5. Continual underbidding
In life, there’s nothing wrong with playing things safe. In Spades, however, you’re guaranteed to draw the contempt of your opponents for continually making two or more books than you bid. It’s all fun and games until someone bags out.
4. Difference over rules
You’ve gotta establish the house rules from jump — especially when playing with folks from different backgrounds, regions, and levels of experience with internet gaming. Are deuces wild? Which is the Big Joker? Sandbags or nah? You really gonna bid nil, like, in real life? Sort this stuff out before the game begins or it might be settled less than peacefully after the fact.
3. Failure to make books bid
Spades is one of very few competitive sports in which partners are more likely to squabble with each other than with opponents. This game is equal parts strategy and probability, but success comes down to teamwork, synergy, harmony — which is impossible when teammates’ bids have the alignment of a hunchback.
2. Talking across the board
C’mon, son. You know once cards are dealt and bids are placed, you can’t communicate with your partner about any aspect of gameplay. Which means no pointing at your earring to indicate diamonds, no patting your chest for hearts, and for Chrissake, no “hints” about what’s in anyone’s hand. Unless you want to see these hands.
If you self-learned how to play Spades during quarantine, in the comfort of your own home, you may not understand the repercussions of this illegal play. But even leaders know when it’s appropriate to follow suit — especially when not doing so could result in a loss of three books and being chewed out and disowned by your teammate. (Why do people even play this game?!)
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