Holding the Cards

Games & Cards

Misdeal in Spades: Rules for When to Call & What Happens with No Spades

Misdeal in SpadesRules for When to Call
What Happens with No Spades
Misdeal in Spades

A misdeal in Spades occurs when the cards have not been dealt properly. This happens when:

  • Players don’t all have the same amount of cards (13 each in a standard 4 player game)
  • A player deals in the wrong order (cards are supposed to be dealt to the dealer’s left until they’re all gone)
  • A player deals out of turn

If it’s noticed that someone is short one card and another player has an extra card before they’ve looked at their cards, the player who’s short can take a face down card from the player with the extra one. In this way, a misdeal in Spades can be avoided.

If it’s discovered during or at the end of a hand that the cards are uneven (any time after players have looked at their cards), it’s a misdeal and the hand doesn’t count.

What Happens When You Have No Spades? Misdeal Rule Variation

Some people play with a “deficient hand” option. If a player is dealt a hand with 1 or no spades or no face cards, they can call a misdeal if they want. If this person calls a misdeal, they must turn up their cards so everyone can verify their hand meets the deficiency standard agreed upon. If a misdeal rule variation is being used, everyone should be aware before play starts.

What Happens When a Misdeal in Spades is Called?

If a hand has been misdealt, it is scrapped and the cards are redealt by the rightful dealer. This could be the same person who just dealt, or, if they dealt out of turn, it will be by whoever’s turn it was supposed to be.

There is no scoring penalty for a misdeal.

Once the cards are dealt and you’re ready to play, are you confident in your Spades strategy?

I hope this cleared up any confusion you had about a misdeal in Spades.

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