2 Player Spades is one of the most amazing trick taking games that can be played with 2 players. The game is all about the predictions the players make about how many tricks they think they can make.
The players who take very few as well as the players who take too many number of tricks are penalized too.
Spades is generally played in teams of 4 players but this version allows two players spades game. So if you have a partner with whom you can play, go ahead and see how to play two players spade.
Objective- To Be the First Player to Score 500 Points
- Total Number of Players – 2 players
- Number of Cards – Standard 52 card deck, no jokers
- Rank of Cards – 2 (low) – Ace (high), Spades always trump. The cards of each suit are ranked from highest to lowest: A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.
- Game Type – Trick taking
- Game Audience – Adults
Let’s start from the basic step of any card game which is setup. The game starts with shuffling the deck & a player draws the top card from the pile. Then player decides if he/she wants to keep the card or not. If they keep it, then they have to place the second card face down in a discard pile. However, if the player decides not to keep the first card, he places it face down in a discard pile.
The second player then performs the same process with the next two cards in the deck. And this process continues until the entire deck of cards has been collected.
So, by the end of this each player will have 13 cards with them. What about the remaining 26 cards? These cards are kept aside & not used in the game.
How to Deal
The fun part about 2 Players spade is that there is no deal in the game. First the cards are shuffled and then the two players will take turns in building their hand of 13 cards with one card at a time.
The first player takes the card from top of the file and can either take it or place it aside faced up to form the discard pile.
In case the player keeps that card to themselves, the next card is directly faced up and forms the discard pile. The same if followed by the second player.
The player 2 draws a card and can either keep it or discard it. In case they keep it, the next card has to go to the discard pile. The same method is continued until the players have 13 cards each.
There is only one round of bidding in this card game. All the players see their hand and then choose the bid they will be making for tricks. Note that, in this game, spades are always trump and the non-dealer bids first. The bid can range from 0 to 13 tricks.
When a player bids 0, which means that they believe they cannot take any tricks, it is called going nil. If this kind of bid is successful, then special points are allotted. Each opponent has to bid, that is the number of tricks he expects from the total of 13 possible tricks.
In case a player thinks they can take all 13 tricks, then this bid is called as Shooting the Moon. Here too, if successful, special points for each trick are awarded. The winner of one trick leads to the next.
But the relaxing part in 2 Players spade is that the players do not have to over bid each other. The players can choose for how many tricks they think they can take. The bids have to be written down.
Also read: Five-Card Stud: The Trending Poker Game
Before a player draws their first card, they can bid double zero, also known as blind nil. After the player has bet on nil twice, he can look at his cards and discard up to three by replacing them by randomly drawing from previously discarded cards. If the player is succesful in doing this then they end up winning 200 points bonus. And what if they fail? Well, they will have to accept a penalty of 200 points.
How to Play Spades
Non-dealer player goes first. The game begins with choosing a card and playing it in the center. Note that Spades cannot be played until the suit is broken.
And the Spades are broken when a player cannot follow suit or has only spades left in their hand. If they can’t follow suit, then they can any card they wish to. So you must follow suit.
If they can, the opposite player has to follow the same suit. But if they cannot follow the suit, they can play any card they want. The player who plays the highest card in the suit or the highest spade wins the trick.
The player who took the trick plays next. The game continues in the same way until all the 13 cards of the players have been played. Deal goes in an alternate fashion between the 2 players.
Related keywords: highest card, suit wins, suit led
What is Spades Breaking?
In the game this term is used when a player play spade instead of following the suit. This is called as spade breaking. Also when player has no other option than leading spade, spade is broken.
For every trick that helped a player meet their bid, the player gets 10 points. So, if a player bids 9 and takes 9 tricks, then they get 90 points for each trick. While additional tricks are worth extra each point.
If a player wins the trick beyond their bid, they are called as Bags and they are 1 point each. So if a player bids 9 but instead takes 11 tricks, then they earn 92 points. For example, if the player’s bet is seven and he does seven tricks, the score would be 70
However, there is something you should be careful about. For every 10 bags taken, a player loses 100 scoring points. According to the “sandbag” rules, every time a player wins 10 bags (accumulated during a game), a player receives a penalty of 100 points.
When a player fails to meet their bid, 10 points for each trick bid are deducted. So if a player made 9 bids but could only take 5 of them, then they loose 40 points.
If a player bids 0 or goes nil, and is successful in doing so, they get 100 points. But if they fail to take zero tricks, the extra bids are counted as bags.
When a player bids 13, i.e., shoots the moon, and are successful in doing so, then they get 250 points.
