It’s usually played with 4-players in fixed partnership. Standard 52-cards deck is used. Card ranking Highest to lowest> A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Objective is to score 500 points by bidding & winning bids. Game is played in clockwise direction.
Spades is always trump
First dealer is chosen randomly and thereafter the deal passes to the dealer’s left after each round. Cards are distributed starting with dealers left so that every player has 13 cards. After deal, each player bids the number of tricks they expect to take. The player to the left of the dealer starts the bidding and bidding continues in clockwise direction, ending with the dealer.
‘Nil’ & ‘Blind Nil’ Bid » A bid of ‘0 is called ‘nil’. A player can choose to bid ‘0’ without looking at cards and its called ‘Blind Nil’. These bids give partnership a bonus if met otherwise it penalize them. Both bonus points earned & Penalty in ‘Blind nil’ is double as compared to ‘nil’
Each player plays 1 card in each trick (Total trick : 13 per round). The player on the dealer’s left makes the opening lead by playing a single card of their choice (Except : Spades). Other players play subsequent card of their choice for trick in clockwise. They must follow suit, if they can, otherwise they may play any card, including a trump.
Breaking Spades » Players can’t lead a trick with spades unless its played in another trick to win it by trump or player has nothing else left.
Round is played till final trick. If atleast bid is scored as a team points scored are 10 multiplied by bid. If ‘nil’ bid is won, team scores additional 100 points or looses 100 points if lost. If ‘blind nil’ bid is won, team scores additional 200 points or looses 200 points if lost. Total Points scored = (10 * (+1/-1 for won/lost bid) * (Total team bid)) + (Extra Hands) (+X/-X for won/lost ‘nil bid’) - (sandbagging penalty)
e.g 1. If player X bid 3, partner Y bids nil. If hands made by X are 4 and Y is 0. Total points = 30 (Bid) + 1 (Extra hands) + 100 (Nil bonus) = 131
Sandbagging Rules » Collecting hands more than bid is called sandbagging. Every 10 extra hands during gameplay penalize 100 points”