Spades is Not A Game. Spades is LIFE.

People lose cousins, shoes, couth, husbands, wives over Spades. Why? Because Spades is NOT a game! It’s LIFE!

For those people who don’t know what Spades is I’m judging you, it’s a card game that’s pretty much like “Hearts” backwards. I’d explain more but I don’t feel like it.

Iunno if white folks love Spades as much as we do, but Black folks??? We don’t PLAY with Spades. We’re so serious about it.

Spades Tweet

Truer words have never been Tweeted. Spades is SERIOUS BUSINESS. To us, it’s as if our whole reputation, credit score, livelihood and 401(k) depend on our performance in Spades. We form opinions on individuals and their value in our lives based on how good they are in Spades. It’s a sad truth.

Now, everyone who plays Spades doesn’t have to be a whiz at it. Nawl! That ain’t what we’re expecting. HOWEVER, if you get the nerve to sit at a Spades table, there is ONE thing you MUST. NOT. DO.

You must not RENEGE. EVER. What’s reneging? That’s when you have a card in your hand that is the suit being played, but you play another suit accidentally. i.e. Hearts are being played. YOU should play a hearts card (if you have it). But you play a card of another suit.) Heart— Hearts—Hearts—SPADE. YOU JUST PLAYED A SPADE. YOU BET’ NOT HAVE A HEART IN YOUR HAND! If you do, you just committed the cardinal sin of Spades and RENEGED!

Oh and I can hear the newbies say “But how do people know you’ve reneged?” Well, when you play with spades veterans, they watch EVERY hand. Some are so good that they can count and figure out exactly what cards are in your hand from how you play. Trust. They WILL know. And if they don’t realize you’ve reneged, then everyone playing must have just learned Spades the game before. Therefore it’s null and void because we don’t even acknowledge that. (-__-)

Anyway. When someone reneges??? CLEAR THE WAY because THIS is usually when and where ALL hell breaks lose on a spades table. When people realize you’ve reneged, you and your partner lose THREE books. And usually, Beezlebub himself looks like Angel Michael, compared to the reaction of your unfortunate partner. Reneging in spades can result in a flipped over table if your partner is that angry.

Flip Table Snape gif

And nobody blames ’em. It’s like the 8th deadly sin. If/when your partner flips over the table and goes into a cussing match the OTHER pair usually backs out the way and say “RUN US THEM BOOKS!!!”

A tantrum from the partner of the Reneger (HA!) can last a while. Let them. It’s healthy to do this. And sometimes, they may not return to the table. This is also when things like friendships and marriages end. When your significant other reneges, you can’t even LOOK at them the same way.

Spades is NOT a game! It’s LIFE!

I remember the time in college when my boy Kris and I were partners in spades. Our friend JD, who must have been a rookie reneged on the first book. THE FIRST BOOK! How the hell do you do THAT? Chile… Kris and I spent the ENTIRE next day telling everyone how JD couldn’t play spades. But FIRST BOOK, though??? Who reneges on Book 1? We pretty much ruint his Spades rep.

If you EVER renege in Spades, that ONE renegging will follow you for the rest of your playing life. You could be five when it happened.

The secret to NOT reneging? Arrange your cards by suit when you get them. And alternate the colors. You’re welcome.

Reneging is the ultimate Spades sin but there are other ways you can suck at. You can underbid, overbid, cut your partner… So many things. If you play spades, you get what I just said. You either choose to learn (and learn well) or just stay in the absolute dark. No middle ground. Spades isn’t for the faint of heart.

Spades Tweet

This is to FURTHER let you know… #SpadesIsNotAGame

The people in my Twitfam are awesome, and they get me. So I asked “What is the worst thing your partner has ever done in a game of spades? How did you react? Are they still breathing?” The replies I got were just… in typical ratchet fashion.

“She cut my lil joker with the big joker….ummm, she started back breathing after about 5 mins or so #throatchop” – @atlfoxy

“One hand I throw a K of Diamonds. Partner CUTS me for no reason. Last card that hand? They threw a diamond. We no longer speak.” – @elonjames

“Let’s just say there someone n DC wit a big bald spot that a weave can’t cover! Slinks away” – @findinacure77

“Partner swore they had 2 and I had a solid 9. I said “ARE. YOU. SURE?” “YES!” We got stuck by 2. We no longer speak.” – @elonjames

“I’ve seen a girl get smacked with a sprite bottle because she missed one book to have a bubble!” – @BellaFierce

“I still refer to a best friend of mine, who reneged ONCE two years ago, as a “negligent, reneging bish.” – @BeezHunny

“You ever play with partners of 5+ years? With all kind of non verbal communication? Yea… Someone’s hand got stabbed for that.” – @skuzemewoods

And I MUST highlight:

“I will never forget xmas last year when my sis in law cut ova me wit her big joker! All hell broke loose & liquor was involved! the fact that I can’t stand that bitch I stumbled my ass outside, went to her car & put sugar in her gas tank! it was her damn fault we lost!!! She wanna underbid & shit! I’m like bitch all we need is 7, we made 4! I asked her specifically: r those whitneys & bobbys strong? I call the possible books whitney & bobby for sum damn reason lol I am so serious! I put domino’s sugar in her tank! She still don’t know to this day I did it…” – @LadyFresh85

*DEAD AND GONE* This fool put SUGAR in her sister in law’s gas tank. Over SPADES!!! All sorts of humanity is lost when one sits down and plays spades. People lose ALL behavior.

