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How to Play Spades

The object of the game is to win more books for your team and reach the final score first. The team who wins the most books, wins the hand. The team who wins the most hands, wins the game.
Here are
7 Steps to start your spades game!


1. What cards do you use to play Spades?
A 54-card deck of Spades Premium Playing Cards

2. What are the card suits used in Spades?

There are 4 card suits in a standard deck; Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades. The spade suit is the highest suit in the deck. All other card suits are equal in value. 

3. What's the card rank in Spades?

From high to low value: Big Joker Little Joker A K Q J
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3  2

Tip: There are multiple versions of Spades game play.
For more ways to play, follow us on social

4. How to deal your cards

The first dealer shuffles the cards and the opposing player to the right will cut the deck.  Going clockwise, deal out the entire deck with cards facing down. When all cards are dealt, each player will have 13 cards.

Tip: When playing with Jokers, remove the two lowest-value cards
from the deck  (i.e. 2/hearts & 2/clubs)

5. How to set up your hand

Organize your hand by card suit, then arrange your cards from highest to lowest value


6. How to bid your hand

First, count the number of high cards or potential books you can win (i.e. high spades, high-value cards, Jokers). Second, count the number of potential or "possible" books you could win with mid-level cards  or strategy. Share the number of books and potentials with your partner.
Combine your numbers for a total bid.

7. How to keep score

Each book won, within your bid, is scored with 10 points. 
If playing with "overs" each additional book is scored with 1 point. 

(ex: bid 5 books, won 6; score = 51)

Keep adding your bid/hand scores to your previous hand score until the team who reaches the final score first, wins!

Get the Game Started!

dealing the cards

setting your bid

The first dealer shuffles the cards and the opposing player to the right will cut the deck.  Going clockwise, deal out the entire deck, with cards faced down. Each player will have 13 cards


Organize your hand by card suit then arrange your cards from highest to lowest value


Count the number of high cards you’re holding (Jokers and high letter cards). Second, count the number of Possibles or mid-level cards that can potentially win a book


Your team’s bid will be the total number of books you think your team can win. Consider your Possibles to increase your bid for a higher score Note: Once your bid is set, it can not be changed

counting your books

playing the game

winning a book

counting books & overs

calculating your score

making your bid

The player to the left of the dealer draws out the first card of any suit, face up, in the center of the table. Each player follows, drawing a card of the same suit after the previous card has been played. Note: Drawing a card out of the rotation is not allowed.


The card with the highest value wins the book.  Players can win books by drawing a higher card or Cutting (playing a spade over another suit). If another spade is played, the higher value wins The winner . the cards and sets them aside
Complete the hand until all 13 cards are played


Each team is responsible for winning the number of books set by their bid. Once the hand is played, teams tally how many books they’ve won and the scorekeeper calculates the team scores

Books, up to your bid, are scored in multiples of 10 Overs (additional books) are worth 1 point


If your team wins the books set in your bid, your score is calculated as 10x your bid
Example 1)  Bid 6 / Won 6   Your score = 60 points; Example 2) Bid 6 / Won 7   Your score = 61 points  (60+1


When a team fails to reach their bid, the score is minus and subtracted from the previous score
Example:  Bid 6 / Won 5   Your score = -60 points

not making your bid (set)

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