Card games have always fascinated people of all age groups and geographical regions. Whether it is about playing challenging card games such as Poker and Rummy or relatively easy games such as Spades and Solitaire, card games never seem to lose their popularity across the globe.
A popular category from the card games genre is trick-taking games. A trick-taking card game is played using a standard deck of playing cards and a series of rounds involving tricks. The objective of such games is closely related to either the number of tricks taken or the value of cards present in a trick. It may all seem confusing if you have never played any trick-taking card game, but the rules and gameplay of these games are way easier than they sound. One of the most popular trick-taking card games you may have heard of is the Spades game.
There are numerous card games similar to Spades that are based on trick-taking. If you enjoy playing such games, here’s a list, curated exclusively for you, containing six trick-taking card games similar to Spades. But before you take a look at what each game is like, you must know what Spades is and how it is played.
Also Read: 3 Easy Card Games You Can Play Online
Trick-Taking Card Game Variants
Point-trick games focus on collecting points, which you can get based on conditions and winning tricks. Like trick -winning fetches points, but in games like Piquet, leading a trick will also get you points. Games like Sheng Ji award different scores for different cards.
Plain-trick games, like Bridge, score on the number of tricks won. There are no special rules or counting of points. Other examples include Whist and Tippen, both games popular in European countries.
Trick-avoidance games like Hearts is all about avoiding tricks. Unlike other games, here, lower-valued cards are more valuable. Other games in this category include Polignac and Slobberhanes, where you have to avoid certain cards and tricks. (Jacks in the former and the Queen of Clubs in the latter).
What is Spades?
Spades is a card game that originated in the 1930s in the United States. The game’s name is based on the suit that plays the role of trump – that’s right, it’s the spades suit. The game is usually between two to four players in a partnership or individually. The objective is to make the number of tricks the player bid on before the game begins and score points.
Unlike other games such as Hearts, Oh Hell, and Bridge, where the trump is decided randomly or by the highest bidder, the spade suit is always the trump in the Spades game. The cards are ranked from highest to lowest: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Therefore any card of a higher order can beat a lower card of the same suit.
At the beginning of the game, each player receives 13 cards, and the players bid the number of tricks based on their cards, with a minimum of one trick each. The player on the dealer’s left plays the first card of choice, and the other players follow with cards from the same suit. The first partners to reach 500 points win the game.
Other Trick-Taking Card Games You Must Try
Are you bored of playing the Spades game? Here are some of the most entertaining alternatives to the Spades game.
The Call Break game is a close alternative to the Spades game with slight tweaks. Call Break can be a four-player card game using a standard deck of 52 cards.
After looking at their cards, the players must bid the number of tricks at the beginning of the game. You can play the game in five rounds, where each player has to make an equal number of tricks bid in the beginning. Calculate the score at the end of each round based on the number of tricks won.
If a player wins fewer tricks than the number they bid, the player gets a negative score. The player with the highest score at the end of five rounds is the winner.
Also Read: Call Break Scoring System Explained
You can play call break online against real players or in a physical face-to-face setting with friends and family. Beginners have the option to get the hang of the game by practicing with free games against online players. Players can also play multiple cash games and stand a chance to win cash prizes.
Teen Do Panch
Teen Do Panch or 3-2-5 is an Indian version of the Spades game popular amongst the younger generation. You can choose to play the game between three players instead of four, like in Call Break or Spades.
The game starts with each player choosing card randomly from a closed deck. The player in the 3-2-5 game with the lowest value card must win two tricks, and the player with the highest value must win five tricks, leaving the third player with the middle card to win three tricks.
The gameplay is quite similar to Spades; however, in teen do panch, the player to does the highest tricks decides the trump based on their cards. The game can be played in as many rounds as the players want. At the end of each round, the player that wins higher tricks than required can exchange cards with other players in the next round. For instance, if you win three tricks but win five tricks instead, and the player who had to win only three tricks, you can pull out two cards randomly from that player’s cards in the next round and exchange those with your worst cards.
The Euchre game also has many fans, as it is similar to the Spades game. You can play the game between four players, two on each team. However, unlike Spades, the game is relatively simple as you can play it with either 24, 25, or 32 cards.
Euchre itself has several variations in the rules and the number of players, such as the three-handed euchre. The gameplay is similar to the above game, where the key is winning tricks.
The objective is to be the first player or a team to reach the predetermined number of points by winning maximum tricks.
Another old card game that remains in the hearts of many is the Hearts game. The Hearts game was derived from the Reverse game of the 18th century. It is an individual game that you can play between three to seven players.
It also has some variations, such as omnibus hearts and cancellation hearts.
The Hearts game is a successor of reverse because, in this game, the goal is to lose certain tricks instead of winning them. The players must watch out for cards of the heart suit and the Black Maria, which is the queen of spades. The scoring of the Hearts game is also in reverse, and the player with the lowest score wins.
Also known by names such as Oh Pshaw and Nomination Whist. Oh Hell is a trick-taking card game similar to Spades but slightly different. Unlike the Spades, Call Break, or Teen Do Panch games, where winning extra tricks gives extra points. Winning extra tricks is a failure in the Oh Hell game.
In the Oh Hell game, the players must win the exact number of tricks they bid at the start of the game. You can play the game for a fixed number of deals between three to seven players and then decide the trump accordingly by drawing a random card after distributing the cards to all the players.
Last on the list, but definitely, a must-try is the Pitch game, also referred to as setback, high low jack, or auction pitch. You can play the game between three to five players, and you can either play individually or in teams of two players. Pitch includes trick bidding, and the player that bids the highest tricks is the pitcher.
Pitch is a relatively complex game if you compare it to other similar games, as the rules and scoring of the game are a little complicated. Each player has six cards, and the players can either bid or pass in their turn. The lowest bid has to be two, with successive bids higher than the preceding one. The first player that reaches a score of 7 points becomes the winner.
What is the objective of a trick-taking card game?
The objective of such games is closely related to the number of tricks you take. Examples of such plain trick-taking games like contract bridge, whist, and spades. Some games have to consider the value of the cards in taken tricks, like point trick games of pinocle and briscola and evasion games like hearts.
What are some fun trick-taking card games?
There are a lot of card games that you can play among three to four players. They are Call Break, Skat, Hearts, Pitch, Pinochle, Spar, Bridge, Spades, and many more.