Talk:Spades (card game)

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References Added[edit]

I added references to Pagat, Spadeology and Rubl, which are trusted card game rules sites. and to HowStuffWorks which is marginal in some cases but looks accurate for Spades. Feel free to add additional references and to tag additional citations from the existing refs. Avoid eHow and The article needs a few more inline tags, but don't go overboard; 90% of what is shown as the "basic rules" is common among all four refs currently used, so one or two cites at the end of each section whose information is supposted by a reference is fine. I went ahead and removed the banner (finally; been there for a year and a half). Maybe this article is due for a review and to-do list so we can get it to GA status?Liko81 (talk) 15:22, 22 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is Spades really "the simplest of the Whist family"? Is that really measurable? The Hearts page says that hearts is suitable for younger children than Spades is. Am I missing something? (talk) 23:26, 10 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Of the commonly-played trick-taking games descended from Whist, which is a pretty simple game, Spades is the closest (it's pretty much Bid Whist with static trump). I do agree that Hearts strategy is simpler than Spades (just don't win any tricks) but I think Hearts is more complex for two reasons; first, the scoring is "point-trick" (it's the contents of the tricks, not the number of them, that counts) which makes scoring a Hearts hand at least somewhat more complex, and the object of Hearts is exactly opposite of virtually every other Whist variant, making it a "black sheep" of sorts when compared to the rest of the family, albeit a very popular one. I'm willing to entertain discussion; the statement that it was the simplest Whist variant was there before my major reorg. if I can find an independent source that backs up that claim I'll let you know, otherwise we can further qualify that statement ("among the simplest" or "the simplest contract-type Whist variant") or just ix-nay it.Liko81 (talk) 13:53, 12 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm the author of CardShark Hearts and CardShark Spades and disagree that Hearts is simpler than Spades. Because of the risk of someone's Shooting The Moon (taking all the tricks to give the other players 26 points), it is not enough to simply discard all high cards to avoid taking ANY tricks. You have to be able to evaluate each suit for both trick avoidance and trick taking. Keeping track of suit counts is also much more important than in Spades, at least while the Queen of Spades is still out (in Hearts) and even towards the end of a deal where leading a suit which nobody else has can result in everyone's dumping Hearts on you.
Nfordwik (talk) 14:13, 24 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


A user seems to be persistently adding content concerning Internet play and plugging a particular book. This user clearly has very strong opinions about spades and spades players. This content is blatantly inappropriate for Wikipedia. This is not just my opinion, since the changes in question have been reverted many times by many people.

To that user, I would ask that prior to reintroducing your changes, please discuss and defend your changes here so that a consensus can be reached.

Critique of the disputed content:

"Most online spaders are not good, think they are good, and are not willing to learn."

Can you imagine this in a printed encyclopedia? This is your opinion of other people. This is a put down. It is not an undisputed fact. Even if it were an undisputed fact it would not belong in an encyclopedia entry about Spades.

"Steve Fleishman changed the Spades world when he released the first of his two books"

He may have changed YOUR world.

"It introduced players to Spades the way it should be played."

It is not an encyclopedia's job to tell people how they should live their life or play their games.

"Serious players are advised to visit Fleishman's website and enjoy the plethora of free information available."

And you claim this is not a plug?!?

Please, please read the section "Wikipedia is not a propaganda machine" at this page.

