The Spades Book of Spades Books


JohnGalt has hit a home run with his brand new book. You must read this book if you want to become an all-star player.

—Joe Andrews
World renowned Spades expert and Zone Spades Analyst


Jack’s book is not the Bridge book written for the Spades player like several of the other books. His book is refreshing in that it is a Spades book written by a Spades player. No other Spades player has written a Spades book, and with that knowledge in mind his book accomplishes what others cannot.

It is written in an easy to understand nontechnical format which 90 percent of all Spades players can benefit from. The tips are what I would call “Good Ole Fashioned Momma, Pappa seat of the pants Logic.”

In this case if one were to judge a book by its cover you would not go wrong as the cover is just as lively as what’s inside.

Considering the marketing ability and the mass appeal, Jack has written a book for 90 percent of all Spades players. It is not written for an expert Spades player and was never intended to be, however, we only have about five percent or less that are expert status… the book does more than it promises and would be a huge success for much more than half of the playing populous.

If I were to write a book it would be more of this nature, and although I love weird science and Spades, my book would be geared toward the masses.

—Jay Tomlinson
Widely recognized Bridge and Spades expert, and owner of the prestigious Expert Spades web site.


Reading JohnGalt’s book is like getting dealt an extra Ace every hand.

—Kelly West
New Mexico
Winner of the 2003 Zone Sweethearts Tournament and the $1,000 first place prize.


I have your book now and I’m quite impressed by it. It’s well organised, concise, clearly written and the advice makes sense. A pleasant surprise after reading the ramblings of some other authors.

—John McLeod
John has an excellent website about all sorts of games at


I have been playing spades for 28 years. I learned it as an extension of Whist, which my parents taught me when I was 8, so it was fairly easy to adapt. How NOT To Lose At Spades is an absolute must have for anybody that wants to go beyond the very basics of the game.

There is something for everyone in this book regardless of what level you’re playing at now. What took me by surprise was the simplistic approach Mr. Strichman uses to teach the more technical aspects of the game. And he covers it all, from covering nils to defeating them, from finessees to second seat bidding and play and beyond. If you are an advanced Spades player now or just wish to learn the game I have no doubt you’ll carry your game to far beyond what it is today.

I recommend finding yourself a partner and buying a copy for each of you. It would be an investment that will last far beyond the partnership. You can write an instructional book, you can make it as technical as possible, but it’s not easy to write an instructional book that makes those technicalities understandable to all. Mr. Strichman has done just that in this book.

This book makes learning Spades easy and fun. Why spend years learning from mistakes and trying to understand them when you can spend a few hours and learn what takes many years to learn? In a nutshell, buy this book and your game will improve and I have witnessed this in many players. The guarantee speaks for itself.

—John Faulkner


I am a Spades player from Germany and I just read your book. It is one of the best books I ever read. It had immediate impact on my playing style and especially on bidding and last hand bidding. I am so grateful.

Today I won a very close game only because I followed your advice on last hand bidding and thinking about the different results. Due to my bid, which was really not my hand, we won by 13 points. It was a fantastic feeling, winning a match not by cards, but winning by brain. I guess you understand best what I mean b>

—Martin Hamacher


HI John, I thoroughly enjoyed How Not to Lose at Spades. I believe your book is perhaps the finest treatment that has ever been given to a particular card game. I have read numerous instructional books covering various games and think yours ranks up there with David Sklansky’s Theory of Poker as the top books in the genre. I am a much tougher player to beat now that I have studied your book, which I consider the “bible of Spades.”

—Marty Cummins


“How Not To Lose At Spades” is absolute perfection! It covers every facet of the game of Spades through expert analysis and an aggressive approach. John Galt has “blown away” the Spades World with his writing style and approach to the game… John starts with a superior bidding approach, and keeps the fire burning with topics such as End-Game Analysis, Trump Management (a new concept), and play of the hand. The beginner, intermediate and advanced player will benefit from this easy-to-read book.

I have been playing for about four years, and thought that Spades was a simple game. Oh My God! Was I wrong! John really dazzled me with his treatise on how to make high-level bids. The only comment that I would make that even sounds negative is that John was way ahead of me… Whether you play this fast-paced game for fun or you like the high-level competition, “How Not To Lose At Spades” will elevate your game.

John Galt’s book presents Spades theory and strategy which is way ahead of its time. Trump management, opening leads, and bag-avoidance strategies are covered for the first time in detail never seen previously. Someday, the Spades Community will realize that this Book was the pioneering effort. Make the investment, and enjoy the dividends of great play!

