Card games have always been fascinating for 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. Trick-taking card games are 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 entertaining card games that are similar to the Spades game. 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
What is Spades?
Spades is a card game that originated in the 1930s in the United States. The name of the game is based on the suit that plays the role of trump – that’s right, it’s the spades suit. The game is usually played between two to four players in a partnership or individually. The objective is to make the number of tricks the player bid before the game began and score points.
Unlike other games such as Hearts, Oh Hell, and Bridge, where the trump is decided at random or by the highest bidder, the spade suit is always the trump in the Spades game. The cards are ranked from highest to lowest as 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
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. Essentially, call break is also played between four players 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. The game is played in five rounds, and each player has to make at least an equal number of tricks bid at the start of the game. At the end of each round, the score is calculated 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 declared 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. The game is played between only three players as opposed to four players in call break or Spades. The game starts with each player choosing card randomly from a closed deck. The player 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 make 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 must win three tricks but win five tricks instead, and the player who had to win five tricks won only three tricks, you can pull out two cards randomly from that player’s cards in the next round and exchange those cards with your worst cards.
The Euchre game, too, has many fans as it is quite similar to the Spades game. The game is played between four players that play as a team of two. However, unlike Spades, the game is relatively simple as it is played with either 24, 25, or 32 cards. Euchre itself has several variations in the rules and the number of players, such as three-handed euchre.
The gameplay is similar to the above game, where the players are required to win 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. Hearts is an individual game, played between three to seven players. It also has some variations, such as omnibus hearts and cancellation hearts.
The Hearts game is called 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 reversed, 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 has slight differences. Unlike the Spades, Call Break, or Teen Do Panch games, where winning extra tricks gives extra points, winning extra tricks is a fail in the Oh Hell game.
In the Oh Hell game, the players must win the exact number of tricks as they bid at the start of the game. The game is played for a fixed number of deals between three to seven players, and the trump is decided by drawing a random card after the cards have been distributed 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. The game is played between three to five players, which can either be played individually or in teams of two players. Pitch includes trick bidding, and the player that bids the highest tricks is called the pitcher.
Pitch is rather a relatively complex game compared to other similar games as the rules and scoring of the game are a little complicated. Each player is given six cards, and the players can either bid or pass in their turn. The lowest bid has to be two, with the successive bids higher than the preceding one. The first player that reaches a score of 7 points is declared the winner.
These trick-taking card games are based around the same gameplay, but the slight changes in the rules of different games make them more thrilling. The best thing about these card games is that you can always play them offline with friends whenever you get together. You can also play some of these games, such as Call Break online, against real players. Include these trick-taking card games in your list during your next game night and watch how the fun unfolds.