Date /Time
Sunday March 3, 2024 07:10 pm ET

General Guidelines

Tournaments at the Spades Connection are intended as organized competition while maintaining a fun, social atmosphere. One registration fee covers your participation in ALL tournaments at a given event and there is no prize money awarded. Gifts for tournament winners and/or runners up may be given if provided by our sponsors. Winners from each tournament will be eligible for the Tournament of Champions. Assignments for the Tournament of Champions will be random. Any byes necessary will be given to the team(s) with the most combined points. Only registered players and registered guests will be allowed in the game room. Name tags must be worn at all times while in the game room. As a courtesy to all players, it is expected that cell phones will be placed on vibrate during play. Calls may be taken between games/rounds unless they are an emergency. The first team listed has table choice. Any and all kibbers will be requested to leave a table during a game if any of the players requests no kibbers. All kibbers are requested to observe without interrupting play. Please be respectful of your fellow players, kibitzers, tournament hosts and convention organizers at all times. We are here to have a good time and meet people not to quibble over rules and make people uncomfortable. Offensive, vulgar language or personal attacks will not be tolerated. One warning will be given prior to removal from the game room for two hours. Continued offenses could result in removal from the tournament. Any player(s) offended by someone’s language or behavior should notify a host asap to resolve the situation. Please do not allow situations to escalate. The tournament hosts decisions are final. Procedural questions and disputes should be brought to the attention of a tournament host for a ruling. The hosts will offer each side the opportunity to present their side of any dispute before making a ruling. Once a ruling is given on the dispute at hand, the decision stands and no further discussion will be entertained during the tournament.

Rules of the Game


Time limits for the tournament will be determined by the host in charge as play progresses. The start time for the next round will be approximately 10 minutes after the finish of the previous round. Players are expected to do their best to play the game without interruption. Excessive breaks should be avoided. This keeps teams from having to wait long periods of time before their next round of play. However, this is a social event and some tolerance will be expected of everyone. The TOC games will be limited to 1 hour except for the final round as this will be a full game with no time or hand limits. Players are expected to remain at the table during the game except in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises the Tournament Director must be notified. If the player must be away longer than 5 minutes a sub will be assigned to play in their place. Only one player per team may be away from the table at a time. This is especially true during the TOC. If any player must leave the table for longer than 5 minutes, for any reason, a sub will be put in their place until they return. After (3) hands subs will become permanent. This will be true during regular tournament play as well as during the TOC. Substitute players will be given any points, buttons, and/or prizes that accompany their wins. Deliberate slow play of hands or extended delays in dealing or bidding will result in disqualification of that team.


A standard deck of 52 cards is used. The deck must be well randomized (shuffled) and the person to the right of the dealer offered a cut.


The first dealer is selected by randomly selecting cards from a deck spread on the table. The player drawing the highest card is the first dealer. The first dealer should be recorded on the scoresheet. The first card is dealt to the player on the dealers left and continues clockwise until the entire deck is dealt. All cards should remain on the table, face down, until all cards are dealt. All players must have 13 cards before the hand begins. If any player suspects an error in dealing then each player should count their cards before play begins. If a card is exposed during the deal, it is a misdeal. If a misdeal is called, the dealer re- deals. If a second misdeal occurs, the dealer at hand then forfeits their deal. If the deal does not come out equal (i.e., the dealer doesn’t get the last card) it is a misdeal. The cards will be re-dealt by the same dealer. The deal passes to the left for each subsequent hand. There are no misdeals based on the cards dealt to a hand (e.g., no aces and no spades).