—Stephen Wilson


I play spades on line in the game room (the Zone) as Lions_Major. As the winner of many on line tournaments, HOW NOT TO LOSE AT SPADES took me to a whole new level of play. Before reading this book, it seemed that I lost most of the close games. So many times it would come down to that last hand or one fatal mistake that would cost my partner and I the game… One of my Lions teammates introduced me to John Galt Strichman, the author of this great how to do it right book! HOW NOT TO LOSE AT SPADES is easy to read, direct to the point, and drives home winning strategies with great illustrations. If you are like I was, sick and tired of loosing the close games, this book will help you win the games that seemed to get away.

Best Regards and good hunting!

—Mike Moe
Rhode Island


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for the time and effort that you put into your book “How Not To Lose At Spades.” I purchased this book thinking if I learn something great, but if not… it will be fun to read.

Well, what a wonderful surprise… Yes I read your internet column, but I had no idea what depth you put into your book. I have learned more in 1 chapter than I ever anticipated in the entire book. I keep going back and rereading the book, because it is so easy to pick up new information.

I am not only improving my rating… but in tourneys… I usually win more than I lose!!

The more I read your book the more I want to put it down and go try out what I learned on the Zone. You have masterfully put into layman’s terms how to predict and play your hand to the upmost of its ability.

—Shannon Ballard


Strichman’s book on Spades is the best book on any card game that I have ever read. As a long time Spades and Bridge player, I certainly have read many books on playing cards – this is the best.

The writing is straight forward and crystal clear. In every instance, you understand the situation, the problem, the right line of attack, how to recognize it, and most importantly, why the stated approach is right.

The book is loaded with examples that help make each important point in the book. These really help to clarify and drive home each lesson.

The breadth covered is great. Just about every kind of situation is covered and these are logically grouped for easy understanding and reference.

Besides the excellent and easy to understand insights, the book is also humorous. This makes it really fun to read while you are learning enough to put you at the top end of any set of competitors you might face.

Buying this book is a “no brainer”.

—Alan Bernstein


This book is a MUST for anyone who enjoys playing spades! It is so informative, and the explanations for “why” make so much sense. A nice touch of humor, makes this book an absolute pleasure to read!

—Marg Clements
British Columbia


This week I bid a last hand so it was impossible to lose-this was something I did not know before. I got a great big kick out of that. I still have more to read and then reread. It does not all sink in on the first reading-so that must be a sign of a good book.

—Joe Streator


Got mine a week ago and it’s awesome! Was really surprised how nice it really was and in language I can actually read. Hate reading more than anything unless it’s about computers, BUT this is a MUST read…..I was sick of losing in semi’s and being runner-up. Mind you I’m only on page 50 and have had the book a week, but you know what? I have won more games by going by what I read. I couldn’t believe it. It actually works. Oh Sorry Galt I didn’t mean it like that. but I mean it really does work. The bidding part and the last hand were always killers for me. Not anymore. Thanks to HOW NOT TO LOSE AT SPADES I’m a better player and I am very thankful that I bought the book.

—Jacqulyn Peterson


Your book is great! I enjoyed trying to figure out just what I would bid in your scenarios. The best part for me is the nilling section. Your tips on nilling helped me a great deal! There were some things on nils that I had never thought of. Since reading your book my pard and I have either won or come in 2nd 7 times in 3 weeks. Thanks so much!

—Debbie Black


More people need this book. I find myself advising from my readings. It is a very informative book. Although I thought myself a very good player, I found many points of strategy I did not know. I have been playing spades since 1963 and i was appalled at my lack of knowledge until I read this book. I want to thank John for encouraging me to buy the book, and I encourage all to buy it and read it.

—Ken Earthman


Thank you JohnGalt for sharing your knowledge and wisdom about the game of spades with us.. and for mixing in a little humor too.. 🙂 I am three quarters through with the book and have already been told that my game has improved. I look forward to finishing the book and Not Losing at Spades!

—Bettina Davidson


Well John, just want you to know that your book has done wonders for me. I had always felt I was a good Spades Player until I started reading your book and learned things I never thought of. With your knowledge of Spades, you have helped me be a much better Spades Player. I would strongly suggest that anyone wanting to improve their game must buy and read this book… you will be shocked at what you don’t know about Spades, even if you have been playing for years. I have been playing Spades for about 25 years and learned alot from John’s book. John, you did a great job on this book and it is in a form that is easy to understand. Thanks again for your book.

