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Spades» Forums » Rules

Subject: Tricks to the Nil rss

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Christian Kalk
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As I have mentioned before on this forum, I'm not a fan of the Nil bid...sure, I bid it when I can and I love the feeling of making or covering a difficult Nil, but I'd be just as happy to play the game without it. So perhaps my opinion is somewhat biased here, but bear with me.

I've played under 2 different systems when it comes to trick accounting with a Nil bid.

1)Bid 5-Nil. Partnership target is 5, partnership scores 100-point penalty if Nil player takes no trick.

2)Bid 5-Nil. Bids are independent. Nil must take 0, cover hand must take 5.

The difference between the two is what happens if the Nil bid is set. Under System 1, if the partnership takes 4-1, BOTH hands are set for a score of -149 (-150, but 1 point scored for the Nil's overtrick) Under System 2, the score is a much more manageable -50 (-100 Nil penalty, +50 for 5 tricks bid and taken by the PARTNERSHIP).

When I first began playing Spades online, I played on the (now-defunct) MSN Gaming Zone using System 1, and I felt it was the better system. Many times on other online venues, my partner and I managed to set the Nil and also hold the cover hand a trick short, only to inflict a fairly minor setback.

As a non-fan of the Nil bid, I'm in favour of any idea which makes the bid less common, such as a harsher punishment for failure. Allowing a Nil player to give recognize the hand is hopeless in time to "rescue" the covering bid is, to me, a cop-out and contrary to the spirit of the Nil bid.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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