How To Play Spades
How To Play Spades
Learn the rules to the playing card game Spades quickly and concisely. This video has no distractions, just the rules. While there are many variations to Spades, this video covers the original base rules.

Card Game Rules

Spades, or Call Bridge, is a traditionally 4 player card game of strategy and luck. Spades uses a standard 52 card deck with Aces high, 2s low, and Spades trumping all. The objective is to win at least as many “tricks” bid.

If you are looking for cards to play Spades with, check out a standard deck here or check out one of our recent arrivals here.

A free online version of Spades to practice may be found here

How to Play

Before the game begins an initial dealer must be chosen. To do so, every player is given a card from a shuffled deck and who ever receives the highest card becomes the first dealer. Ties are broken by a repeated deal. The initial dealer shuffles the deck and the player to their right cuts it. The dealer then passes 13 cards one by one clockwise to each of the 4 players.

After everybody receives their cards, bids are made based upon the players’ hand. A bid refers to the players’ expectation of “tricks” they will make in the round. Normally, all players must make a minimum of 1 bid. A trick is given to the player with the highest card in a given round.

After the bids are made, the gameplay begins. The first dealer places any one card down as a lead. In clockwise fashion, each player then places their card down in an attempt to outrank all of the cards in play. A player must only play cards of the same suit as the lead card. If they do not possess cards of the same suit, they may place any of their cards in an attempt to win the trick. The winner of the round becomes the new dealer and the gameplay continues until all cards are dealt.

Note: Players can also rotate the dealer position clockwise instead of making the winner of the trick the new dealer.


Points are rewarded in the following fashion. If a player makes their number of bids, 10 points are given to each trick made. Additionally, 1 point is given to each trick made over the initial bids. For example, if a player places 5 bids at the start of the round and makes 6 tricks, the player is given 51 points at the end of the round. 50 points are given for meeting the initial 5 bids and 1 point for the additional trick. 0 points are given to players who fail to win the number of tricks they bid.

Rounds normally continue till a player reaches 500 points to win the whole game.

Gameplay Example

Let us say that the dealer places down a Jack of Hearts as the lead card. The next player has 3 cards of the Heart suit but, none of them beat a Jack. Player #2 sloughs the round and places a 7 of Hearts on the table. The third player places down an Ace of Hearts, winning the trick so far. The fourth player does not have any Hearts and they place their 2 of Spades on the table. Because Spades trump the deck, the fourth player wins the trick and becomes the next dealer. 

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