Who Goes First in Spades?

By Neal Taparia - 4/17/2024

The Spades card game is one of the most popular partnership trick-taking games worldwide. If you’re new to the game and wondering how it works, there are some helpful things to remember.

Playing in teams of two with partners across from each other, each person gets thirteen cards. According to official Spades rules, once the cards are dealt, the player to the left of the dealer bids first. A ‘bid’ is the number of tricks a player expects to win during the round.

Your bid and your partner’s bids are added together to create a score your team must hit to win points. Legal bids can range from zero, or 'nil' to thirteen per player. The game goes on until all thirteen tricks have been played.

If you’re itching to develop your Spades skills, Spades.co provides access to unlimited games at no cost to you. Players can opt to play against the computer or in multiplayer mode!

The Goal of Spades

Using a standard fifty-two card deck, the goal of Spades is for two teams of two to accurately predict and win the number of tricks (or rounds) they bid. Players must follow suit if possible, but if they can’t, they can play any card they have in their hand.

The highest card of the suit led wins the trick, unless a spade is played, in which case the highest spade wins. After all thirteen tricks are played, rounds continue until a team reaches 500 points (or another predetermined amount of points) wins.

The First Play

The first play in a round of Spades sets the tone for the hand and sets teams up for success during the game. As the opening move, it requires careful consideration of your hand’s strength, your bidding strategy, and any possible communication with your teammate.

Typically, players strive to lead with a strong card in a suit in which they have multiple high-ranking cards, especially if they made an aggressive bid. On the other hand, leading with a low card could signal a weak hand and draw out your opponent’s high cards.

Variations of Spades

Depending where you play and who you play with, the rules of Spades may vary. Different regions or groups of players sometimes have their own house rules that can make the game slightly more complex, such as different bidding systems or scoring methods.

Another variation of Spades includes playing with the jokers. Wondering how to play Spades with jokers? It’s more simple than you may think. When playing with jokers, the jokers simply become the highest Spade card, adding a new layer of strategy and unpredictability to the game.

Join the Fun at Spades.co

Once invented by two Cincinnati college freshmen trying to find a pastime after completing their schoolwork, Spades is now one of the most popular card games online, and has garnered and sustained its appeal because it’s easy to grasp, can be played from anywhere, and can be played quickly.

Playing Spades on Spades.co is an immersive and convenient gaming experience for card game enthusiasts. With a user-friendly interface, our site provides a free opportunity to hone your Spades skills playing competitively against the computer or other players worldwide!