Oh Shit!

A humorous variation on the classic card game Spades. You do not need to know how to play Spades to play this game.


3 to 8 players (5 or 6 is optimal)


One standard 52-card deck.


Each hand results in points being scored (see "game play"). The object is to be the person with the most points at the end of the game.

Game play

The game is played in a number of rounds. The number of round played depends on the number of players playing. The first round should start with each player getting the most cards possible from the deck (there may be left over cards; each player must get the same number of cards).

If four players are playing, the first round starts with 13 cards each (52 / 4 = 13). There will be thirteen total rounds. Round two, each player will get 12 cards; round three, 11 cards; etc.

If five players are playing, the first round starts with 10 cards each (52 / 5 = 10, with 2 extra cards). There will be ten total rounds. Round two, each player will get 9 cards; round three, 8 cards; etc.

Each hand starts with bidding. Starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player decides how many tricks they can take, given their hand. Spades are trump (meaning, spades always beat non-spades), and you must follow the suit played if you have it; if you do not have a card in the played suit, you may choose to play spades to take the trick, or you may play an off suit card.

If you take the number of tricks you bid, you get 10 points plus your bid (so, if you bid 2, you get 12 points). You can bid zero if you don't think you can take any tricks. If you don't take the number of tricks you bid, you don't get any points.

The total bids can not add up exactly to the number of available tricks. This is what gives this game it's colorful name -- someone will always end up not getting their bid. So for instance, if you have five cards in your hand and there are three players, and the first play bids 2 and the second player bids 1, then the third player must bid something besides 2 (which would equal 5, the total number of available tricks).

Play starts with the player to the left of the dealer. The winner of the trick begins the next trick. The hand is over when everyone is out of cards. Scores are marked, and the deal goes to the next player to the left of the last dealer.


Sometimes, the game starts with 1 card and goes up rather than going down. Sometimes, instead of bidding one at a time, all players bid simultaneously (on the dealer's count of three); in this method, it is acceptable for the count to come out evenly, since nobody has any foreknowledge of what anyone else is bidding.