In case a player who shoots the moon fails to take all the 13 tricks, then the tricks taken by them are counted as bags. So if a player bids 13 and takes just 9 tricks, then they earn 9 points.
But again, if these bags count 10, then 100 points are deducted from their score.
Who Wins 2 Player Spades?
The player who first reaches the 500 points that is highest number of tricks wins 2 Player Spades.
That was it all about 2 Players Spades. I hope you have all found the article of use and could easily understand how to play the game along with the game rules.
In case you have any questions about this traditional game, feel free to shoot in the comment section below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
As with any widely used game with such a flexible nature, Spades has many variations, ranging from significant gameplay changes to small adjustments to suit individual or family preferences.
- Deficient Hand: Deficient hand is when a player is dealt with hand which contains cards with one or no spades or no face cards. This is known as a mislead. A player who wishes to announce a misdeal decision due to a deficient hand must discard his hand face to face so that other players can review and declare “misdeal” before he or his team has bid. Declaring a foul hand offense is optional; a player may attempt to bet “zero” when that hand is dealt.
- Face-up deal: In this variation, the dealer can show up to four face-up cards per player, as long as the same number is revealed for each player. This revealing of the cards can also trigger the psychological warfare of the bidding and the subsequent game known as power checks, but sometimes dealers make open deals that set up the deck to see if the cut has interrupted their preparations.
- Deuce Starts: No matter which player has dealt before, the one with 2 spades is always the one to lead the game with the card of the same suit. Similar rule is applied in the hearts cards game.
- Kitty: Kitty is basically the collection of leftover cards which is placed at the center. This is done when in a game with players where cards cannot be dealt evenly. So, no cards are removed from a standard 52 card deck. Whoever gets the 2 ♣, or alternatively the player with the highest bid (the tiebreaker is the first to bid), picks up the kitten before the bid begins, picks it up in their hand, and then places the same number of Cards. In case, additional cards are included to the kitty and the player who picks up kitty discards a card then it is counted as a trick.
- Sum of bids: This variation is taken from a similar game known as Oh hell. It says that sum of all the bids made during the game should not be equal to the tricks. Why this rule? It ensures that at least one player or a team is set or bagged. Another variant of the game allows each player to optionally increase their bid by one point after all players have bid, but before the game begins. A bid reduction is never allowed as soon as bids have been submitted.
- Nil: A player who has already looked at his cards can bid nil. The bidder’s goal is not to do any tricks during the hand. The player’s partner can make a normal bid and then help him out by trying to do tricks that the zero bidder would do otherwise. In solo / ruthless spades, successful zero bids are rare because there is no partner available to take the highest cards from the bidder. If the zero bidder does not do any tricks, he receives the zero bonus; in case of failure, the player or team will deduct this bonus.
- Double Nil: If two player in partnership bid nil succesfully then the team’s nil bonuses are doubled. However, if one player or both fails to make their bid then there are no penalties.
- Blind bidding: Virtually all games contain a variation that can occur during the bidding process; one or more players who have not yet looked at their cards can decide how many tricks to perform. When a player is blind bidding and that player’s bid exactly equal then they will be rewarded with bonus points. And if not, the bonus score is minus from the player’s team score. Blind bidding is limited to seven. Therefore, betting a blind of 8 or more is contrary to the standard game and is not allowed. Generally this phenomenon called blind bidding is usually allowed when bidding team is behind by minimum 100 points.
- Blind Nil: The most common blind bid by players is not to do a single trick while playing the hand. Bidding from scratch offers an additional bonus in addition to blind bidding. A failed zero offer, similar to a failed blind, results in the bonus being deducted from the score.
- Double Blind Nil: It is possible for both players in a partnership to bid Blind Nil. If successful, the team wins the game outright or receives double the combined bonus. However, if one or both players do the tricks, there is no penalty.
- Passing Or Exchaning Cards: You might not see players passing or exchanging cards with each other when someone play spades. This is because it is optional. Though during some difficult situation such as when a blind bid has been made passing is used. To somehow compensate for this difficulty, an association in which a player has bid Nil or Blind Nil may decide to pass two cards between the players; the most common arrangement is one card for normal nil and two cards for blind nil.
- Partnership bidding: In this variation partners can “speak” during the bidding round and bid as an association and not as individuals. The partnership which hasn’t made their deal gets the chance to bid first. This can be used as an advantage by the opposing team in crafting their own bid. By the way, total number of tricks bids need not to be equal to 13. Players can discuss how many tricks they think they can do with each other, but any discussion that identifies a particular card or the strength of a particular suit constitutes “crossboarding” and results in a bad deal, so the penalty will be to pass. The Agreements can go left to add a predetermined number of “bags” to the offending society to score a penalty of up to 100 points.