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Spades Blind Nil

by | Last updated: Jul 3, 2024 | Spades Encyclopedia

One of the most essential stages when playing Spades is the bidding phase. Having a good bidding strategy can help you win many games.

At the beginning of each round, players must announce a number between 0 and 13. This number represents the tricks they think to win during that round. The bid is crucial when calculating the score.

There are 2 bids in the game with higher stakes – Nil and Blind Nil. Making those bids is a risk but can also have a high reward. This is why you need to know when is an appropriate time to declare them.

1. What is Blind Nil bid in Spades?

According to the rules of Spades, if you declare 0 tricks, you are making a Nil bid. It means that you must not take any tricks during the current round. If you are successful, your team gets 100 points. But that exact amount will be deducted from your score if you win even a single trick.

Blind Nil means to bid 0 tricks without looking at your cards. It is truly a gambling move and should not be done often. Successful Blind Nil rewards 200 points. But if you fail, your team will lose those points.

2. When to bid Nil?

Knowing how to bid most of the time will help to get the maximum of a specific game situation. But knowing when to bid Nil will definitely make you a pro player. Here are a few cases where you should consider doing it.

Shortage of trumps

You could try bidding Nil when you have one or two trump cards in your hand. If those trumps are not high-ranked, let’s say 2 to 10, you have a real chance not to take any tricks. But if you have the Ace of Spades, you are winning at least one trick for sure.

Having a weak hand

When you don’t have any face cards, it is a real possibility for your Nil bid to succeed. Therefore such a weak hand can be used as an advantage and bring 100 points to your team.

Long suit

Having 6-7 cards of a single suit (excluding spades) suggests you can make your opponents play trumps. This is a way to draw their trumps, thus not winning tricks.

Your partner bids big

Most of the Spades players underbid. The consequences of winning fewer tricks than your bid are far more severe. So if your partner bids more than 5 tricks, they should have a strong hand. Meaning you can try to bid Nil if your cards are appropriate.

3. When to bid Blind Nil?

Bidding Nil without looking at your cards is always a risky move. Your team could win a lot of points but may as well lose them. So be careful and use this strategy only in extreme situations.

Blind Nil could be used as aggressive bidding at the end of a round when you are behind your opponents. Basically, you are losing the game if you don’t try something. This may be your final attempt at closing the gap at the scoreboard.

When you accumulate 10 bags, you lose 100 points. Bidding Blind Nil may be a way to win back those points. Note that it is always dangerous going ahead of your partner. If your partner bids big, you can try your chance with a Blind Nil.

If you feel lucky, you may bid Blind Nil at the beginning of the game. You will have time to recover if things don’t work out according to plan. But this type of game strategy could have a negative impact on your partner’s morale.

4. How to protect Blind Nil bid?

This is not going to be simple. The obvious advice is to give tricks to your opponents and try everything possible not to win anything. Having a weak hand without many trumps will make it a little bit easier.

If your partner goes Blind Nil, try to lead with a high trump card. This is a strategy of shortening their trumps.

5. Blind 6 in Spades

In the Blind 6 variation of the Spades card game, a player must announce their bid before examining their cards. This decision presents the opportunity to score 120 points if the player successfully captures exactly 6 tricks. However, failing to achieve this specific number results in a loss of 120 points.

Some players contend that winning Blind 6 necessitates securing a minimum of 6 tricks, while others reduce the penalty for an unsuccessful bid to 60 points instead of 120.

Depending on your skill level and the dynamics of the game, consider experimenting with higher blind bids like Blind 7, Blind 8, etc., for increased points. However, exercise caution and evaluate the risk carefully.

Bidding Nil is an advanced Spades strategy. It could bring your team one step closer to winning the game. But also could be the reason for losing many points. So asses carefully every scenario you can think of before going Nil or Blind Nil.