You very correctly comment that independent verification is needed to praise a particular book as contributing significantly to the spades world. And definitely I agree plugs are not appropriate in wikipedia. However I do think Fleishman's books deserve to be mentioned in the Wiki in an objective way, along with a few other books that have been important. I'm a nonprofessional but avid spades player who has read four books on Spades, including Fleishman's original Spades for Winners and the follow-up, Master Spades, Joe Andrew's The Complete Win at Spades and John Galt Strichman's How Not To Lose at Spades. I have no connection to any of the authors. I completely agree with the statement that Fleishman's books have changed the spades world; the first book has a forward by champion Dustin Stout which says, essentially, that. But to broaden it a bit, what book to buy if you're learning spades depends on your level and on what you are looking for. Strichman's book has a lot of great concepts explained appealingly and well; it's simple to read, and fun, and will give you a great new perspective on your game and in particular has a great section on last-hand bidding. The Fleishman books to me have the very best explanation on technical concepts such as how to best use your spades (trumping or leading), how to finesse and when, what to lead (hint: not your aces much of the time) etc. They are both well-written and clear but they are intense and complex and only people who are very serious about the game will want to put in the time and effort. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:54, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nicely written and I agree. I have looked for information about ways to include mentions of the those very same books (because they are pretty much all considered the go-to books for the game) but haven't found anything solid yet. Unfortunately, information to source the article with is kind of difficult in general in some ways. ANd since film articles are my usual forte I'm a bit outside my depth. I mainly watch the page so that obvious vandals and goobers of the "no you always duck bags on 11 bids" variety don't accidentally sneak anything really misleading in. In reality, much of what we have in the article currently could use better sources.
But I have long wanted to bust out some copies of those books and use them to revamp the strategy section so that it is actually valid and current. Millahnna (talk) 20:33, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There should be a section on slang terms commonly used, such as "bumping," and "book" instead of "trick."

Game Play - Blind and Nil Bidding[edit]

I think blind bidding is a variation while nil/zero bidding is standard. I think this is true in the references. Sirgorpster (talk) 18:47, 27 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The common rule is no cards are passed for a regular nil but one or two cards are passed (depending on the variant) for blind nil since if the blind nil player gets the ace of spades, it is impossible for them to make nil." This text was removed, but shouldn't this information about game play be included? gujamin (talk) 18:09, 2 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Basic Game Play Clarification[edit]

I know nothing of spades. I didn't understand the sentence "There is a variation where the object is not to lose - the loser having an amusing penalty." Would this be a specific "amusing" penalty, or is it a penalty agreed upon before game play starts that tends to be amusing? I tried to find this defined elsewhere in the article and was unsuccessful. It would be helpful to clarify the sentence with additional information Gramby 05:12, 2 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The sentence is worded badly. Isn't the object of any game not to lose? As far as having amusing penalties -- it's not an intrinsic property of Spades. Any people playing any game can choose any amusing penalty for the loser. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 9 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Revisions & Restructuring[edit]

I love playing Spades and I would love to take part in a major restructuring of this Spades page. It seems as though there is a lot of information on this page, but the current layout leaves something to be desired. How do all of you feel about this idea? Iheartcorruption 04:40, 13 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that this page is in serious need of restructuring. It is not at all easy to read for someone who does not know the game and is just trying to figure out the basic rules. All of the lists of variations in bidding, scoring, game play and so on really break up the flow of the article. Perhaps a better way of structuring the article would be to completely describe the basic rules, and then have a separate section on variants. this web site does approximately that, and is in my opinion much more comprehensible than this article. Zoicon5 22:56, 2 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This sounds like a great plan, and following the layout of the page you linked to seems like an excellent idea. I propose

(1) Introduction (2) History (3) Gameplay (4) Scoring (5) Strategy (6) Variations

Ill look it over and come up with something, and anyone else that has suggestions for the structure should speak up Iheartcorruption 09:43, 3 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. The page is an unusable mess at present. What it needs most is a coherent account of the rules of one version of the game, without advice on strategy, without descriptions of variants, and without mention of etiquette. Once the reader has some idea what the rules are, these subsidiary things can follow; but while he can't obtain even that, they are useless. Maproom (talk) 13:00, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. Jon (talk) 17:35, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I gave it a whirl; duplicate variants were removed, and all but the most common variants were moved to another section, ordered by the are of the game they affect most (dealing, bidding, trump, gameplay, and scoring). I also cleaned up the intro paragraph. The next step is to further wikify it and to get some inline references.Liko81 (talk) 20:19, 7 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the restructure should continue with variations moved to the variation section. I really like the strong variation section with sub sections.Sirgorpster (talk) 18:37, 27 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Urban Rules"[edit]