I consider myself a decent Spades player. HOWEVER… I REFUSE to play Spades with anyone over 40. ABSOLUTELY refuse. I enjoy life. And I enjoy having confidence in who I am. Spades with the Over 40 bunch will BREAK YOU DOWN!!! Fraternities and sororities should make that part of their pledge process. For realsies. 

LMAO! iCan’t with Elon sometimes.

I don’t play spades with people over 40. NO. MA’AM. Them folks could win a game with 12 hearts in their hand. That voodoo they do??? NOPE! Not just that… older folks playing spades might confuse you and your cousin for each other but see if they don’t know everyone’s hands from just watching the game.

My grandmother is legally blind in one eye… but I bet 3 books in, she knows what everybody got in their hand. – @shehateme

And as you see above, Spades kind of brings out the worst in everybody. Your aunty who you ain’t NEVER heard cuss plays spades and turns into Richard Pryor talmbout “You ain’t GOT SHIT in yo GAHTDAMB HAND!” AUNTIE!

Yeah… Once more I’ll say SPADES IS NOT A GAME. SPADES IS LIFE!


Spades is like co-signing on a loan. Don’t take this shit personal. But know you’re taking a risk. Your name is on the line. Just saying…

*reads post* Lawd! Spades seems to be the precursor for a lot of violent crime.

Am I right? Do y’all have a bad experience with Spades? When was the first time you cried over it? Oh. That was just me that one time? Oh ok. (-__-)

TWEET this to let other folks know about why Spades ain’t no game! Tweet

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  1. November 5, 2010 at 8:57 am

    “I don’t play spades with people over 40. NO. MA’AM”

    This my dear Luvvie is how I learned the game, sitting at the table with a bunch of chain smoking, whiskey drinking, sh*t talking family members. Yup, I was counting cards at 11 y.o. & can shuffle & deal cards with one hand. I’m nice.

    Don’t be scurred of the older set. But don’t renege. EVER. Or underbid. Each one, teach one ya know.

    • November 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      Gurl NAW! I ain’t playing w/ them. Nope. I valu my life too murch. too murch, I say.

    • MimiLuvs
      November 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      The “Over 40” is the reason why I don’t know how to play Spades. With all of their damn rules…

    • Me Talk Pretty
      May 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Child please. Everyone over 40 in my family just laughs if you say Spades in front of them. They are all about the Bid Whist. To them, spades is for the babies.

      That game makes your brain cells congeal into a bubulous mass like melted pork fat. It’s not pretty. I can’t fukkc with that mess.

      • bri
        May 23, 2014 at 10:18 am

        Chile yes that bid whist is too serious.

        I learned to play spades as a kid with my aunties enem. I learned quickly not to renege and you better not cut your partner out either. They don’t care if you are 10, they will cuss you out too lol

        • Val
          December 1, 2015 at 10:32 pm

          They gotta cuss you out to teach how to play, that is the only way you gonna learn. Sorry, but that’s how I learned. LOL

      • jynxgirl03
        May 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm

        This right here!! Still can’t play it!!

      • Ronini
        May 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        I was deprived of a childhood cause my momma was playing bid whist or spades and we had to wait for anything. She could not be interrupted. I had to go with my daddy to the hospital when my sister’s motorcycle was hit by a car cause she was in the middle of a game. I feel you with the over forties. Ma is now 87 and I is scarit when I am the only person available and she tries to talk me into playing. I claim brain damage from medications! She knows I got ADD and can not keep up! She is a card playing ninja!

  2. Mel~
    November 5, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I’ll venture to say that a solid 35% of black on black crimes involved a spades game. I am decent at spades, but I’ll sit out just because I know things can get volatile.

    The one person that I don’t want to play with (but always get stuck playing with) is my mama. She talks the MOST junk over the board. Calling out the cards I have ie: “Gon’ ahead and but that 2 uh dia-uh-minds down… You know you wanna do it.” And she’ll scream at you if you if she think you’re ‘talking across the board’ to your partner. A simple question like “Seriously, I forgot. What are we playing to? 500?” Will get a “SHUT THAT UP! GET UP OFF THE TABLE WITH THAT! I HEAR YOU TRYING TO PASS MESSAGES!” lmao. I love her #doe

    The ALL TIME worst though was when my sister, who is a mild meek person, threatened to “knock me in my throat if I underbid.” I promptly told the table “I’ont even wanna play anymore… Y’all too mean.” LOL.

    I have so many fond memories from Spades! Those who don’t know how to play are really missing out!

    • November 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      “I’ll venture to say that a solid 35% of black on black crimes involved a spades game”

      Yes. I wholeheartedly stand behind this statistic. With spades, all bets are off. And you GOTTA learn to talk shit when you play spades. Even when you losing. You talk MAD sh*t. It’s half the battle.

    • April 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      THIS!!!!! Girl I’m over here gasping for breath over your mom trash talking!!!

  3. Ladyfresh85
    November 5, 2010 at 9:36 am

    O I didn’t mention that she reneged on the 2nd hand!! LOL, ppl don’t put sugar in a gas tank. I dont condone it, BUT damnit u play spades with me u better play like your life depends on it. She learned her lesson. 🙂

    • November 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Yeah reneging on the 2nd hand. I’m not e’em sure I blame you for that sugar. People don got baby toes shot off for such offenses.

      • ladyfresh85
        November 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm

        when she reneged on that 2nd hand I thought my life was over, I literally almost started cryin but the card gods were lookin down on ME cuz after that every hand I had was at least 5 to 6 books. I thought somebody rigged the cards!! Nah that was blk jesus helpin me! I ain’t talk to her since that happen & I have no intentions either!! lol!

