Keyboard guide for spades on BA


 Ifyou already know how to play spades, here is the list of keys for the BA interface.

 Look further below for general instructions and strategies for playing spades.


What it does

Arrow keys

Navigate through your cards


Play a card


Open chat window, hit enter after writing your message to send


Jump to lowest card in the suit


Jump to highest card in a suit


Who’s turn


Review the current hand

Shift R

Review last hand played


Tells the current bids of both teams


Tells the score of both teams


Reads the score required to win and penalty amount for sandbagging

Shift arrow keys

Reads the bid and tricks taken by individual players




 Using the arrow keys, you move up and down between suits, and left and right between the cards of that suit.

 To play a card, simply hit enter on it.

 You can use the arrow keys to view your cards, but you can also use the keys j,k,l, and I.

 J for left, l for right, k for down, and I for up.

 This is much more efficient than having to reach for the arrow keys, and allows you to keep your hands on the home row, we’re all about efficient interfaces here at Blind Adrenaline.

 Using the u and o keys, you can jump to the lowest or highest card in a suit respectively.


 You can also jump between suits in one of two ways:

 By default, hitting the first letter of the suit will jump to that suit, s for spades, c for clubs, etc.

 There is another mode that allows suit navigation on the home row, ay for clubs, s for diamonds, d for hearts, and f for spades.

 Sounds crazy, but this is a more efficient way to navigate the suits, and once you do it a few times, it will be totally natural and fast.

 To switch suit jump modes, press shift c.

Important, turning off the virtual cursor

 Since Blind Adrenaline is web based now, you will need to turn off your virtual cursor once you join a game if you don’t have forms mode set to auto.

 This is necessary, so that keyboard input goes straight to the web page.

 If you have forms mode set to auto, you shouldn’t have any problems.

  When you join or create a game, you can check this by pressing the letter z, if the virtual cursor is off, then you should hear the parameters of the game, and you are ready to go.

 If the z key causes your screen reader to jump somewhere on the web page or gives any other feedback other than the parameters of the spades game, then you need to turn off your virtual cursor.

 For jaws, simply press insert z. For NVDA press insert space.

 Now when you hit z, you should hear the spades game parameters, for instance 500 points minus 100 points at ten sandbags.

 This sounds way more complicated than it actually is, but using the modern web with screen readers is requiring more and more that the virtual cursor be turned off, and this is another case of this evolution.

 Knowing this is helpful in other areas, for instance, if you turn off virtual cursor when watching videos on youtube, you can rewind and fast forward with the arrow keys, as well as adjust the volume, pause with the spacebar, and jump through percentages of the video with the num row keys, such as 5 for 50 percent etc.


Creating and joining games


 From the games page, you will find a heading for all active games, simply click the join button to join one of these.

 To create a table, click on the create link, select spades as the game, then name the table, set your score and timer, and away you go.


What is spades?


Spades is a partnership trick-taking game in which spades is always the trump suit.

 The objective of the game is to take at least the number of tricks that were bid before play of the hand began.

 Players can earn points by taking tricks and making nil and sandbag bids, but they can also lose points by not making their bid or taking sandbags over 10.


How to play spades


1.     The game begins with each player being dealt 13 cards.

2.     Players bid on the number of tricks they think they can take. The bids can range from 0 to 13.

3.     The player to the left of the dealer plays any card of their choice, and the other players must follow suit if they can. If a player cannot follow suit, they may play any card.

4.     The highest card of the suit led wins the trick, and the winner of the trick leads the next one.

5.     If a team does not make their bid, they are "set" and lose 10 points for each trick they bid.

6.     A "nil" bid means that the player will not take any tricks during that hand. If a player makes a nil bid and does not take any tricks, their team earns 100 points. If a player makes a nil bid and takes one or more tricks, their team loses 100 points.

7.     A "sandbag" is a trick taken over and above the player's bid. If a player takes a sandbag, their team earns 1 point for each sandbag taken. If a team takes 10 sandbags in total, they will be charged with 100 points penalty.

8.     Once all thirteen tricks have been played, the team with the most points at the end of the hand wins. The game is typically played to a set score, such as 500 points.


Strategy guide for spades


Assess your hand: Before you bid, take a good look at your cards and try to get a sense of how many tricks you think you can take. Pay attention to the number of high cards you have, as well as any long suits that could help you take several tricks in a row.


Be aggressive, but not reckless: It's important to bid aggressively to put pressure on the other team, but be careful not to overbid and set yourself up for failure. A good rule of thumb is to bid one trick more than you think you can take.


Consider Nil bids: If you have a hand with very few high cards, consider bidding Nil. This can be a risky move, but if successful, it can earn you a big bonus of 100 points.


Be aware of the score: Keep an eye on the score and bid with an understanding of how many points you need to win or stop the other team from winning.