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Spades Game Play
Each hand includes of a number of tricks or "books" (the 4-handed game includes 13 tricks using all 52 cards).
The player on the dealer's left makes the opening lead by playing a single card of their choice. Players in
clockwise pattern then play a card of their choice; they must follow suit, if they can, in other ways they
may play any card, including a trump Spade. Once a card has left the hand of a player, it stands and cannot
be recovered without the penalty of losing three tricks.
A common rule, loaned from Hearts, is that a player may not lead Spades until a Spade has been played to
trump another trick. This stops a player who is "long" in Spades (having a large number of them) from
leading Spades one after the other towards the beginning of the game to deplete them and thus stop other
players using them as trumps. The act of playing the first Spade in a hand is known as "breaking Spades".
The trick is won or taken by the player who played the highest value card; if one or more trumps were
played the highest Trump wins, otherwise the highest card of the suit led wins. The player who wins the
trick gathers the cards up into a face-down setting that allows players to count the number of tricks
taken. The contents of each trick cannot be viewed after this point except to determine whether a player
failed to follow suit when it later becomes apparent that they could have. The number of tricks a player
has won cannot be disguised, if asked each player must count out their tricks until everyone has agreed
on their "trick count". The player who wins any given trick leads the next one. Play continues until all
players have exhausted their hands, which should occur on the same (last) trick (it is a misdeal otherwise).