        • November 11, 2010 at 12:42 am

          LMAOOOOO!!! Chile u don disowned her. Can’t e’em blame u. Spades is personal.

  4. November 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    ROFL at all of this. I learned to play from both my mom and Auntie Ev, who were well over 40. My Spades resume is fresher than ya mammy *hits my dougie with the Big Joker on my forehead*

    • November 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      I’ont think we’ve ever played spades. Hmm… U from the WESSSSIDE so I believe you though.

  5. November 5, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Once again, this is one of the reasons I question my blackness. I can’t play spades. 🙁 I mean I know the rules to the game, and sometimes I had to be the official referee at holiday functions but ain’t nobody eva trust me enough to be their partner. #JesusWept

    Anywhozers… this is why I feel sorry for the next generation of lil black chil’lums. Who gon teach them about Spades? Who gon sit around provide the over 40 entertainment that we got from the antics at the Spades board? Lil churrrens too busy texting and secktings and IMing to learn the game. We going extinct ya’ll…

    • November 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      Yeah if ain’t nobody ever trust u to be their spaes partner, consider them saving your life. They really care. They’ont want bad things to happen to you on that there spades table. B/c as a rookie, they’re bound to happen. Stuff that’ll make grown men CRY.

      And it’s up to us to pass on the game of spades to our chilrun. I’ma snatch my kids’ cellphones during holidays. “Yall gon watch us play and talk shit DAMNIT!”

  6. November 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I stand by everything I said. I’ll whoop your ass unapologetically if you cut me unnecessarily or renege AND THAT’S ON EVERYTHING I LOVE. F*ck you & ya mama too.

    • November 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      LMAO!!! Crissle came thru to GOON some more! iCan’t take you.

  7. November 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    See, this is why I am now the Black Girl in Maine despite the fact I was born and raised in Chicago. I cannot play Spades, shit I can’t play card games period. For some reason my Pops was not down with card games as a result they weren’t played in our house…now I am almost 40 and can’t do it.

    Seriously, I do know Black folks take Spades seriously yet I really don’t its something white folks get into…at least not according to my resident white man.

    So where can those of us who never learned Spades go to learn or are we just out of luck?

    • November 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      You can’t play card games??? Gurl… you need some card mentors. We can’t let you go on like this. At the LEAST can you play solitaire?

      “So where can those of us who never learned Spades go to learn or are we just out of luck?”

      Good question. I’m have to think bout that and get back to you. Yes. It’s THAT deep.

      • lala
        October 28, 2016 at 7:06 pm

        online is the safest place to learn spades playok is a good site and you play with realpartners

    • November 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      @BGIM: Wait, what? NO card games?! Oh man…

      I don’t play spades WELL, that’s my dang problem (trying to figure out the books, man; good looking out, luvvie *Bruh Man nod*.)

      We need Morpheus, the Oracle AND Neo…Spades Edition, of course.

    • November 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      You can learn on Internet Spades.

      • Terri
        November 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        I havent played spades since high school…13 years ago! Now I fear that I have forgotten how to play ;-(

        *closes spreadsheet at work and logs onto Internet spades*

        Redemption is near!

        • Ontell
          April 29, 2014 at 8:39 am

          uuuuh uuuuh girl , they say if you dont use it you lose it …not true with spades , soon as you finally sit back down and have a mean ass cocktail , the “motherfuckas” will flow from your throat , and you will welcome them lie a long lost friend

    • taeAmin
      November 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Ma’am this is my life. My mom protected us from the er eh…goonish side of the family when it came to these card games. Spades was not part of my childhood. I can play BS and Declare some war on ya, but Spades…nah. I tried to learn in college but was quickly sat down after reneging ONE TIME. Black folk don’t give a dayum about your first time feelings.
      My self esteem was hurt so bad and I’m still tryna reclaim it. Every time someone brings out the cards I quickly remove myself from the table and start saying the Lord’s prayer. My nerves can’t take it. My mama knew what she was doing. She must’ve gotten cussed out a couple of times and didn’t want to perpetuate the cycle.

    • PSUDelta
      November 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Find you some church elders to hook you up. Don’t sleep, dem folks know…and they’ll each one teach one, ’cause that’s the Christian way. 😉

    • IndigoSun
      November 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Girl, you can put an app on your phone or play online, get ya skill up and come to the table taking names and whooping ass! That’s what I did, I almost got throat chopped for reneging and underbidding…lol. I started playing online, BAAAABY, when I came back to that table, I was like it was ON and popping.

    • M
      November 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Get a pack of cards deal four hands on the table and play/bid by yourself. The thrill of running a Brooklyn (I hate all things NE) is not lost when you see (or can forsee) how the cards are staked for (or against) you. By the next reunion/holiday you’ll have your nerve up and can start at the kids table.

    • Ontell
      April 29, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Imma help you out …consider this toddler spades , it’ll get you 1 or 2 fundamentals …thats bout it

  8. Trina
    November 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I started playing spades when I was 8, my mama was my partner. I had grown men slamming their fist into the table because we were kicking ass. One of them decided to accuse me of reneging and my mama about lost her mind. She didn’t raise no reneger!

    I stopped playing when I was 10, but 9 years later at a halloween party over some white zinfandel,I was partnered with my friends God mother against an aunt and an drunk uncle. All over 40 and all mad I could play just as good as them even though I was rusty. He almost turned the table over, he got so mad. Haven’t played since. Too much violence.

    oh and Dominoes…dear God. I’m remembering why I stopped playing these games.

