Spades terms

SandbagThe same as bag.

Bag The same as overtrick. An trick over the bid (contract).


Example: You bid 5. If you then win 7 tricks, that means that you have made 2 bags (overtricks).

Bid The stated number of tricks that a player commits to winning.
Bid nil To state that you will take no tricks. Bidding nil is only permitted in certain versions of Spades, and when it is permitted it usually come with its own set of rules for scoring.
Blind bid Blind is a common term in several card- and casino games, like in Poker. It basically means that there are some cards played that you can’t see. Read more at

Blind bid in Spades is making a bid without looking at your cards first. In some variants of Spade, a player that is lacking behind can elect to do this and will receive double points if he is successful.

Blind nil bid Making a nil bid without looking at your cards first.


Double nil is a synonym for blind nil bid.

Break When you break spades, it means that you play the very first spade in a hand.
Cover This term is used when Spades is played between pairs. If your partner bids nil, you need to try to cover him by helping him to avoid winning any trick.
Cut To cut is to play a spade when another suit is lead suit. You are only allowed to do this when you have no cards from the lead suit in your hand.


Playing spade when another suit is lead suit is also known as trump and ruff. The word ruff is more commonly used by bridge players than spades players.


Cutting with a spade higher than a previous player’s spade is called over-cutting, over-ruffing or over-trumping.

Double nil A blind nil
Mirrors This is a variant of the game Spades. Each player bids the number of spades in their hand. If you have no spades, you bid nil.
Nil Bidding nil is bidding to take zero tricks.
Ruff See cut
Sandbag The same as bag.
Set If you fail to fulfill what you bid for, you are set.


Example #1: You bid 4, but only win 3 tricks. You are set.


Example #2: You bid nil, but take one trick. You are set.

Singleton When you hold only one card of a specific suit, that card is a singleton.
Suicide This is a variant of Spades. It is only played by pairs, and one person in each pair must bid nil.
Table talk Table talk is any talk that may influence your partners bidding or play. It is not permitted.
Trick Jointly, one card played by each player forms a trick. The trick is won by the player playing the highest card (with spades always being trump).
Void When you are void in a suit, it means that you are not holding any cards of that suit.