—Carolyn Young


I have received your book. I have immediately started reading and it is everything I had hoped for. I shall read it several times from front to back to really let everything sink in.

(Next Day) This book is really going to help me against the good players. A last hand, second bid 1 bid…on a textbook 3 bid…lets your pard decide to bag them or bid to 14 (all relating to the additional information learned from the pone’s pard’s bid). Whew, and some players punch in their bids immediately!

Like the great chess author, Aron Nimzovitch, you have ” reduced a welter (don’t feel bad, I had to look this one up too) of arbitrary ideas to a definite number of inter-related principles”, and it’s also fun to read.

—Tom Miller


I received your book yesterday evening. I have started it and enjoy it extremely!

—Laura Fiorenza
New York


Received the book 4/9. Immediately read up to the chapter on counting cards. I’m quite impressed with your concept of spades and I feel I will benefit from the application of some of your ideas. Thanks.

—Artie Carrasquillo


I received my book and LOVE it….I haven’t finished reading the book yet but have started practicing what I’ve learned so far. Thanks for making Spades more pleasurable for all.

—Vivian Murray


A must read for any serious spades player. It has worked wonders for myself and partners in the zone, can just imagine what it will do in a real spades tournament! I am looking forward to putting all this expertise to work this June.

Thank you Jack, it’s a marvelous tool and it’s presented clearly and concisely. My bedside table would be bare without it!

—Mary Short


I have read the book three times now and I learn something new every time… I have played Spades for 4 years now and thought I was a good Spades player, until I received your book and read it. I now know I was making more mistakes than I ever dreamed imaginable. I spend a lot of time in the last hand bidding and nilling sections (imagine me in the nilling section : – ) ). I would recommend this book to beginners, pros, or anyone wanting to win at Spades. The book is very instructional, great illustrations, easy to read, written in terms anyone can understand, and I love the humor….cause we all know if you can’t laugh and enjoy playing why play? Thank You for sharing your knowledge of spades with us.

—Marty Baker


You are right. I love it. Although I’m not a very serious player, I did think I was a decent player. I realize now that I was making alot of mistakes. I have learned alot and am not even finished with the book. It is easy to read and makes so much sense. Makes me feel a little stupid for not knowing some of the things that were pointed out. I felt better after reading the section on last hand bidding. At least I was doing that right most of the time. Now when I have spare time I have to choose between playing or reading the book. Most of the time I choose reading but can’t wait to play again now that I will be bidding wiser and, hopefully, making fewer mistakes. It is definitely a valuable book. I can’t imagine anyone reading it and not learning a lot.

I do know what you mean about resistance to learning. I have mentioned your book a couple of times while playing. I’ve gotten responses such as “I just play for fun” and “I’ve been playing this game for years and don’t need a book to tell me how.” I try explaining how much more fun playing is after reading the book but it doesn’t seem like they get my point. I will keep letting people know about it. Thanks.

—Lisa Massey


Hi John, just wanted to write you and say thank you for the advice in your book. You helped me and my pard win a tournament last night. We were in a regular Spades tournament in the finals, and on the 8th and final hand we were ahead by 70 points. Both teams had 9 bags, and I was bidding last. I had a hand that I would normally bid 2 or 3 with. Each of the other players bid 3. I did the math and instead of bidding 2 or 3, I bid 4. This meant that if either team set the other they would also bag set. Since we were ahead by 70 points, If we made our bid, got set, or set them, we would still win. I would have probably bid 2 in that situation if I had not read your book, and may have been bag set. So thank you for the help.

—Jonny Garetz


What a great book! After reading How Not To Lose At Spades I started winning games that I would have lost prior to reading the book. The chapter on last hand bidding is my favorite and the one I use the most. The book is easy to understand and keeps you smiling throughout the whole book, with just the right amount of humor. How Not To Lose At Spades is written so that the beginners and the experienced players will learn how to win more games. Reading How Not To Lose At Spades will teach you the skills needed to play a quality game and let you experience the joys of winning more Spades games. Thank you for making me a better spades player.

—Bill Kaesebeir


I found your book to be of great help, especially when nil bidding and last hand bidding. Each time I read it I learn something new. Was well worth the money and the time you spent writing it for us. Loved the bits of humor too… all books should have some humor…makes for better reading.