    • M
      November 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I’m over 40 and still won’t play my older cousins with dominoes. Still remember that Saturday night when someone did something and was sent flying down the stairs. Aunties, mommies appeared crying and screaming what happened but even my 4 year old self knew the no snitching pact was on even as we waited for the ambulance. I knew then and there I’d never play with them. Knew better than to even tag them on FB with this post.

  9. November 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    LMAO @ this post! My dad’s side of the family is from Chicago, and I have vivid childhood memories of loud arguments that nearly escalated to knock-down, drag-out fights over Spades games. For a long time, they didn’t even let us kids play because it was just that serious.

    My grandma talks so much shit while playing Spades. She doesn’t care one bit if you’re her flesh and blood; everyone is the enemy during a Spades game.

    • November 5, 2010 at 1:26 pm

      LMFAO @ grandma. My grandma is like that too… the only time I remember yelling & shouting during functions is when a spades game was being played…

  10. November 5, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I know humans in general are capable of murder, but I don’t need to hear “Battleflag” every time I’m within close proximity to a spades table! Have me jumpin and ish like something’s gonna pop off…naw, I’m good.

    Mmhmm, that’s all I need: Cousin Sam (or @smashedthehomie, for that matter) at the table talmbout: “if you don’t wanna get killed, (slo-mo] GET. THE. F*CK. OUT!” PTSD-sponsored-by-Bicycle game proper.

  11. AQualityMess
    November 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    When I was in high school, if you didn’t know how to play spades, you were forced to actually *gasps* study during study hall period. There would be 3 sets of 4 desks pushed together in the classroom. Everyone playing spades.

    When I was a sophomore, this girl talked so much shit about her spades abilities all day. When we got to study hall, my partner and I ran Boston on her and her partner. They hate each other to this day. LOL

    And I refuse to play spades with older people. My aunt and my cousin play against my grandpa and my uncle at every family reunion. They have yet to beat them once. My ego cant take that kind of humiliation.

  12. November 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    You. Ain’t. Neva. Lied. Spades is most definitely that life. If you look up “life” in the thesaurus, a Big Joker is the picture. Ish ain’t no game.

    As for the Over 40 crowd, I have to co-sign how serious they are, but I think they’re my FAVORITE folks to play with because that’s how I learnt. My grandma taught me how to play at like 6 years old. She was the Spades Sensei. And most of my leisurely time was spent being the only minor at a table of senior citizens. Let me tell you, NO ONE knows how to sh*t talk like old folks. Ya’ll thank rappers got the beef game on deck, but naw…mofos waiting in line to get to heaven will CUT YOU WITH WORDS. (word to Aneesa of RW fame)

    And yes, reneging is the 8th deadly sin. Right behind it is cutting your partner. I sweahfolawd, I don’t care if you SAVED MY LIFE, I will refer to you as the partner who cut me. I will sully the mess out yo name. And it has happened. I do not look at them folks the same no mo. SMH…

  13. aaw1976
    November 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    you were right about spades
    well cards in general in the black community
    I was banned from playing
    for life
    by my dad. Over slamming my cards on the table in a game of tunk. Not cool. Not cool at all. He said dammit girl don’t you know slamming down your cards will get you killed?

  14. November 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    WHAT! I am over here dying because this is REAL!
    what kills me is the fellas! the fellas always think they can run the table, but EVERY SINGLE TIME me and another chick link up at a party…we ends up sweeping em right on up!

    i learned from my daddy and my brothers (who are now over 40) and they were NOT playing spades for sure but don’t forget tnuk…fools act up over some tnuk

    you deal you better be ready for the consequences can’t be no punk at any black card table regardless of the game!

  15. November 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I have Southern relatives (on both sides, TX and OK) so spades was a must. I never knew what reneging was b/c it was called “passin bogus” for the longest time. And absolutely no “talkin on the table” NOT NEVER. You could ask what led and that was it.

    Never any fights but man the yellin and sh*t-talkin went to overdrive. The best part were the people waiting in line b/c they would add commentary. So much junk being talked at the table it was a sin and a shame.

    • BayouPhoenix
      November 5, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Ask what was led?!?? No way in de world would you ask that question and I pity the fool that tried to answer you. You betta watch the board….

    • BrooklynQueen
      November 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Agreed…asking what led IS talking cross tha’ board….

      Watch the board and you won’t have to ask.

      And Yes I’m over 40….so you know what that means….

  16. November 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I still remember the first (and last!) time I reneged. It was my junior year in college and we were playing on the floor in my friend’s dorm room. My team was whooping ass! We had 9 books at this time. 9! The game was almost over and spades were out. I accidentally dropped some random card instead of my last spade, 2 of diamonds. I forgot they were wild. Smh. A round later when I put down that 2 of diamonds I SWEAR everything started moving in slow motion. My partner’s face dropped. My opponents rose to their feet, pointed and shouted RENEGED! RENEGGER! I can still feel the hot shame that spread across my face that night. It ain’t a game, folks, it ain’t a game. 🙁

    • Nique
      November 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      I’m sorry but this is the best description of reneging I’ve ever seen. I’m picturing it like it’s a sitcom. LOL.

  17. NeicyRox
    November 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Spades is real. SO REAL. I take pictures of scores after games. I read body language likes its a sin.

