How to Have the Luck of the Irish by Being Spades Savvy

This is the 10th, and designated last, hand of a tournament game. Whichever team is ahead after this hand will win the game. You are bidding 4th and the score is 498 (8 bags) for your team, and 448 (8 bags) for the opponents. What should you bid with the hand shown?
North: 2
West: 4

East: 4
South: (?)

4 5 10 4 7 8 3 5 6 J 4 7 10


Obviously, you need to either bid nil and try to outscore the opponents, or bid 1 and try to bag them, right? Well, sometimes the obvious can be deceiving.

Examine what happens if you make a “nutty” 2 bid in this situation.

If both teams make their bids, you will win 538/9 to 529/8

If the opponents set your bid, they will bag out, and you will win 458 to 430 something.

If the opponents bag your team, they will get set, and you will win 440 something to 368.


I call this the Double Whammy Autowin Bid, and it is the most powerful bid in Spades.

By intentionally making a bid that you have absolutely no expectation of being able to make, the opponents are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

When you make this bid, the opponents will just sit there trying to figure out what to do, when in fact there is nothing to do. There is no reason to even play the hand.

If you think about the score situation in the above example, you will see that the 2 bid wins the game NO MATTER WHAT CARDS YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND!!! That means that you could make the bid without even looking at your cards. (Remember when I said something about the score being more important than your cards and you didn’t believe me?)

The Double Whammy Autowin Bid is as good as bidding can get, and once you make one of these bids, the smile on your face will be your proof that it’s true.

Remember, try to think of Spades as a game of risk and reward, rather than as a game of cards, and soon you will be a force to be reckoned with in the world of Spades.

Good luck and happy Gaming!

Read the best in tips and techniques from expert Spades player
John Strichman author of How NOT to Lose at Spades.

Play Championship Spades Now

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