The variation for "Urban Rules" states: "all rules are disregarded". This is obviously wrong. If all rules were disregarded, there would be no game. It becomes a speed contest to see who can get 7 books, but even the rules for taking books wouldn't exist. I could just as easily take a breath and say that's worth 7 books and I win. But the player next to me might say that their heart beat before my breath and so they win. -- (talk) 15:27, 9 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I changed it; the basic scoring rules are what's disregarded.Liko81 (talk) 15:22, 22 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Scoring and "going out through the bottom"[edit]

In games I've seen, only Nil and Double Nil (called "Blind Nil" in article) are available bonus hands. Also, "Deficient Ends the Game" is also called "Going out through the bottom" and is often -300. (talk) 06:20, 28 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It's driving me crazy. What is the term for the card you have that you know will set the other team? I can't remember it for anything! (talk) 04:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pruning variations and strategy[edit]

I'm removing the following content from the article:

All variations that I've never tried, suspect have never been used in any organized event, and lack citations indicating evidence to the contrary.

The entire strategy section on the grounds that much of it is wrong (or variation/situation dependent), none of it is cited, and all of it is too incomplete to be useful. (talk) 19:20, 25 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed unsupported claim.[edit]

I removed the following text:

As of 2000, Spades is considered the #1 partnership game in the United States, surpassing Bridge.[1] However, Bridge, Hearts, Skat and other trick-taking games remain popular and eclipse Spades in various regions and demographics of the U.S. and in other countries, especially in Europe.[2][1]

The citation for the first sentence does not support the claim. The article says that Spades is the most popular game on the internet, not in the United States. I removed the second statement because it does not really make a lot of sense without the first. -- JPMcGrath (talk) 01:35, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference mindzine1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference pagat1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

New Formatting[edit]

I've done some reformatting. I haven't been to this page in a long time, and I really want to thank all of you that have put time into this page to make it into this huge article. It looks fantastic and is a HUUUGE improvement over how it looked three years ago. Thank you everyone. To help out, I did some major formatting and indentation. When I first saw it an hour ago, It was all one indent, and it was really hard on the eyes. Thats my opinion though. I put some work into it (not as much as some of you have though.... you guys really know your Spades!).. so, here it is. Let me know if you're happy with it, or just hate it. I think its more legible now, but I may be biased. Thanks again to everyone that has helped out with this awesome page. Iheartcorruption (talk) 22:53, 25 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm a rabid spades player who rarely edits this page (just vandal watch). I think you've done a great job, particularly on changing the language to be more readable. I mainly edit film related articles so I don't know about standard formatting on games, but I agree it's much easier on the eyes (and you added some rules I'd never heard of, always nice); it's certainly easier to read. Well done, you.
I've been following this page for a few years now and I've always wanted to see that strategy section work. Unfortunately there's not a lot of verifiable info from valid sources we could use, from what I can tell. I guess links to sites that offer strategy (or the various books) might work, but I'm not sure that would be the appropriate to standards and such. I know that my favorite strategy site has been added inappropriately in the past (Fleishman's site, I followed that edit war with great amusement) and I've wondered how to go about including in in the external links in a way that was valid and didn't have the POV issues of the past edits. Millahnna (mouse)talk 22:57, 25 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm glad you're happy with the look, but I cannot take credit for most of the information that has been added over time. The only thing I did (today and over the years) was indent the sections, add suit images and clear up much of the language. I'll be happy to clean it up further, as well as trying to hunt down references for many of the variations. If you (or anyone for that matter obviously) could help find some sources for all the variations, then I think we'll be on our way. I'd love to make this card game page the single best one, beating out the Poker and Bridge pages, etc. Who knows, maybe get featured status one day? lol. Perhaps. Also, if anyone has any ideas for a few scenarios for graphics, I'm a professional designer and would love to put together a few helpful graphics. I think this, along with verifications, clean easy-to-understand language and exhaustive information would put us over the top. Any other ideas would be more than welcome! Iheartcorruption (talk) 05:39, 26 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll do some looking for sites including some of the variations. Flieshman's site mentions "duplicate spades" but it's more as a references for strategy you can learn in that variation so I don't think that'll be helpful. He has links I don't usually see turn up in google searches though so I'll take a look at those. I know the brothers who won the championship in 2008 (or was it 09, they won two or three years in a row) had their own spades site for a while, but it was a blogspot blog. I don't know if it could be referenced as a source itself, even though the boys are notable. But again they might have some useful links for us. I'll take a peek. Millahnna (mouse)talk 06:01, 26 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, thats awesome. I'll do some work on it tonight as well. I'll scour the web and see what's available and what we can use. Also (and this never occurred to me until I just did a search) when you enter Spades on Google, it links to this article as the second hit. Then again, most searches for anything on Google do the same thing. Iheartcorruption (talk) 08:20, 26 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think one formatting concern should be the bidding sections of the article. It seems to me that an explanation of blind bidding should come before other types, as it occurs first in actual gameplay. The bidding section reads: "A player that has already looked at their cards can bid Nil, but not blind Nil. As with blind Nil..." even though blind Nil hasn't been discussed up to this point in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 31 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Popularity Amongst the African-American Community?[edit]