    I learned Spades by sitting next to my Uncle Harold, who (bless his soul) was the best dominoe/card/alcholoic this side of the MS river. He taught me how to count books, bid hands, make a 10 in any suit make it, go blind 10 and win, catch people in a trap with my parter (alternating taggin’ asses) how to “you make ’em, I’ll rake ’em”..Lawdt…so much. so much.

    You forgot to mention when the game’s for money though. And tournaments. Real talk, I love my little brother, but I’ll never in life play with him again behind spades. He overbids (i.e.: I got 14 books.” How? Only 13 in the deck? [We take those red 2s out; ain’t no deuces wild!]) and iCan’t lose my $20 over no renegin’.


    • crlsweetie912
      November 8, 2010 at 8:20 am

      IDIED! @ 14 books!!!!

    • Terri
      November 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      “you make ‘em, I’ll rake ‘em”

      When I read this, I heard it in my momma’s voice in my head

  18. November 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    My grandparents used to (and still will) straight take my money. We’d sometimes play for like $1 when I was a kid. And if I lost? Grandma would unapologetically TAKE my dollar. And not give it back.

    But, see, if I win? If I win?! She’d get mad if you get up from the table without giving her the chance to win her money back. So, any way it went, GRANDMA WAS GOING TO BE POCKETING my dollar.

    That’s why I ain’t played cards with her since I was 12. #punkedbygrams

    Oh, and my usual spades partner got stuck playing with some random dude one time. She almost made that fool consider suicide when the Ace wasn’t enuf… because he cut it with the little Joker. (ba-dum pum.) You could practically hear the record come to a screeching halt & everybody at the party looked on in horror at this egregious mistake. LOL! She two seconds from leaping across the table & taking dude out. Needless to say, that was the last hand she played with him. Ever.

    • MarvyMds
      November 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      My aunt is the same way. She straight up told us that if we were grown enough to sit at the card table with her and place a bet, then we were grown enough to pay up when we lost. lol. One of my uncles told her that she should be ashamed for taking all of money, but she did not care.

  19. November 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I dunno bout the rest of the white ppl, but I love to play spades. Been playing since I was about 12 and I’m 42 now. And I co-sign every last damn thang Crissle said… renege or fugg around and cut me for no good reason, and it’s gon’ be one hell of a misunderstanding.

  20. Dat Chic
    November 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Can I Say i laughed till tears rolled down my face at this post!!! Love the comments!!!!

    I remember in undergrad when I had my first attempt at someone teaching me how to play (Yeah thats kinda late). I renigged Once (mind you just learning how to play) and things got so HEATED I just STOPED… Who knew Engineers could be so HARSH.

    • November 11, 2010 at 12:41 am

      All bets are off once you renege! Occupation does nothing in spades. PRIESTS would cuss if you reneged.

  21. NIVEA
    November 9, 2010 at 10:41 am

    the turning over of the table is always done by my uncle reggie its a thanksgiving tradition, he takes spades to a whole new level. I can remember one year my older brother and him were playing and my brother cut his little joker. my uncle punched my brother in the jaw and told him to no longer consider him family and told him he was dead to him. to this day my uncle doesnt hold real conversation with my brother and refuses to even play in the same spades game as my brother even though they arent partnered up!

  22. November 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I am from the South, I learned from friends and yes I got yelled at and shit…ridiculous! But how we always won with my non-playing self?

    The fear…. the Spades player can smell fear!!!

    So I just talk shit and eyeball everybody!!

    I probably play a few times a year I be trying to get lessons to refresh my memory and I have found ppl willing to teach you just have to pay attention.

    We will be playing at the next dessert party!!

    *le sigh* 80s and 90s were good years!!

  23. bogart4017
    November 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Oh sweet memories! Nothing like being trump tight early in the game. Or that time back in 1977 when we ran a boston on those two cheaters from Lakeview! Spades is the game!
    ….from: An over-40s spades fanatic

    • December 1, 2010 at 11:38 pm

      Yeah I couldn’t play spades w/ u. you past my cut off age. You’d wipe the table w/ me. NO SIR!

  24. Gwen (@ashlee1969)
    May 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    I love playing spades! I am over 40(just by a little bit).Don’t be scared to play with me. I won’t do you wrong. LOL!

  25. […] last year, I wrote a post talmbout how Spades is not a game. SPADES IS LIFE! That card game is serious business, and unless you’re ready to talk shit, get cussed out and […]

  26. Serenity
    August 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Cutting me as a partner might get you cut. When I play, the switchblade is in the bra…

  27. Erin
    August 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    OMG! You ain’t lyin! I didn’t learn to play til my freshman year in college. My roommate taught me how to win books and not renege in one game. She didn’t teach me about strategy. At all. So the very next game (like 5 minutes later), I was excited to be making books….so excited that I didn’t realize her that I was cutting her left and right! After the 3rd time (yes, she was giving me ugly looks the first 2 times but I wasn’t understanding why), she let loose on a tirade so fierce! The fact that I had learned how to play 10 minutes earlier meant nothing to her. I wouldn’t let anybody see me cry but damn if I didn’t to! We didn’t speak too much after that. Even though we were in the same room. I was worthless in her eyes.

    I don’t play Spades anymore except on the computer. LOL

    • Lenore
      November 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      I feel your pain girl. Didn’t see this before I posted my rant below. You wanna play Uno? I don’t go crazy over Draw 4’s at all.

  28. conshusmama
    September 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm


    I am a serious spades player. And spades is life. In my family, you never graduate from the kids table if you don’t master spades.

    I lol’d through the whole thing.

    Best one yet.

