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Spades scoring – what you need to know

by | Last updated: Jan 31, 2023 | Spades Encyclopedia

Scoring is an aspect of the Spades rules that you should most definitely pay close attention to. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about the regular game or other variation, let’s say Spades with 3 players. You have to learn the scoring rules system in detail.

Understanding how you get or lose points in Spades is as necessary as knowing how to play the game itself. We will focus on explaining the different outcomes when calculating the score for the Spades Pairs mode.

1. When a team makes their bid

The bidding stage determines the points at the end of each round. When a team successfully wins the exact amount of tricks they bid, they get 10 times the points. For example, if a team bid 6 tricks combined and they manage to win it, they will have 60 points.

A team has to make its combined bid to score points. Meaning that it’s ok for a player who bids 3 tricks to win only 2 as long as the other player on their team wins one more trick than his initial bid.

2. When a team overbids

Overbidding is when a team wins more points than its bid. If this happens, the team will still score points, but any additional tricks will be counted as bags.

If a team bids 5 tricks but wins 6, it will score 50 points plus 1 bag because of the overbid. Collecting 10 bags will reduce the overall score by 100 points.

This also applies to the 2-player Spades.

3. When a team underbids

The game situation when a team wins less points than its bid is called underbidding. In that case, the penalty is to reduce the team’s score with points equal to 10 times the bid.

If a team bids 6 tricks but manages to win only 5, it will get a -60 points penalty.

4. Nil and Blind Nil points

These are 2 bids in Spades that differ from the regular ones. When playing Spades Pairs, the Nil and Blind Nil bids are individual. So if a player bids Nil, that doesn’t mean the team has to win 0 tricks but only the player who did it.

A successful Nil bid is rewarded with 100 points. However, that amount will be reduced if it fails.

Blind Nil is a strategy with high risk, so use it only in certain situations. It can get you 200 points, but in case you are unsuccessful, you will lose 200 points.

5. Winning the game

When playing at VIP Spades, the first team with 200 points wins the game. On the other hand, a team can lose with a score of -150 points.

6. Score sheet

Here is a simple score sheet that you can use to keep track of the points. It’s useful when you are not playing online. Download the pdf file and print it at your convenience. Click on the image below.

Spades Score Sheet
If you are still new to the game, check out the Spades basics article. Create an account for free and start playing against some of the best players online.

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