spades How to


Welcome to what may be the most thrilling Spades play you’ve ever experienced!
Skill Spades, developed by a team of Spades experts committed to the concept that your game only gets better and better when your Partner responds and plays like a PRO. Meet Professor ProSmart, YOUR Pro Spades Partner! 
You will experience unbelievable Partner support with the Professor when playing Skill Spades.  It is easy to play, and incredibly thrilling because your partner is truly intelligent!  You bid Nil, he supports you. You’re still 1 short on your bid – he’s there to cover you. In Short, he’s just a great, smart partner that interprets the meaning of your bid -- the bids of your opponents – and strategizes and plays accordingly.  
Wait ‘til you see him bid and play Nil, and don’t be surprised when you see your higher spades scores.


Skill Spades follows Regular 4-Player, Two Sets of Partner Spades Rules. You and your partner, Professor ProSmart, play against two Bot players who are always ready to play any time you are, 24/7.  
Your game score is recorded and compared against other live players who play Skill Spades for the award of points, prizes and cash rewards. 
Games are 5 Hands, highest Score Wins. 
Standard 52 card deck. 13 Cards dealt each player. Spades are always trump. Cards are ranked from highest to lowest. There are 13 tricks to be taken. Each suit that is lead must be followed, except when a player becomes void in the suit that’s been led. When void, a player can play any card, including trumping with a spade. 
Each player bids the number of tricks it thinks it will take.  Each set of Partners’ bids are added for each hand. The combined total is the number of tricks you and your Partner, the Professor, strive to take as a team.  
Each trick that is bid and taken by you or The Professor, will add 10 points to your score.  (Any trick over your bid only adds 1 point.) 
Play rotates right to left-there is no requirement that next card played be higher than the last one. The highest card played of the suit led will take the trick – unless a Spade has trumped in, then the highest Spade played will take the trick.
Skill Spades does not offer Blind Nil bids, which are a long-shot that can unfairly over-shadow the skillful play of the other team.  

GETTING STARTED—5 things you need to note:

1.     Learn as you go, or use tutorial mode. It's Free

2.     Basic Bidding: 1-point for all Aces; 1/2 point for all Kings; 1-point for a void, ½ point for a singleton. Spades Evaluation: You need to individually evaluate your Spades; they are trump and will take a trick away from any other card on the table – except a higher Spade. They are much more valuable than all other suits.

3.     Playing the first spade is called “Breaking Spades”.  A Spade may not be led until Spades have been broken. Once broken, Spades may be played by any player. 

4.     The highest Spade played always takes the trick. If no Spade is played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit that was led. The winner of each trick leads the next play. 

5.     NIL Bid--When a player thinks it can play all of its 13 cards without taking a single trick, it may Bid ‘0’ or NIL. If successful, it Receives + 100 Points. If unsuccessful, (meaning it takes 1 or more tricks) it receives a penalty of -100 Points. 


Each Player must follow the suit that is lead, unless he or she is unable to follow suit, because they are Void in that suit. When void in a suit a player may break Spades by trumping-in, or may play any other card in its hand.
Whether the Nil bid is successful or not the Partner’s bid stands.  (Example: If partner (a.) bids and takes 6 tricks, his score is 60; if partner (b.) Bids Nil and doesn’t make his Nil bid he is penalized -100 points, the partner keeps his score and their posted team score for that hand is, therefore, -40. If Partner (b.) makes his Nil bid, then their team score is 160. (The team receives the points won or lost by the partner of the nil bid, regardless of the outcome of the Nil play.)    
When a team takes the number of tricks it has bid, that number, x10, is their score for that hand. (Example: Player bids 3, Partner bids 5, their total bid is 8. They take 8 Tricks; they receive a score of 80 for that hand.)
Overbid is to take fewer tricks than you bid. This is a “NO” “NO”.  You get stabbed with a penalty of -10 Points for each point bid. (Example: 8 Tricks are bid and only 7 are taken, Score -80.) 
Underbid: to take more tricks than you bid, you get a slap on the hand, with a penalty of 1 bag for each extra trick and only 1 point (not 10) added to your score for the “extra” trick(s) taken.   (Example: 8 is bid and 9 are taken, Score 81, and 1 Bag.) 
Bag Penalties: Each Team will be penalized 1 bag for each trick they take over their bid for that hand. At Skill Spades, if 6 bags are accumulated before the completion of the 5th hand of the game, that team receives a -50-point deduction from their score. 
It is far better to underbid than to be aggressive and overbid your hand.


“Bid what you can take-and Take what you Bid: Except: Last Hand and your losing by 50 points or more, stretch-out, bid a point or two higher and play more aggressively; maybe go for a Nil with more face cards than you would otherwise.  
If you see that opponents have under bid -- pile on the bags! 
Play over-the-edge and Enjoy It. The Professor may pull you out. 
Start playing – you’ll learn quickly through practice – and its Free. 
Trust Your Partner, Professor ProSmart, and You’ll Find Your Thrill on Skill Spades Hill! 


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