  29. conshusmama
    September 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm


    I am a serious spades player. And spades is life. In my family, you never graduate from the kids table if you don’t master spades. Your character as a human is judged by your ability to play this game.

    I lol’d through the whole thing.

    Best one yet.

  30. Jae
    November 18, 2011 at 6:20 am

    My 2 cents..

    Life is a game of spades..
    As in life, we all get our share of the cards. You may have a hand full of spades like the few who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. You may also have no spades at all. However the hand you have is in your life, it is very important to know the game. It is very important for you to know what cards are important. Without knowing how the game goes, you will bid wrong – hence choosing the wrong dream in your life. With the knowledge of the game, the knowledge about life, you have only one chance to play your hands right. It is the points you win in the end – the accomplishments of your life, that will decide what kind of a person you were. Will you be a person who overbid and cause pain in others? Or will you be a player that people will remember in history?
    Life is a game of spades.

    • M
      November 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      PREACH!! Drops $5 in offering plate.

  31. laddibugg
    November 5, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I have an app on my phone and play against the computer. There is the capability to play with other, random people, but I’m scared. Don’t want someone tracking me down if I reneg or overbid…..

    • MarvyMds
      November 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      lol!!! I laughed so hard at the idea of someone hunting you down for reneging. I did not even know that you could play online.

  32. Vickie Wooding
    November 5, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Spades is for the young folks, LOL. I have graduated to the Bid Whist table. Now that’s where you really get cut throat especially when you bid a 5 or 6 no trump and your partner takes you out because they have the jokers. You have a road map that Stevie Wonder can play the hand! As my dad used to say, R.I.P., “Teach me how to fly cuz I know how to play cards”! Everyone that came to the card party mission was to get him up from the table!!! I am really enjoying the posts cuz you ain’t never lied about Black folks playing Spades!!

  33. sherriberri46
    November 5, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I learned how to play Spades from my Mom forcing my two brothers and myself to play Saturday mornings before she would cook breakfast. We would play to 300 then she would cook… YOU BET NOT RENEGE EITHER …we’d go to 500 while eating….hence why I tell folks: I HAD TO PLAY FOR BREAD AND MEAT..IF I DIDN’T PLAY, I DIDN’T EAT.

  34. Lenore
    November 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t know how to play Spades and don’t want to know for this reason-
    Everytime I say “I don’t know how to play Spades” Someone questions my blackness and I TRULY DESPISE THAT ISH. I did not grow up with family at my house every weekend playing Spades. There is nothing I can do to go back in time and learn so cut that ish out!

    Second then the same people will try to “teach me” how to play. Here’s the problem- They also want to win. YOU CAN NOT TEACH SOMEONE SPADES AND ALSO EXPECT TO WIN! Do you hand a kid a basketball and put him in the NBA Championship thinking he’s gonna get that trophy?
    Then suddenly I am the bad guy for doing something wrong when I don’t even know what I’m doing.
    This has happened every time I told the truth and wanted to learn how to play. So I don’t play Spades I play Uno and Cards Against Humanity and I am fine with it that way.

  35. MarvyMds
    November 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I come from a long line of card sharks, but I don’t have the stomach for it. I am too easily distracted and good for underbidding which means that I would be putting my life at risk by sitting at the card table for anything other than eating. No thanks. I just enjoy the trash talking from the sidelines — it’s safer that way.

  36. TPesq
    November 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    “Yes I can play spades, no I will not be your partner” is my usual response. People get cray-cray and I ain’t got time for that. HOWEVER, I am D best backseat spades player. I go hard from the sideline.

  37. Penokeo
    November 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    *meekly walks in chat* Um…I’m Angela-Davis-Fist-Up-Head-Down-Black… but uh… Never played a game of Spades. I mean, I’ve watched it being played at family functions and even my friends, but I never understood.

    I can play a mean game of War and Speed, though. *back out of the chat*

  38. Poetrystruth
    November 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve actually heard Spades skills mentioned in a eulogy by the PASTOR! I chortled when I heard it. Couldn’t help myself.

    My Mom’s brother who ain’t never been worth a shit used to break tables & shit! My Granny (RIP) broke a broom on one of my cousin’s back whilst breaking up a fist fight in her house. She was a strong God fearing woman but she wasn’t about no Spades fuckery!

    I was a book worm and have never played a game with my fam. I ain’t about that life! Let a ninja put his hands on me over a game. I’d kill someone. So I just read my books and watched the show.

    Did you mention running a Boston? Or did I miss it. Maybe that’s just my folks slang. Lol

  39. KaLyn
    November 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I’m a member of the 40+ Spades crew. I went to an HBCU and when I was there we had a friggin’ SPADES TEAM, yes a traveling SPADES TEAM. I played with many of them folks and even dated one of the members of the team…some of the best of the best. So, I’m pretty damn good. However, my husband and I have NEVER been partners in Spades. He goes way too hard and takes it way to seriously and I’d like to keep my marriage harmonious.

  40. Mesha
    November 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I was taught how to play Spades but I’m not ashamed to say that Spades scares me. I am a veteran of the USMC and of all things Spades scares me and I avoid it. People ask me if I know how to play and I say “nope – I never learned how to play.” That’s a dangerous game. You can lose your freedom or the use of your limbs in a Spades game. Give me Marine Corps bootcamp before asking me to sit at a Spades table.

    • Opal
      November 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Man, now when I tell you that my mom’s side of the family is bourgeois, please believe me that they make Paris Hilton look like she sleeps on a dirty mattress with no sheets. But soon as they all sit down to that Spade’s table it sounds like a Wacka Flacka concert.