—Bonnie Mately


I am enjoying reading your book very much, so much so that I have decided to order another one of your books as a gift to my partner after just setting a new personal best record of 17 straight wins. Not too shabby for playing with a girl that I have just recently met about 3 weeks ago. After we both finish reading your book and get some more playing time in together, I’m sure we will be an even more awesome spades team.

—Robert Dannewitz
New York


Your book is the best $18 I ever spent!

—Donna Lloyd
South Carolina


Fantastic book, Jack! I was surprised at how much I had to learn about ‘not’ losing at spades. The section on “Last Hand Bidding” came in handy the other night. I had my first tie game at 618 (8 bags each). The opponents bid 4 and nil………my pard bid 4. Before reading your book, I would have bid my hand of 4-5 and they most likely would have won the game. But, thanks to your book, I weighed the options and decided to underbid with 3. Oh, the sweet taste of victory……….we bagged em! The tips in your book have improved my game so much that I feel brave enough to take even YOU on in a game!!! Once again, thanks for a great read!

—Lee Davis


Got it today. Read the entire book tonite. Was torn between stopping after a particular chapter and getting on line to try it out … and reading on to learn more. Finally decided to just keep reading. Just finished. Great book. I was especially awed by the Autowin. Never would have considered such a thing. Looking forward to trying out my new found tools. Thanks again.

—David Elswick


Thank you for writing “How Not To Lose At Spades”. It has opened up a new world of possibilites in the game of Spades that I had never dreamed existed. Anyone who asks me about a book on Spades is going to hear about yours for sure! Thanks again.

Sure you can put my comments on your page as long as you don’t think it will get everyone to buy the book (Right now I have a Secret Weapon)….lol. Loved your book.

—Jack Goodman


Received the book…reading it now; see a difference in my game already! Thanks for such a wonderful contribution to the learning of America’s favorite card game.

(A few weeks later) I am learning and enjoying from your book! I have a regular partner in the Aces room now …out of social yeah! Thanks again for a wonderful book!

—Lajean Logan


Thanks JG for your time and effort on this most wonderful book. I considered myself a good player before reading it, but your book reinforced the ideas I had myself on what to do, as well as showed me the mistakes I had been making (I especially found the Last Hand Bidding chapter useful). I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get more out of the game of Spades, whether you’re a newbie or a veteran player. It is a well written book that is extremely easy to comprehend, and very informative at the same time. Thanks again Jack for your dedication to this book, and for a job well done.

—Cody Crouch


I would like to give a big thumbs up to Jack’s book. It has helped me and my regular partner win much more often because of the strategies. It is very easy to understand and learn from for new players and experienced players alike. I highly recommend it for all Spades players!

—Barbara Jaroli


Wooooohooooo… my book has arrived…lol. I am half way through it now… and already learned so much 🙂 This is one book I will re-read a few times though.

Thank you for writing it…I can see it took a lot of hard work and time. You will be getting more orders soon… (wink) you know how word of mouth sells…hehehe and I have a big one….lol.

(A few days later) Wow…what a difference in my perception of the game…a game that was lost in my mind before isn’t even close to being over now. I take much bigger risk yet seem to win more…never thought that would be possible….I went nil last hand of the game instead of bidding my hand like I usually do…and we made the nil and won the game…who woulda thought.

—Tina Calderone


I got the book and it’s fantastic. Thank you for writing it. This is going to be very helpful.

—Gladys Smith


“How Not To Lose At Spades” is an excellent book for learning the strategies and techniques used in advanced Spades. I’ve adopted it as a textbook for use when I teach others how to play. It is by far the best resource available to increase any player’s ability.

—Dan Hoffenberg


The book is awesome….way beyond what I ever, ever expected! I am overwhelmed with the material and the faulty playing I have been doing for the last years!

I wanted to write to encourage you in the promoting of what I have come to label “The J(UST) G(REAT) Method”….this material is outstanding! Just outstanding…. and I applaud your wisdom and experience!

—Ellen Valentina
New York


I love your book. I’ve only been playing Spades for about a month. My rating was at a mere 1490, but with a renewed effort after reading your book, my rating shot up to 1850 in just a few days.

(A week later) I am making a website for our Spades team, _fiesty, and would like very much to include a link on the page to your book page. Your book has been a tremendous help to me and I have already convinced at least two other team members to purchase it. I would like to encourage the other team members to do so as well, and the easier I make it for them.. the more likely they will. Soooooooooo, may I please have permission to put a link on our page at for your How Not To Lose At Spades site?

