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The goal in spades is to be the first to score the agreed-upon number of points (default -- 300 points). Points are earned by winning tricks according to bids declared prior to playing.
Playing the Game
Non-dealer leads any card except a spade as the first trick. Opponent must follow suit if able; if unable to follow suit, opponent may play any card.
A trick that has a spade is won by the highest spade played; if no spade is played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of each trick leads in the next trick. Spades may not be led until either some player has played a spade (on the lead of another suit), or the leader had nothing except spades left in hand. Playing the first spade is referred to as "breaking" spades.
Overtricks are often referred to as 'bags'. When you create a table, you can select 'Sandbagging' rule -- it's a default option. Sandbagging comes with the following 3 options:
With '-10 for each' sandbagging option for each bag taken, a penalty of 10 points is deducted from the score.
Example of sandbagging rule: Player Joe bids 5 tricks. If he wins 7 tricks, he'd score extra 52 points but also lose 20 because of 2 overtricks. Net increase in Joe's score: 32 points.
With '-100 for 10' sandbagging option 100 point penalty is applied when the number of overtricks (e.g., over several hands) reaches 10.
With '-50 for 5' sandbagging option 50 point penalty is applied when the number of overtricks (e.g., over several hands) reaches 5.
Points for tricks:
Strategy in Head-to-Head Spades
In Head-to-Head Spades you need to achieve two main objectives during the game:
(1) get tricks per your own bid
(2) set the opponent and/or give bags to opponent
In other words, once you get tricks per your own bid then you should strive to get opponent go over his/her bid so that opponent gets penalized for overtricks.
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