      • monielynn79
        May 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

        ^^ I almost choked to death laughing at this!

  41. LadyLarke
    November 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I’m pretty good in spades but rusty b/c I don’t play anymore. Playing spades with Black folk is like playing a serious game of Russian Roulette. One mistake and lives are lost and relationships are shattered. I was actually at a table where a guy reneged and his partner turned the table over like he was the Incredible Hulk. Then they commenced to wrecking. I haven’t played much after that….

  42. Muad'Dib
    November 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Jailhouse Spades tho….with them soups on the line.

  43. Pepp
    November 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Spades is life. I’m not super great at it but when i’m at a table I don’t renege or cut my partner, never that.
    I talk mad shit tho even when i’m losing. I talk so much shit the people that beat me wanna fight.

  44. Aponda Rose
    November 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I came from a good, Christian home. My parents didn’t let us have cards in the house, much less play them. So *deep sigh* I learned to play Spades from some white kids on the Debate Team in high school. I didn’t even know it was a Black game until I went to college (HBCU). So, yes, they do enjoy it. So much so that we passed a resolution to make Spades the official game of Lincoln-Douglas, Policy Debate and Student Congress. (We nerd HARD!) Spades keep my friends and I together through college, after college, through marriages and divorces, holidays, and cookouts, too. Spades is definitely life.

  45. Vroshell
    November 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I just tell people that I dont know how to play. (thats a lie) Because if you are not in my family …you may have have my face on a t-shirt and im not ready for that just yet.

  46. Sheena
    November 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Mannnnnn listen. I grew up watching my ppl play spades. Used to be my auntie…my uncle Bubba(he was the king of Spades…whew lawwwd)…my other 2 uncles and a gang of ppl who just used to come over. And it was ALWAYS a big deal during holidays. We would be at my Nana’s and you already knew after everybody ate they rolled out the big white table. And it was timeeee lol. They used to always try to teach me but I was scurred especially after my uncle’s friend pulled a gun out on his partner lol. I didn’t eeeeen want to get involved. But earlier this year I finally got up the courage to play. My cousin didn’t have a partner and we were playing my aunt and her friend. Now my aunt and her friend are like this is going to be easy. But…I actually did pretty good. My aunt and her friend were cussing like sailors you hear me lol. I’m thinking geeshhh I’m doing decent isn’t that good. But mannnnnn when I reneged on one hand shiggity got real. lol. I was scared for my entire life lol. Spades makes the world go around I’m telling you…and a major Spades season is upon us!!! lol

  47. Melanie
    November 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Spades and Dominoes are the 2 games where your life is on the line when you play. Used to play with some Jamaicans and they kept the machete nearby during every game.

    Serious Business.

    • M
      November 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Wray&Nephews + (thefunnycig) + reneggin = licks & prayers

  48. Opal
    November 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Today I realized why it will never work between me and a white man. One day he’ll be over and my folks will start playing Spades and then he’ll know, it’s real killers in my camp.

    • M
      November 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Some of these bougie Black men can’t handle it either. That’s the test. We don’t have to live in the hood but you need to be able to handle yourself at the cards table on Thanksgiving and New Years.

      • Ronini
        May 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        I left my man two years ago. My mom was UPSET with me! That was her Spades & bid whist PARTNER!!! They were too funny together, counting cards and talking shit. I had to reminded her that I do not play so I wouldn’t have to be in the room or house at reunions and holidays and he could come by! Damn, my own ma. smh

  49. Yolanda
    November 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I have a partner that cut my little joker with a big joker…I was mad for at least a month…I still can stand his clock-eyed blind arse!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    And this is exactly the reason that I don’t play! I quickly tell people that I will f up and renege (sp) and I only wnt to watch. Hell, I have a husband and son to live for!

  51. JayeDee369
    November 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    My best friend and I were trying to bag these two chicks we were talking to. The younger of the two starts talking all kinda shit but never really played Spades before. Wouldn’t you know I’m teaching her the wrong way to play Spades the whole night, her girlfriend’s like “why you letting dude look at your hand?!?” I said, I’m trying to help her out. I think my friend and I had 3 Bostons that night. Needless to say, I got some tail and my friend still won’t talk about that night cause the older gal was so mad she didn’t even want to put out LOL

  52. Purple Dove
    November 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Wowwww…. this is HILARIOUS! I haven’t played Spades in a minute but I still got a good game. During my pre-teen/teen years my cousins (all same age) taught me (this church girl) all the card games and they taught me well enough to know not to cut or renege.

    Folks see me and get surprised when they discover I can play. My biggest issue is underbidding so I wouldn’t get in trouble for not making the minimum tricks/books. Thank goodness it didn’t get violent. It’s the guys who really can’t stand losing, esp. since I let my cards do the talking (I’m not a trash talker). I’m real quiet.

  53. November 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Yep, and that is the reason I don’t play. Someone cut the fool with me in college the first time I was stupid enough to play and I walked out him and his temper. He didn’t know me like that.

  54. Sharonda
    November 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I avoid playing at all cost. I had my 8 yr old ego stomped into the ground during a card game because I took too long to play a card. It’s hard to think when you’re under the gun. I just broke down and cried. At family get togethers when they break the cards out I give’em the church finger and slide out of site.

  55. MsZ
    November 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I refuse to play spades nor dominoes with anyone besides the computer!! BUT, lets play WAR, I will declare war with the best of them!! LOL!

