247 Spades is an online game where players can try their hand (no pun intended) at the card game of Spades using a Flash generated playing environment. The goal of the game is to win as many “tricks” as you can while at least winning the bids you make.
Yet another classic card game has made its way to the computer screen of millions of online gamers. Whether you're an avid cardplayer or just interested in learning the game, Spades will test your skills against AI opponents to see if you have what it takes.
The game starts by having one of the players deal all cards in the deck (each player will have 13 cards if there are four players). The players must then bid on how many tricks they expect to win. One is the minimum number a player can bid, and if they fail to win at least that many tricks, extra points are counted against them. The game ends when players reach a score of 500, but some variations for short games can be as low as 200.
The player to the dealer's left must bid first. After all bids are taken, the same player must lead with his or her chosen card. Spades will always trump any other cards, but the goal is to lay down the highest scoring card during each trick. For example, if a player has a 10 of Hearts while the other players have a 2, 4 and 8 of the same suit, the player with the 10 wins that trick. If, however, another player lays down a Spade, it doesn't matter what number or face card it is; that player will win the trick, thus the reason for the game's name.
The player receives ten points for every trick won. Any number of tricks won that are over the amount of the starting bid will only receive one point. Failing to win at least the number of tricks bid will result in a score of 0. In 24/7 Spades, players are put into teams of two. A variant of Blind or Nil Bidding is available in this version. Should one of the players choose either option, they must meet the exact number of bids placed or be penalized.
Although there's not much to jazz up when it comes to Spades, the gameplay could have been a little more exciting. A mediocre setup of a 2D card table does little to enthuse the player, and AI opponents are nothing more than a bit of text on the screen. The difficulty levels are also a bit high for what they're labeled, but the game does provide a challenge that draws you in and forces you to try it just one more time. Overall, the game isn't really anything special, and other variants have succeeded where this one has failed.