Spadester

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Spadester.com Card Games

Spadester.comSpadester.com offers everything for Spades you normally encounter on the more famous poker sites tutorials, strategic info, live games both free and for pay -- the main difference here is the lack of variety. This may say more about the game of Spades than it does about the website, still there are only three games played: Individual, Cut-throat, and Partnership. The site features a dictionary aimed at beginners, featuring definitions for terms like "bet", "nil", and "trump". While the dictionary feature may prove useful to some, I breezed through to the User Guide and was disappointed to find it was mainly a guide to the site's software, and not a guide to playing Spades. For that kind of information there is a forum provided to interface with other users.

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For those who don't know, here are some Spades basics. Spades is a popular contract bidding game very similar to Hearts or to the domino game Texas 42. You win or lose Spades based on a point system (the standard game would be scored "first to 500" or "first to 1000") which in turn is based on the correct estimation of how many "tricks" (individual card matchups) you or your team can win per hand. As is the standard for games like this, guessing too few or too many tricks will hurt your score in various ways. As the name implies, spades are the ultimate "trump" suit in the game, and can beat any other card.

Spadester.com offers three versions to play.

Individual Spades

This is a four-player game, and is considered by many to be the "standard" game of Spades for instance, this would be a great place to start for beginners. There's less outside-the-cards strategy to learn in Individual, and since you are playing alone the game forces you to focus on your bidding skills.

At the start of the game, each player gives their bid, or the number of tricks they can win in the upcoming hand, from zero to thirteen. At spadester.com, the play then begins with the player to the dealer's left who must open with any non-spade card, where traditionally the game is opened by whichever player possesses the two of hearts.

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Take your time and learn your bidding if you can get a handle on accurate bidding you will be several steps ahead of the game. Spadester.com operates under "sandbag" rules a sandbag refers to a trick won above your bid. Also known as a "bag", these tricks are only worth a single point, and when a player earns over ten bags he is punished by the loss of 100 points example: if you've bid 4 tricks and you win 6, you will be rewarded with 40 points for the 4 tricks you bid properly on, as well as 2 points for the 2 bags you bid on for a score of 42. It may seem like it takes a long time to earn 10 or more bags, but this pitfall sneaks up on you. A good reason to learn to play spades at this site may be their point system the bags will make you a better and more efficient bidder while the open-ended game ending point totals will allow the player to set his own rules. You can play a short 200 point game or something more epic.

Perfect your Individual game and you may be ready for the 3 player game known better as "Cut-throat".

Cut-throat Spades

The big difference between standard Individual play and the Cut-throat game is in bidding. Whereas Individual is played by four players, Cut-throat trims this number to three and deals out 17 cards per hand while ditching the remaining card for each hand. Bidding now has a range of 0-17, and users at Spadester have the option of playing "true Cut-throat", where the total of bids before each hand is not allowed to equal 17 ensuring that no hand will end with all three players meeting their bids. This is just an option at Spadester, like game time length or point total necessary to win.

You could consider this game a graduate-level course in Spades the bidding is still done by each individual player but is more complicated and nuanced, introducing the notion of bidding based on other player's bids. This game also raises the stakes in terms of bags by allowing users to limit the bid total to 16 plenty of bags to go around during Cut-throat.

Partnership Spades

This is played with two teams of two players each. As in traditional on-the-table Spades games, partners "sit" across from each other at Spadester. Partnership spades is fun this is a great game to play with dates or new friends, as the game play always fades quickly behind conversation and familiarity. The game is played according to standard rules and there's nothing new to learn in Partnership, except how to read and play along with your partner.

As talking "over the table" is not generally allowed in card games (for instance, "How many tricks do you think you can win, partner?") this game places a premium on your communication skills. Players who become more familiar with their partner will naturally be able to pick up on nuance and strategy -- two important features of your game which grow more important during difficult bets.

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Spadester.com features a friend referral bonus on top of a couple of other bonuses while also offering free play to learn the game. With as many different game levels as there are levels of players on the site, and considering the wide variety of game experience you can have, now might be the right time to learn the game of Spades.

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