  56. MrChameleon
    November 6, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I’m from the east side of Atlanta (Decatur where it’s greater!) and I learned how to play from the older people and reneging will get your feelings hurt very quickly!

    The spades table is not for the overly sensitive or weak at heart!

  57. BoujiSupreme
    November 6, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Reasons why my ass needs to live in the US! I’m al for sitting round a table, talking smack and winning at a card game. Especially of money and devil juice are involved.

    Someone adopt me?

  58. Stuart
    January 18, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Can you, as the partner bidding for the team, underbid what the first partner bid? Example: I’m the dealer. The first player on the other team bids 3, then you bid second, bidding 7, followed by a team bid of 7 for the other team. That’s a total of 14 tricks, which doesn’t add up, and I haven’t even bid yet. I look at my cards, on my turn, and think you can’t make that 7 probably and I can’t make Nil, so I bid 6 to play it safe, underbidding against your 7 bid. Can I do that? Just play along and say it could happen…is it legal to underbid the final team bid, where it actually takes you below your partners first bid?

    • Ontell
      April 29, 2014 at 8:56 am

      yes thats legal , but what you wanna do is bid 6 but make 8 and really talk mad shit and rub their faces in it

  59. Mrchameleon
    April 15, 2014 at 9:28 am

    As a rule, you ALWAYS want to bid what you have. Not doing so is a quick way to earn the wrath of the partner!

  60. steph
    April 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    A white called me a “reneger” in situation unrelated to Spades. Caught himself and was too embarrassed! We laughed. Good for him we weren’t at the table. Actually, bid whiz is my game but love spades too. Any game — bring it!

  61. Janelle
    April 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I need this on a PowerPoint for my family reunion. Chiiiiiile, I’ve seen grown men come to blows over some spades. It’s that serious. Renege if you want, get your life took…

  62. MrsMoultrie
    April 28, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    SPADES!! I learnt to play in summer camp! I used to play with the big kids, lol! If we got dealt the joker, we’d lick the back and stick it to our foreheads! Lawd we had fun! But one year I was in MD with my dad and uncles. They were playing spades. Idk if someone reneged or cut their partner, but the table got flipped and my dad had broke a beer bottle and cut my uncle! Baaaaby hell nawl! Then they askin me if I wanna play since my uncle got cut and shit. If you don’t get the hell on with that shit hell nawl I don’t wanna play y’all crazy as f*ck!! How you cut your own brother then ask me to play?! Negro you’ll cut me too! And I know everybody at the table is strapped! Nope. I’m good.

    • TeeCee
      April 29, 2014 at 12:39 pm


  63. […] know how I feel about Spades. It is not a game. It is life. It’s not for the faint of the heart of the easily butthurt. You gotta saddown at a Spades […]

  64. Tracey
    May 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I grew up with; drankin, smack talkin, cussin, laughing and over turning table; family members around a Spades table. To this day, I get a nervous tick and bubble guts when they want to clear the table, after dinner, for some Spades. And lawd, let us not even discuss Bid Whist! Uh-uh naw sir…

  65. Jenna
    May 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I’m with you on the over 40! I learned from my mama as a kid, but I will NOT play with or against her. My feelings used to get hurt in the lessons. Cut or renege if you want to. You’ll get a look that will make you ask for a whipping instead. I was told I had to learn before I went to college especially if I went to an HBCU. Ma’am?!?! Reading, writing, arithmetic…and NO RENEGING?!?!?! Ironically, I went to an HBCU, but never played at school.

  66. Kevin
    May 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I can’t stand reniggas!

  67. May 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

    […] usually read all of the comments to any blog post, especially when the number rises above 100, but this piece about Spades (“This fool put SUGAR in her sister in law’s gas tank. Over SPADES!!! All sorts of humanity […]

  68. QJR
    May 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Clear the lane, because I’m still heated over this one time I got accused of reneging.

    Basically, I had no diamonds left, and my partner had the winning one, so I threw off a heart (which should’ve been a red flag to the other team).

    Two books later, someone on the other side led with diamonds, and I promptly cut that down. She then accused me of reneging. If we weren’t playing in a common area of the dorm, I would’ve flipped almighty hell on her over that ish because there’s no way she was gonna be correct. Besides, it was her fault for pulling a suit that I was gonna cut when she could’ve gone somewhere else.

    As a bonus, that book was the sole reason why they ended up getting set by one. Every time I saw her after that, I reminded her to learn how to pay attention to the table.


  69. June 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    So true, ppl take Spades pretty seriously. Ever post a picture of you score on FB for bragging rights? Like scribbled numbers on paper? There’s a better way!
    RenegeAid keeps indisputable scores (cause you should NEVER risk your reputation on someone else’s bad math), then lets you brag on any social media at the click of a buttton!

    Made by Spades fanatics for Spades fanatics!
    #RenegeAid #SpadesIsNotAGame

  70. SmURf
    January 29, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Sounds like BS to me. I am white male in my 50’s and one of the best spades players on the Planet. With my usual partners. Can’t touch this on your best day….have a nice day aka smURf

  71. Chris
    April 10, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Where is an app where spades dont have to be broken to be hit. That rule is rediculous. No one I know plays that way. And to use jokers and dueces is infantile. 13 of each suit. Long suits and lead backs. Never bid a cut book I dont care if I have 0 hearts. Pros bid their hand through taking the spades out and manipulating their opponents. Only bid 4,7 and wheel(10). Sandbags is ridiculous as well its not my fault they can’t play.