How To Play 3 Man Spades

James Lopez
July 31, 2023
How To Play 3 Man Spades


How To Play 3 Man Spades: 3-Man Spades is a captivating and fast-paced variation of the classic Spades card game, specifically designed for three players. With its unique challenges and strategies, this version provides a delightful gaming experience for friends and family gatherings. In 3-Man Spades, players bid on the number of tricks they expect to win, aiming to fulfill their bid during the rounds.

The game retains the core mechanics of traditional Spades, where spades are always the trump suit, but it introduces some modifications to adapt to the reduced number of players. The smaller card pool ensures that each player receives a substantial hand, creating an exciting and competitive atmosphere.

This guide will walk you through the rules and gameplay of 3-Man Spades, providing a step-by-step explanation of how to deal, bid, and play. You’ll learn about the importance of communication, strategic bidding, and understanding the dynamics between the three players.

3-Man Spades encourages thoughtful decision-making, sharp observation, and careful planning, making it a wonderful pastime for card game enthusiasts of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned Spades player or new to the game, this guide will equip you with everything you need to dive into the thrilling world of 3-Man Spades and enjoy countless hours of fun with your friends or family. So, gather your playing cards and let’s get ready to embark on a memorable Spades adventure!

How To Play 3 Man Spades

What cards to take out in 3 man spades?

Cards: The game is played with a standard pack with two distinct jokers; the twos of clubs and hearts are removed from the pack leaving 52 cards. The two jokers are the highest trumps.

In a 3-man spades game, the standard deck of 52 cards is distributed evenly among three players, with one card left undealt. This results in each player receiving 17 cards. The objective of the game is to win as many tricks as possible by playing higher-ranking cards of the same suit, with spades being the trump suit.

To create a balanced and enjoyable game, it’s important to remove some cards from the deck before dealing. A common practice is to remove all the cards ranked 2 through 8 of all suits. By doing this, you retain the higher-ranking cards and spades, which tend to create more strategic and exciting gameplay.

Removing the low-ranking cards streamlines the game and reduces the chances of getting stuck with low cards that cannot win tricks. Players will have better hands to strategize and compete for tricks.

After removing the cards 2 through 8 of all suits, each player will have 13 cards, ensuring a more engaging and manageable gameplay experience. With a reduced deck, players can focus on playing their higher cards and spades strategically, leading to a more thrilling game of spades.

By following this card removal strategy, you can enjoy a competitive and enjoyable 3-man spades game with your friends or family.

Who goes first in spades with 3 players?

Play starts with the person to the left of the dealer. 2. Spades may not be led until they are broken. A player who only has spades may lead with a spade even if spades have not been broken.

In a 3-player spades game, the rules for determining who goes first are relatively simple. Before the game begins, players should decide amongst themselves who will be the dealer. The dealer is responsible for shuffling the deck and dealing the cards to each player.

Once the cards have been dealt, the player to the dealer’s left will go first. This player leads the first trick by playing any card from their hand. The play proceeds clockwise from there.

In the following tricks, the player who won the previous trick leads the next one. The leading player can choose any card from their hand to play, and the other players must follow suit if possible. If they do not have cards of the same suit, they can play any card, including a spade if they wish.

Remember that in spades, spades are always trump, meaning they outrank cards of other suits. So, if a spade is played in a trick, to win the trick, players must play a higher spade card if they have one.

The gameplay continues like this until all the cards in each player’s hand are played. The player with the most tricks at the end of the round is the winner of that round.

How do you play spades with 3 people with jokers?

In 3-player games, no cards are removed, and each player is dealt 18 cards to make 18 tricks. A 5-player spades with jokers game after taking out all the four deuces from the deck. Apart from 3-player games, each player is dealt 13 cards in all other games, and there are 13 tricks.

Playing spades with three people and jokers can add an interesting twist to the game. The standard rules of spades apply, but the inclusion of jokers introduces a few modifications to gameplay:

1. Scoring: The scoring system remains the same. Players earn points for the number of tricks they’ve won, and penalties are applied if they fail to meet their bid.

2. Card Ranking: The card ranking remains the same, with spades being the highest-ranking suit and jokers being the highest-ranking cards in the game, trumping all other cards.

3. Card Distribution: Deal 18 cards to each player. You can remove some low-ranking cards (2 through 8) to make it more manageable.

