Rules of Classic Spades


The goal of Spades is for a team (the player and the player sitting across from them) to win as many tricks as they collectively bid and be the 1st team to win 500 points.


At the end of a hand, when all the cards are gone after 13 tricks, the score is tallied. The Score is determined by successful bids. Each team must make its combined bid and if they do, the team will earn 10 points for each of those tricks. If they don’t, it breaks the contract and that team will lose 10 points for each trick. Any over tricks taken are called bags. There is a penalty of -100 points if a team gets 10 bags. A new hand will be dealt until a team reaches 500 points at which time the game ends.


In Spades, a player and their partner bid their individual hands of 13 cards. They both work to get all the tricks that they need to cover their combined bid. It doesn’t mater what teammate takes the trick, for example a player can take some tricks for their partner’s bid. The combined bid is often referred to as a contract.

There is also a bid of 0, which is called a NIL. If a player bids nil, they may not take any tricks to successfully meet that bid, but the partner is also required to meet their own bid as well to be successful. A successful NIL bid is worth 100 points.


The first player of a hand can lead any card but a Spade.

As each player takes their turn, they must follow suit if they have a card of that suit. The highest card of that suit, ranked 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A, wins the trick, unless a spade card is played.

In Spades the spades are the trump suit. A player may play a Spade if they are void in the lead suit or if the lead suit is spades. The highest spade wins any trick.

The 1st time a spade is played its referred to as spades being broken. At that point a Spade card can lead a trick.

The game can be expanded to full screen by clicking on the double arrow icon on the upper right.


InstaSpades Quick Play Rules

With the Quick Play rules in InstaSpades, instead of playing to 500 points, a player only plays one hand at a time until they have lost 3. Players have 3 lives (potions) which they lose one each time they lose a bid. Lose 3 and the run is over.

Players are not required to play the hands in one sitting. The hands could be played whenever a player has time to play. This makes this mode very convenient for those that might be limited on time.

When 3 hands have been lost, the total score of all of the hands played are added together, that is the final score of the game.