dealing turns revolve clockwise. The cards are jumbled and dealt one at a time, starting with the player to the dealer's left and working clockwise until all 52 cards have been dealt and everyone has 13.
Each of the four players bids a number of tricks. The total number of tricks that each team must try to win in order to obtain a positive score is calculated by adding the bids of the two partners. Bidding starts with the player to the left of the dealer and moves clockwise around the table. Everyone must bid a number that ranges from 0 to 13. Unlike other bidding games, at Spades, there is no necessity that each bid be higher than the previous one.
There is only one bidding round, and once a bid is placed, it cannot be changed. South deals; West bids three; North bids one; East bids four; South bids four. North and South must win at least 5 tricks (4+1), while East and West must win at least 7 (4+3).
Nil refers to a bid with no tricks. The person who bid Nil declares that he or she will not win any tricks during the game. If it succeeds, you'll get a bonus, and if it fails, you'll get a penalty. The partnership's other goal is to beat the Nil's partner's bid for the most tricks. Bidding no tricks without bidding a Nil is impossible. You must bid at least 1 if you do not wish to go for the Nil bonus or penalty.
The Play of the hand
To the first trick, the player to the dealer's left leads any card except a spade. Each player can follow suit if they are able. Otherwise, if they are unable to follow suit, they may play any card.
A trick with a spade is won by the highest spade played; if no spades are played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. Each trick's winner advances to the next. Spades can be led until somebody has played a spade, or the leader's hand is entirely made up of spades.
What’s more, "breaking" spades refers to the act of playing the initial spade.