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Spades is a skill game that was invented in the USA in the 1930's and is played quite greatly in USA.
Until lately it has been little known elsewhere, except in a few places where USA soldiers were stationed,
for example in parts of Germany. However, since the mid 1990's Spades has become popular internationally
because of its easy availability in online card rooms on the Internet.
The introduction of online play and tournaments has also led to some standardization of the rules.
Spades is a plain-trick game in which spades are always trumps. It is most often played as a partnership
game by four players, but there are also versions for three, two or six players. Spades became popular in
the 1940s, It is unclear which game it is most directly descended from, but it is known that spades is a
member of the Whist family and is a simplification of Contract Bridge such that a skilled spades player
can learn Bridge relatively quickly.
The game's rise to popularity in the U.S. came during World War2, when it was introduced by soldiers from
its birthplace in Cincinnati, Ohio to various military stations around the world. The game's popularity in
the armed forces stems from its simplicity compared in comparison to Euchre and the fact that it can be
more easily interrupted than Poker, all of which were also popular military card games.
After the war, veterans brought the game back home to the U.S., where due to the GI Bill it spread to and
became popular among college students as well as in home games. It also remained mildly popular in countries
in which U.S. troops were stationed, both in WWII and later deployments.
As of the year 2000, Spades is considered the #1 partnership game in the United States, surpassing Bridge.
However, Bridge, Hearts, Skat and other trick-taking games remain popular and eclipse Spades in various
regions and demographics of the U.S. and in other countries, especially in Europe.