JUST THE FACTS ABOUT SPADES

Spades is an exciting card game of fun and strategy played by millions of people across the world. 

  • Started in the 1930's around the city of Cincinnati, OH

  • Approximately 40 million players around the world

  • Over 150 mobile game versions ; with over 50 million mobile downloads

The History of Spades

Spades history begins back in the 1930's in (and around) Ohio. It was started by American college students with demanding class schedules who wanted to find a way to enjoy quality social time without missing any time from class.

 

At the time, Bid Whist and Bridge were the most popular games played in urban communities, but a full game could go on for hours. Students, interested in playing in their downtime, needed to find a way to speed up the game. Through necessity, "Spades" was born.

 

By making the Spades suit "wild cards" or "trumps", the new rules sped up the game and made it even more competitive to win with the draw of the cards. 

Once the word got out, Spades became one of the most popular games played among young adults, being played on college campuses and in army barracks, social clubs and family rooms around the state.

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Enduring the American Struggle

The 1930's was also a time of tremendous adversity for the nation. America was facing its most devastating economic downturn, the Great Depression, and the effects on the poor were desolating.  Minorities felt the sting of the Great Depression the most as opportunities for Blacks, Asians and Hispanics were scarce and the threat of violence and persecution was probable.

 

For many, Spades became an outlet; a moment of reprieve from the harsh realities of everyday life. For those who had no voice to be heard or claims to stake, a Saturday night game of Spades was an escape until the late hours of the night. Players from around the town would meet at the local juke joint, warehouse, basement or the last porch light, anywhere they could to have a drink, groove to music and share stories over a contentious table game.

Sharing Spades Around the World

In the late 1930's, America was heading into World War II. As poverty and anguish struck once-thriving cities, many young students were unable to afford college and found both purpose and refuge with opportunities in the U.S. Armed Forces. 


From Germany and Russia to France, American soldiers were stationed across the world, playing Spades in their barracks on down times and sharing the game with local residents. After the war and troops returned home, its popularity had spread exponentially across the country.

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Spades: More Than Just a Game

For many, Spades is more than just a game. It's a time capsule to the memories of family, friends and the joy of community.  At a Spades table, there's no judgement of character, discrimination or fear of fitting in. The only thing that matters is your understanding of the rules and your battle to run the table.

To this day, Spades is still a fixture at family gatherings, college resident halls, local restaurants and pubs.