# How do Jokers change the bidding in Spades?

In the game of Spades, there are several popular jokers variations which add the two jokers, named big joker and small joker (BJ, SJ) to the ♠ suit while removing the 2♡,2♦.

In the simple jokers variation:

• ♠ suit contains 15 cards, sorted from high to low: BJ, SJ, A, K, ..., 2.
• ♥,♦ contain only 12 cards: A, K, ..., 3
• ♣ have 13 cards as normal A, K, ..., 2

What are the major differences in the bidding of the simple Jokers variation, compared to the normal Spades game?

• This is a difficult question, but by no means "too broad"? An earlier question on Spades I was able to answer based on my Contract Bridge experience, but I have never played Spades itself. However the specific strategic consequences of there being two more trumps and two 12-card suits is by no means unanalyzable. Sep 2, 2018 at 13:46
• The main complexity is that instead of 4 suits of 13 cards each, the deck now comprises one 15-card suit, one 13-card suit, and two 12-card suits. Thus the relative value of cards, in the three side suits particularly, is subtly different. The biggest direct play difference probably hinges on the change in the increased a priori probability of a red-suit singleton or void compared to the baseline probability for a 13-card suit (now just Clubs). Sep 2, 2018 at 13:51
• I haven't rolled the mathematics yet, but in particular I suspect that these two probabilities jump significantly when one holds 4 or 5 cards in a red suit compared to the same holding in Clubs Sep 2, 2018 at 13:54
• P.S. Note my Meta question on the ethics of questions being closed by contributors with zero experience in the game in question, or even in any related game. Sep 2, 2018 at 14:03
• We call that Losing Trick Count in Bridge. It works well for highly distributional deals with good fits, quite poorly for balanced deals and mis-fits. Experience in Bridge suggests that it is more accurate as a fine-tuning of Work Point Count than as a stand-alone evaluation method. Of course Bridge offers multiple rounds of bidding, which is a big deal. Sep 2, 2018 at 14:44