Saturday, April 9, 2022

You Don’t Have to Bid Your Hand

Is your hand really that good?

NOTICE: This post was originally posted on Medium but has later been moved to the official World Of Card Games blog to consolidate all posts.

My favorite card game at World of Card Games is Spades. I can’t explain exactly what’s so interesting about the game, but I never get tired of it. Sometimes you get a great partner, and it’s as if they’re reading your mind. They play the cards just the way you would! But life doesn’t always go that way. At times, you have to wonder what your partner is thinking.

I just finished a Spades game where I was fortunate to be in tune with my teammate. In one hand, my partner was first to bid. She had a bad hand, and bid 1. The next player bid 3. My hand was crummy, also. I bid 2, bringing the total bid to 6.

The last player to bid paused dramatically, and finally called 7! I could see my partner metaphorically peeking over their cards at me, thinking, uh oh, we’re in trouble. Neither one of us could imagine that the last player to bid would bring the total bid to 13 without having some serious ammo in their hands.

Well, it turned out that our opponents got set. The 7-bidder was long in diamonds, while I was short in them. I managed to snag an extra trick with one of my low trump cards. And it also turned out that the 7-bidder’s teammate fell short of their 3 bid — they only made 2. It’s easy to make a mistake in your bidding and be off by just 1.

So here’s my tip of the day. You don’t always have to “bid your hand”. I mean, if you think you’re going to get 7, consider what happens if your teammate doesn’t get all the tricks they thought they would. Or what happens if they were counting on taking a trick with a suit that you were sure you’d be able to trump?

If you’re last to bid, and your bid brings the total bid to 13, consider that your teammate may have overestimated what they can do, or your opponents were perhaps a bit too modest in making their bids. Or maybe your cards just aren’t as good as they look. Really think carefully before bringing the total bid to 13. And don’t blame your partner if your team gets set. You were last to bid, so you had the maximum information — and it’s a team game.

This situation is kind of like life. If you live your life close to the edge, and don’t leave any room for error, you’re probably going to “get set” more often than you might expect. Isn’t it nice that card games can teach you life lessons in a safe environment. 😄 So go and play a game of Spades, and let me know what you think!