Can I write a section about the popularity/History amongst the African-American community? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 9 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have trimmed the above comment but in case it is in a good faith edit but I suspect no such intention! There is no reason to have a section about a game in a different community unless there is clear evidence that the game is played using a different set of rules and this is mentioned in several RS.

Tetron76 (talk) 17:36, 9 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I ran across Spades in the early '70s when I was in the Navy. I'd say that at least 2/3 of the people playing it were Black. I'm not suggesting any connection here, just making an observation. JDZeff (talk) 18:22, 28 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think a section on the African American community would be great! I'm not qualified to write it but it would be useful because 1. Spades is very popular in the community--in churches, family barbecues etc. and 2. There are some differences, for example I believe the variant of "Joker Joker Ace Deuce" may be be more common and if so that would be worth mentioning. There is also a tradition of "trash talking" during the game which is described in some YouTube videos. The new smartphone app KandiKoatedSpades apparently has fun with this tradition though I haven't tried it yet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:19, 1 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Computer spades games[edit]

This section's purpose seems to be nothing more than a way to encourage readers to search on a specific search term, specifically, "play spades online", as if the average reader would have no clue how to use internet search.

I think this section should be removed. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else on Wikipedia. JohnAKeith (talk) 05:03, 18 September 2012 (UTC)JohnAKeithReply[reply]

Scoring Bags with Nil bids[edit]

How is it scored if a team bids Nil and 4 and the nil person gets set but the partner gets their 4 (so they have 5 tricks total)? Do they get -100 for being set and 41 (1 bag) = -60 + 1 bag? If they both bid 3 and they took 7 tricks, they would get 61 (1 bag) but if they get set, the bags aren't even considered and they would get -60. So what happens if one side of a nil bid gets set? In the first example, should the scoring be -100 + 40 and ignore the bag since the first player got set? If the first player made their nil but the the second player got only 3, would it be scored +100 -30 + 3 bags for 73 or would it be +100 -30 ignoring the bags since the player got set for 70? If they don't get the bags in the last case (which is the way most probably would score), then they really shouldn't count the bags in the first case either since they're already being penalized IMHO. Anyone want to weigh in? Please include reasoning and sources. gujamin (talk) 06:34, 9 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 28 April 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Moved — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:10, 7 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SpadesSpades (card game) – DAB from Spade and the other uses of "Spades" while the trick does get more views [[1]] the tool is probably primary by PT#2 and Spades (suit) is also common. I therefore suggest "Spades" becomes a DAB similar to Hearts (see Talk:Hearts) since there are a number of topics that aren't referred to interchangably as "Spade"/"Spades". Alternatively "Spades" could redirect to Spade (disambiguation). Crouch, Swale (talk) 16:59, 28 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.