In the interest of full disclosure, after reading Jack’s book in 2001, he became a great friend, and eventually the love of my life. We married in 2004. He adopted my two teenage daughters and is not only an awesome spades player, but he is also a wonderful husband and incredible father.

—Kathi Sahagun (now Strichman)


I love your book.

—Kim Hultgren


For one of the few times in my life, I actually got more than my money’s worth.

Invaluable information, straightforwardly presented….worth its weight in trumps!

(A few weeks later) Just further documentation of my “HOW NOT TO LOSE AT SPADES” stimulated tournament development. From 9/15 through 9/22 I made 4 finals and 3 semis. My total appearances previous to that week were 2 finals and 3 semis, spread over 5 months, irrefutable proof of the implementation of the principles in your book improving my Spades game. If I can, anyone can!

—Dan Taylor
North Carolina


By the way, I’m reading your book for the fourth time (I think). Eventually I will get to the point that using the strategies you present is as natural to me as never going nil with the Ace of Spades . . . . You have a gift (plus a background) for understanding technical processes. I’ve been “Spading” for six months, but if I had been playing for a lifetime – I never would have picked up all the tips you teach. Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts in a book.

—Nelda Barnard


I just finished reading your book …….. it was the BEST! I learned lots and lots of new things! Interestingly ……… there were some things I was doing from exp and intution that were spelled out by you as winning techniques! …. that was a pleasant surprise.

P.S. I am already winning more from reading your book.

—D. Patel


Well, I’ve read 20 pages or so, and learned 3 things. 1., ‘OK, I’ve long been on the risk/reward page with ya’. 2., I’d love to pard with you anytime due to #1. 3., I can’t wait to devour the rest of the book. Thank You, and feel free to use any of the above as a quote. Now I gotta get back to the book….

—Jeff Bowerman
New Mexico


Wow, what a great book! I just thought I knew how to play Spades. I have really enjoyed the reading and still refer back to it often (old age mental lapses). Your monthly columns help too as a refresher!! Of course I’ll never be as good as The Master….you know him as Will, but the book certainly has helped so that he doesn’t have to carry me the entire time (now only half the time). I figure by the time I have memorized the book, he’ll only be carrying me 20% of the time. Will, of course, takes most of the credit for my increased knowledge of spades playing, and I surely wouldn’t want to bust his bubble, but your book really is wonderful and I learned so much from it (you definitely have the credit that is deserved!).

In all seriousness, I loved the book and the information is invaluable to those of us that are Spades junkies. Your book has made it easier to enjoy playing Spades.

—Carrie Moore


I personally ordered two copies of your book. I’ve told many others about it who have ordered from you since then and I know they have in turn told others as well.

I would like to order a 3rd book for a friend, and am considering ordering some additional copies for xmas presents for online friends. So much in there I’ve tried to explain to people for years, but the examples and work throughs seem to get through to them in ways that just trying to explain never does. There just are no hard and fast rules about Spades as everything you do is situational, and that’s what the book illustrates so well. Many people I’ve referred the book too come back and ask if I wrote it afterwards cause they have heard me use that “risk/reward” phrase so many times over the years that they think it must be my middle name. Anyway, the book makes it so much easier with the examples to get key points across.

Thanks again for a great book.

—Russ Stoops


I’ve been playing Spades ever since I was 10, that’s over 25 years. I’ve played a lot of games and thought I’d seen it all. I had good strategies for bidding and playing, and won lots of games with them. I got Jack’s book because of the comments I’ve heard about it, and I’m always looking to improve. The simple way that he explains advanced techniques is amazing. He changed the way I approach a hand, the way I bid, and the way I think about what card to play. He has given me greater focus on the real purpose of the game… to win.

I have 8 TOC wins, 10 TOC runner-ups, over 50 tourney wins, and over 40 tourney runner-ups.

—James Pritchett
(James has his own nice Spades web site and writes a monthly Spades column.)


I appreciate what you have done, and the way you have done it. Given what I see on the Zone with people that play continuously, your book is super sophisticated. I think that virtually everyone I have played with would do well to study your work.

—Frank Silver


Hello there, just thought I would let you know that I finished reading your book and tell you what a world of difference it made for my game. I used to be so crappy i couldn’t find people to play with me in the rated rooms, I was somewhere around 1520 or 30. I created a new name, so I can actually get people to play with me now, lol, but i’ve only played 32 games on it and I’m rated 1724. It’s been like 2 or 3 weeks since no one would want to be my pard. Thanks a lot.

