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Last weekend, I attended a birthday party for a friend. Which, all things considered, may have been the bougiest birthday party I've ever been at. Consider the following:

A)  It was marketed as a birthday party but it was actually just a day party that happened to occur during someone's birthday. This is stealth bougie.

B) There were two people in attendance with "I Love Bougie Black Girls" shirts on. And, surprisingly, neither of them were me.

C) The bottle of Honey Jack that I brought lasted for maybe 27 seconds.

D) Between all of the joggers, tapered skinny shorts, and tank tops, the men collectively had on less clothes than the women.

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E) Someone came up with the idea for everyone to put their names on their red cups, which fulfills the Bougie Black need for attending events with self-identifying nametags.

And of course, when you put 30 Bougie Black people in a room together, liquor them up, and fill them up with chips and dips because there wasn't enough meat, spades is an inevitability. And, as anyone who has played spades with a relatively new group of people will tell you, before the spades playing begins, rules must be determined. Because while spades has the same base rules everywhere, there are certain aspects that vary by region and/or household.

Some people play with two jokers and no extra trump cards. Some people have the two of spades as a trump card. Some have the two of spades and the two of diamonds. Some play overbooks. Some don't. Some add extra points if you win the first seven books. Or if each of your team's aces walks. Some play with no blinds. Some allow you to use blinds, but limit the number you can use per game. Some dictate that if you get set twice, the game is automatically over. Some give you 200 points if you bid 10 books and make it. Some give you 400 if you go blind 10. Some allow you to throw in your hand and declare a misdeal if you receive seven cards of the same suit. Or a hand with no face cards. Or a hand with no spades.

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Either way, there are generally no value judgments attached to these various rules. You just collectively determine how you're going to play and go from there.

Today, however, I'm here to change that. I'm here to say that there should be value judgments attached to the rules. And that there is such a thing as the "best" way to play spades. (Besides, of course, being drunk.) And that pretending like there isn't a "best" way to play is like pretending a Kappa's sweater vest is appropriate for flag football.

So, without further ado, behold the best way to play spades.

1. Joker, Joker, Deuce of Diamonds, Deuce of Spades

(Because four trump cards is better than three. And I kinda like how the two of diamonds just steals the two of spade's spot. Because fuck the two of spades.)

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2. No extra points for first seven books or aces walking

(Because that's arbitrary and stupid.)

3. No limits on getting set. And if you're down 100 points, you can go blind as many times as you need to

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(Because without blinds, unless you set the other team, it's nearly impossible to recover from getting set. Which takes the fun out of the competition.)

4. You are allowed to throw in your hand if you have no spades or seven of a suit

5. Overbooks are counted, just to prevent devious motherfuckers from intentionally underbidding

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6. If caught reneging, you lose three books. If caught twice, you're done. And kicked out of the party, because who reneges twice other than government agents and Rachel Dolezal?

There is no better set of rules than these. Nothing else that keeps the game fun and competitive while also allowing you to use whichever spades-playing strategies you think will work but never, ever, ever actually do.