4. Joker Rules: Jokers are considered the highest trumps in the game. They can be played at any time during a trick, and they will win the trick, regardless of other cards played. However, if two or more players play jokers in the same trick, the first joker played will win the trick.

5. No Blind Nil: In the standard version of spades, there is a blind nil option where players can bid to earn extra points. With three players, blind nils are not possible, so they should be omitted from the game.

Remember to establish a bidding and partnership system, as you would in a regular spades game. The player who wins the bid leads the first trick, and the game proceeds in a clockwise direction. The player with the most points at the end of a predetermined number of rounds or points is the winner.

What is the minimum bid in 3 man spades?

The Bidding

There is only one round of bidding, and the minimum bid is One. Every player must make a bid; no player may pass. No suit is named in the bid, for as the name of the game implies, spades are always trump.

In 3-man spades, the minimum bid is generally set at 3. The reason behind this is to ensure that there is a minimum level of challenge and excitement in the game. With three players, if the minimum bid were set at 1 or 2, it would often result in very cautious and low-risk gameplay, which could lead to less strategic decision-making and a less engaging experience.

By setting the minimum bid at 3, players are encouraged to be more active and competitive during the bidding process. It also allows for a greater variety of possible bids and strategies.

The bidding process in 3-man spades typically involves players declaring the number of tricks they believe they can win in a given round. The total number of tricks bid by all three players combined must be equal to the number of tricks that can be won in a round, which is 13.

Here’s an example of a bidding round:

  • Player A: “I bid 4.”
  • Player B: “Pass.”
  • Player C: “I bid 3.”

In this scenario, the total bids equal 7 (4 + 3). Since there are only 13 tricks available in the round, the minimum bid of 3 ensures that players need to actively compete and strategize to reach the total number of tricks.

Setting the minimum bid at 3 makes the game more dynamic, challenging, and fun for all players involved.

How To Play 3 Man Spades

What is the probability of exactly 3 spades?

Now, if third card is drawn without replacement, then the total remaining cards are 50 and the remaining spade cards are 11, therefore, the probability that the card is a spade card is. Therefore, the probability of getting 3 spades is 0.0129.

To calculate the probability of getting exactly 3 spades in a 3-man spades game, we need to consider the total number of ways we can get 3 spades and divide it by the total number of possible hands.

Total number of ways to get exactly 3 spades:

  • Choose 3 spades out of the 13 spades in the deck: C(13, 3) = 286 (combination formula)
  • Choose 10 non-spades out of the 39 non-spades in the deck: C(39, 10) = 3,904 (combination formula)
  • Multiply the two combinations: 286  3,904 = 1,116,544

Total number of possible hands for a 3-man spades game:

  • Each player receives 13 cards from the 52-card deck, so we have C(52, 13)  C(39, 13)  C(26, 13) = 798,511,488 possible hands (combination formula).

Now, we can calculate the probability of getting exactly 3 spades:

Probability = (Number of ways to get exactly 3 spades) / (Total number of possible hands)

Probability ≈ 1,116,544 / 798,511,488 ≈ 0.001398 ≈ 0.14%

So, the probability of getting exactly 3 spades in a 3-man spades game is approximately 0.14%. This means that in a random deal, there’s a very low chance of ending up with exactly 3 spades in your hand.

How many cards do you get in 3 player spades?

Spades cards

When playing Spades as a card game for 3 players, you can either use a standard 52-card deck or add 2 jokers to it. Depending on that, each player will get either 17 or 18 cards. If you choose to play without the jokers, a single card will remain unused after the dealing each round.

In 3-player spades, each player is dealt 17 cards from a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The total number of cards distributed is 3 players x 17 cards/player = 51 cards.

The dealing process involves the following steps:

1. Shuffling: Before starting the game, the deck of 52 cards is thoroughly shuffled to ensure randomness in card distribution.

2. Decide the Dealer: The players can agree on who will be the first dealer. The dealer position can rotate clockwise in subsequent rounds.

3. Dealing: The dealer starts by dealing one card at a time to each player, moving in a clockwise direction. This continues until each player has 17 cards. After dealing, there will be one card left, which is often placed face down and not used in the game.

It’s important to note that with 17 cards in hand, each player has a substantial selection of cards to strategize and compete for tricks during the game. The relatively even distribution of cards among three players ensures an engaging and challenging game of spades, where players must carefully plan their bids and play their cards wisely to win the most tricks.

