Holding the Cards

Games & Cards

What Cards Do You Take Out in Spades? 2, 3 and 4 Players: Jokers & Removals

What cards do you take out in Spades? This article covers the adjustments that are commonly made to the deck to accommodate different numbers of players and different variations of Spades.

There are many variations, and you can even make up your own. Just be sure everyone knows what’s going on before the game starts.

What Cards Do You Take Out in Spades?

For the standard 4-player game, the deck is left as is. All 52 cards are used and each player receives 13.


  • If you want to use the two Jokers as extra trumps, remove the 2♥ & 2♦. (13 cards each)
  • Add the Jokers and remove the 2♥ & 2♣. (13 cards each)

In the rare 2-player game, cards aren’t removed beforehand and there isn’t a regular deal. Instead, players take turns drawing 2 cards from the top of the face-down deck. They keep 1 and discard 1 face-down.

The decision to keep the first or second card is made after seeing the first card only. For example, player “A” draws the top card and rejects it. They’re now obligated to take the second card regardless of what it is. Player “B” draws their first card and keeps it. Now they draw their second card, look at it and discard it, even if it’s better than the one they kept.

Both players continue alternating, keeping 1 out of every 2 cards until they’re all gone. In the end, each player will have 13 cards and will have discarded 13.


  • Add the Jokers. Each player gets 14 and discards 14.
  • Add the Jokers and remove the 2♥ & 2♦. Each player gets 13 and discards 13.

What cards do you take out in a Spades 3-player game? Remove the 2♣. Each player receives 17 cards.


  • Remove the 2♥ or 2♦ instead.
  • Discard the last undealt card. It can be thrown out face down, or the players can see what it is.
  • Add the Jokers and each player receives 18 cards. (nothing is removed)

What cards do you take out in a Spades 5-player game? Remove the 2♥ and 2♦. Each player receives 10 cards.


  • Add 3 Jokers, making them either trumps or the lowest cards, and each player gets 11.

In a 6-player game, 2 decks are used. Remove both 2s of or both 2s of ♣. Each player gets 17 cards.


  • Add all 4 Jokers and each player gets 18 cards. (nothing is removed)

I hope this has cleared up what cards you take out in Spades. Now that you’re ready to play, improve your Spades Strategy.

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