Misdeal in Spades: Rules

By Neal Taparia - 5/6/2024

Misdeal in Spades

A misdeal happens when cards are not dealt correctly. In Spades, a misdeal can ruin a player’s strategy and momentum, leaving them feeling frustrated. A misdeal voids any initial hand’s value and requires a total reshuffle of the deck, resetting the dynamics of the game.

It’s important to note a misdeal should be called before any gameplay starts. There are several reasons a misdeal can happen. When it does, there are certain rules for Spades with partners you should follow. Here is what you should do:

  • Collect the cards.
  • Reshuffle the deck.
  • Redeal the hands of every player.

Fortunately, in online Spades, a misdeal will never happen.

When and How to Call a Misdeal

There are a few reasons a player can call a misdeal in Spades, including:

  • If the players don’t receive the same number of cards, it's necessary to call a misdeal.
  • When the dealer deals a hand to someone out of turn, it disrupts the game's flow and warrants declaring a misdeal to fix the dealer’s mistake.
  • If any cards are accidentally revealed to other players, this can also be grounds for a misdeal.
  • If a player receives a faulty hand, as defined by house rules, it could be a misdeal. A faulty hand might not have any Spades or face cards.

To call a misdeal in Spades, a player can just say “misdeal,” Players must place all their cards face-up so their fellow players can verify the problem.

Bidding Blind Nil and Misdeals

What happens if you take the risk and bid blind nil in Spades, only to discover you should have called for a misdeal? Things can get a little complicated at this point.

If the misdeal is noticed before the game gets going, such as during the first trick, most players agree it’s acceptable to call for a misdeal and move forward with a reshuffle and fresh start. However, the further into the game players get, continuing the game is usually necessary, even if the blind nil bidder’s strategy is disrupted.

In this case, the player is at a disadvantage and their bid relies heavily on not winning any tricks during the game’s rounds. This is why it’s critically important for players to double-check their hands and count the number of cards they have before bidding. This keeps the game fair for everyone while minimizing the possibility of misdeals impacting bids.

Misdeals and Online Spades

Misdeals are possible whether you’re playing in person or online. The good news is misdeals are less likely to happen with online platforms like Spades.co due to its many automated features!

Are you building your strategy and wondering if you can force a renege in Spades? We dive deeper into this question with some helpful tips about the game of Spades in our latest post.