What Is a Blind Nil in Spades?

By Neal Taparia - 5/8/2024

What Is a Blind Nil in Spades?

Knowing how to play Spades means understanding different strategies, carefully managing your hand, anticipating your opponents’ moves, and mastering the bid-making process.

One of the boldest strategies a player can utilize in the game of Spades is a blind nil. When using this strategy, the player immediately claims they won’t win any tricks without first looking at the hand they were dealt. However, this move could lead to penalties if a trick is won. When done successfully, a player can score many extra points.

Blind Nil Bids in Spades

Bidding blind nil is risky. When done right, it can certainly lead to a win. A single player or two players can bid blind nil, but the scoring is different in the two scenarios.

Players should agree on point totals beforehand. According to the rules at Spades.co, these are the most commonly selected point totals for blind nil bids:

  • Successful single player: If a player bids blind nil and is successful, their team automatically scores 200 bonus points.
  • Both players successful: Both players could choose to bid blind nil. If they are both successful, they could end up with 800 points. All players must agree to this rule beforehand.
  • Failed single player: If a single player bids nil without looking at their hand and wins a trick, they automatically receive a 200-point penalty.
  • Both players failed: If both players bid blind nil and win a trick, they’re hit with an 800-point penalty and lose the game.

Bidding blind nil adds a strategic layer to the popular game of Spades. When a player bids blind nil, their partner should play in a way that helps the blind nil bidder avoid winning any tricks.

When to Bid Blind Nil

Bidding blind nil in Spades can dramatically change a game’s outcome. It is the definition of a high-risk, high-reward strategy. Blind nils are most helpful when a team or partnership is significantly behind in points and needs to do something bold to change the course of the game in their favor.

They’re also helpful for those with a weak hand and little chance of winning tricks. Because a weak hand is no excuse to call a misdeal in Spades and start over, bidding blind nil can cut down on potential losses.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Bidding blind nil should be a calculated risk and not an impulsive move. One of the most common mistakes players make when bidding blind nil is being overly confident. Think through your hand and all possible plays, or you will risk losing out on key points.

It’s also important to be on the same page with your teammate and to adapt to changing game dynamics. Patience is paramount. Not waiting for the right opportunities to bid blind nil can ruin your chances of success.

Playing Spades Online

These days, Spades can be played online from anywhere and at any time. Spades.co is easy to navigate and accessible for anyone to play. At Spades.co, you can play unlimited games for free. Our user-friendly platform makes gameplay simple and includes tips for beginners while they play!

Wondering whether you can play Spades with no Spades in your hand? Don’t miss our latest post!