Online Spades – How do you communicate?

Spades strategies for getting help winning books.

I bet many of you seen the name of this article and went, is he promoting cheating?  Sorry if this turned into clickbait.

We do not promote talking or backchanneling in Spades.  What I am referring to is you are announcing to everyone what cards you have in your deck when you play.  Often there are subtle differences in showing your power to everyone.

When playing Spades online, please do not cheat, do not text or voice chat.

Spades is all about making the most out of what you have and enforcing your will.  Part of that is helping your teammate enforce their will and having them enable yours.

Example 1: You have the king and the queen.  They are essentially the strength as you own them both, but there is a huge difference.

Say your teammate has the Ace of clubs, and you have the Queen of clubs and the King of clubs.  You are throwing out the first card, and the question is: which do you throw out?

If you throw out the Queen, your teammate might think the last person has the King, and will be forced to throw out the Ace.  This is the type of subtle difference that turns 3 books into 2. In the same regard, throwing the Queen might trick your opponent into thinking their teammate has the King or Ace.  So this all relies on predicting what others have which is a skill in itself I’m not going to begin to talk about.

Example 2: Another example of telegraphing goes with the cards you throw out.  Say you bid 5, pretty ambitious, and you throw out an Ace of Diamonds and win. The next round you throw out a 5 of hearts and of lose that book as anticipated.  What did you just tell people?

  • Teammate: Feed me hearts
  • Opponent:  There goes the rest of my heart books I planned for

Now you potentially have your teammate playing Hearts every chance they get

On the other side, you have your opponent saving their hearts hoping you run out of Spades.

Example 3: Say you have a 7 of diamonds, a Jack of Diamonds, and a King of Diamonds, and it is early in the game.  You know the King of Diamonds is not the strongest Diamond but you want it to be. You might be able to tell the other team to throw out their Ace(if they have it) by using the Jack.  If you used the 7 of diamonds you would not be threatening enough to do so.

That is Fear, and opportunity, all communicated in the same move.  

win in spades

My question is, how do you tell everyone?


1996 - infinity. The ringer in every spades tournament.

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