Can you play spades with 3 teams?

Spades for Six Players

This is played between three teams of two, partners sitting opposite (so there are two opponents from different teams separating you from your partner in each direction). A 102 card deck is used, consisting of two standard 52 card decks mixed together with two low cards removed.

Traditionally, the standard version of Spades is designed for four players, and it involves forming partnerships with players sitting across from each other. However, with some adjustments, it is possible to play Spades with 3 teams, each consisting of two players. This variant can be fun and challenging, but it requires adapting the rules to accommodate the team dynamics.

Here’s how you can play Spades with 3 teams:

1. Deck Setup: Use a standard 52-card deck. With 3 teams of 2 players each, you’ll have a total of 6 players participating.

2. Team Formation: Before starting the game, players must form three teams, with each team consisting of two players. The players in each team will sit alternately to create a circular arrangement.

3. Card Distribution: Deal the entire deck of 52 cards among the 6 players. Each player will receive 8 or 9 cards, depending on the number of cards left after an equal distribution.

4. Bidding and Play: The bidding and play follow standard Spades rules. Each player bids the number of tricks they believe their team can win. Teams’ bids are combined, and the team that wins the bid tries to fulfill the total number of tricks bid by their players.

5. Scoring: The scoring system remains the same, with teams gaining or losing points based on their performance in fulfilling their bid.

Playing Spades with 3 teams can add a new layer of strategy and communication to the game, as players must coordinate effectively with their teammates while also competing against two other teams.

How do you deal cards for 3 people in spades?

As with regular Spades, the first dealer is chosen from the real players by a draw for high card, and thereafter the deal passes to the dealer’s left (clockwise) after each hand, skipping over the dummy player. Each player, including the dummy, is dealt 13 cards. The dummy’s hand is kept face-down on the table.

Dealing cards for 3 people in Spades is relatively straightforward. In this variation, each player will be dealt 17 cards from a standard 52-card deck. The process of dealing is as follows:

1. Shuffle the Deck: Start by thoroughly shuffling the deck to ensure the cards are well mixed and random.

2. Decide the Dealer: The players can decide amongst themselves who will be the dealer for the first round. In subsequent rounds, the dealer position can rotate clockwise.

3. Deal the Cards: Beginning with the player to the dealer’s left and moving in a clockwise direction, the dealer will deal one card at a time to each player. Continue dealing until each player has received 17 cards. There will be one card remaining after dealing, which is set aside and not used in the game.

4. Kitty Card: The extra card left after dealing can be placed face down to form the “kitty” or “widow” pile. The kitty card is not used in the game and has no impact on the gameplay.

Once the cards are dealt, each player will have a hand of 17 cards, and the game can proceed with the bidding and playing of tricks. Remember that in Spades, players bid the number of tricks they expect to win in a round, and the objective is to fulfill that bid during gameplay. The player with the highest total score at the end of multiple rounds is declared the winner.

How To Play 3 Man Spades


3-Man Spades is a fantastic twist on the classic card game, offering a dynamic and engaging experience for three players. Throughout this guide, we have explored the essential rules and gameplay of this variation, empowering you to dive into the world of 3-Man Spades with confidence and excitement.

The strategic element of bidding adds a layer of complexity and anticipation to the game. Successfully predicting and fulfilling your bid demands a keen understanding of your hand’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with your partners.

As you play more games, you’ll discover the value of maintaining a balance between aggressive bidding and conservative play. Carefully assess your opponents’ bids and adjust your strategies accordingly, aiming to outmaneuver them and secure the highest number of tricks in each round.

Remember, communication with your partners is key. Establishing a good rapport and developing non-verbal cues can significantly impact your team’s performance. Collaborating with your partners will increase your chances of meeting or exceeding your bid, leading to triumphant victories.

3-Man Spades is not only a game of skill but also of adaptability. As you encounter different hands and opponents, you’ll refine your decision-making and enhance your overall gameplay.

So, gather your friends, family, or fellow card enthusiasts, and embark on an unforgettable journey of 3-Man Spades. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the triumphs, and cherish the camaraderie this thrilling game brings. Whether played for leisure or competition, 3-Man Spades promises countless hours of enjoyment, laughter, and memorable moments that will linger in your heart for years to come.

Author James Lopez