Bidding begins with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise until each player has bid once. There is no discussion or signaling between partners allowed (see table talk). Each player bids by indicating the number of tricks they intend to take using their bid deck. The card showing after each player’s turn to bid will be their official bid. This will be recorded on the score sheet. Remember to turn bid cards over at the end of each hand played. Allowable bids for each player are one to thirteen or nil. The sum of the partnerships bids is their contract for the hand. The only exception is a nil bid. A player bidding nil is declaring they will not win any tricks in the hand. Any tricks won by a nil-bidder do not count toward the partners bid, however they do count as bags. No cards are exchanged for a nil bid. Each player’s bid is written on the score sheet as they bid. No changes in bids are allowed once the bid is announced. This includes bids made out of sequence. If a player announces their bid before it is their turn to bid then the bid stands. During Alt. tournaments, misbids discovered during bidding will be allowed to be corrected depending on the format. Misbids discovered during play will result in loss of the hand by the team that misbids. The opposing team will get their points with no bags.


The player to the left of the dealer leads to the first trick. Any card other than a spade may be lead (except of course in the unlikely event that a player is dealt all 13 spades). Each player in clockwise progression plays a card of the same suit if they have any in their hand. The highest card of the lead suit wins the trick as long as no trump cards are played on the trick. If a player has no cards of the same suit, they may choose to discard any card from another suit or play a trump card (spade). If any trump card is played on a trick, then the player playing the highest trump card wins the trick. The player winning the trick leads to the next trick. Spades may only be lead if spades have been broken or it is the only suit remaining in the player’s hand. Spades are broken when any player has played a spade on any trick. Each hand must be played to completion rather than announcing the rest are mine to avoid potential scoring errors. Cards dropped from any players hand, (revealed to any other player) should remain face up on the table and played at the first opportunity. Cards played out of turn may not be retracted. If the card is a legal play to the lead, then it may not be changed. If the card is not a legal play (not the suit led and the player has a card of the led suit) or was led out of turn then the card is treated as a renounced play. If a player has a card to follow suit but plays a different suit, they have renounced but may correct the play before any card is played to the next trick. The misplayed card must remain face up on the table and be played on the next legal trick. Players following the renounced play may choose to change their card and return the retracted card to their hand. If a player has renounced and a card has been played to the next trick, that team has reneged. A renege may be identified immediately or at any time later in the hand when the player that reneged shows a card of the suit led previously. Once a renege is identified, play of the hand ends. The team that reneged loses their bid and the opposing team makes their bid. No bags are counted for the hand. Each player has the right to ask at any time during play for the bid of any player, what each team scored on each hand, the current total score, and to view the last trick played.


The game is won by one of the following - A team reaches 500 points. - A team forces the opposing team to negative 200 points or below. - A team has a 500 point lead over the opponent team. - The team with the higher score after 8 or 10 (based on format) hands of play. - The team with the higher score when the time limit for the round is reached. Ties Scores are broken by - The team with the lower bag count wins. - If the score and the bags are identical. One (1) additional hand is played. A member of each team will sign the score sheet with the final scores recorded. The winning team will turn in the score sheet and report the win to the tournament host. TABLE TALK AND SIGNALING are not allowed. Any indication of cards held or plays to be made by any means is not allowed and is considered cheating. This includes comments made, manner in which cards are held or played (not including rank, suit or sequence of cards), positioning of cards, hands or extraneous materials (e.g. cell phones, pencils or drinks). This also includes any other communication or signaling not specifically mentioned. Suspected cheating should be reported to a host as soon as possible. If the host can, with a reasonable amount of certainty, determine that a team is cheating, that team may be disqualified from the tournament in play. Any team that is disqualified from a tournament may, at the convention boards discretion, be disqualified from any further play in convention tourneys to include removal from the Tournament of Champions for tournaments already won. Intentional loss of a game so that another team may win is not allowed. All teams work hard to win tournaments so as to qualify for the TOC. It is not fair to them for a team to qualify for the TOC without winning fairly.


The convention board will determine prizes based on availability. The primary purpose for these tournaments and this convention is to meet your friends and have a good time. If sufficient funds and/or donors to provide gifts for winners and/or runners-up are available then gifts may be awarded. We will do our best to provide whatever recognition we can but remember the main reason were here is to have fun.
September 2023 Tournament

Winners: RitZic and HorsenAround

Runner-ups : YellowRoses and Sunny

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