(a few months later) I believe the last time I wrote you I was all happy to be over 1700 in rated play. I’m over 2200 now after the 3rd or 4th reading of your book and a little more experience playing. I made it to the top 1000 out of 820,000 listed names in the Zone today, that’s pretty incredible if you ask me, considering I just started playing in september 2001 (I agree)

—Shaun Heald


Hello, got the book, ty. I have been playing internet Spades for 3 years. Your book has pointed out many mistakes that I have made, mainly bidding according to score, not always your hand. Too much to take in at one time. I play on the Zone mostly, and some pones accuse people of cheating if they take time to bid … will take my time from now on. Great book, now will have to find the right pard!

—Doug Sites


The book is great. It’s very easy to understand (english not my native language and had no problem to understand). The structure is great and very clear. I am playing Spades for 3 years now, 1 year tournies, and still learned from your book. I would suggest every Spades player to read your book. Great job you’ve done there!!!!!

—Martin Frohnwieser
Vienna, Austria


As I incorporate the techniques outlined in JohnGalt’s book into my game, my playing keeps getting better and better; my rating has increased almost 200 points on the MSN gaming Zone and I enjoy playing the game so much more. When I recognize mistakes being made by the opponents that JohnGalt says to avoid, I get a psychological advantage and an increased confidence that my partner and I will be winning more games than we will lose. Well worth the money if you are or want to be a serious player.

—John Gouveia, Jr.
North Carolina


This book has step by step instructions on how to win at Spades in various situations. If you thought you could use the same strategy every time, think again. This book is really easy to follow and you can read the whole thing or skip around to work on the areas that you need to improve. The Author’s sense of humor will keep you reading. I read it more than once and my game has really improved. If you read this book you will win at more Spades games.

—Steve Cardin


Anyone wanting to learn some hidden jewels of Spades-strategy will be completely satisfied with How Not To Lose At Spades. I and my teammates have noticed a huge difference in my online Spades games since I’ve read this book. My ability to set opponents has also increased! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used some of this information to leave my opponents stunned and wondering how the heck that just happened! It’s a great boost to be able to have a better idea of how a hand will play out also! I can’t say enough about this book, buy it!!

—Rebecca Worthington


The book is excellent. I have learned a lot already and I can see a difference in my game. I really appreciate the large print. I can read it without my glasses. Thanks a lot.

—Larry McKinney


I love your book. Reading it has helped me increase my Zone rating from 1700 to 2200.

—Frank Myers


I received your book. It is excellent! I am already winning more Spades games. Thank you very much!

—John Hopkins


I loved your book. Thank you.

—Naomi G.


I love your book and it’s helped my Spades game a lot.

—Mary Brush


Excellent book for beginners and experts. Covers all aspects of playing winning Spades. Wish I’d read this book years ago. JohnGalt does a great job of explaining how not to lose. Sure opened my eyes to why I’ve been losing those really close heartbreaking games . If you want to WIN then read this book.

—Ruth Spiegel


After acquiring “How Not to Lose at Spades” I can honestly say my Spades game has improved a lot. The book is well presented, using a large font, and it contains many examples of situations you will find yourself in during your games. The book is written with humor and is suitable for players of all levels of play. The chapters on “The Nil” and “Last Hand Bidding” are essential reading for every Spades player. In short, if you want to learn “How Not to Lose at Spades” you NEED this book.

—Steve Blizzard


There aren’t too many books written about the game. Mr. Strichman has made very simple what takes years to learn. He is an avid player and tournament winner. As a bonus, it’s written in a font where a person dosen’t have to squint to read it; the sight impaired will enjoy this. The book will make a beginner a good player rather quickly; an advanced player, an excellent player. Anyone who reads it will surely benefit from it.

Thank you John!

—James Draper


I have read your book. Our team name is the Aces and we play in Team Ladder Room 2. Would you consider coming and meeting with us to critique our play and give us some hints? We have almost 25 members. Some play by your book. We would like all to do that. Thanks so much.

—Ann Siegel


Would you know how I might be able to contact other players who have purchased and read your book? I loved it and would like to play with others who also loved the book.
(we do keep a list of readers looking for other readers)

—Joy Watkins


Been reading your book and enjoying it very much. I do consider myself to be a advanced player but you have sharpened up my game alot. I have only finished about half the book but I do plan on reading it more than once.

—Mike May


Your book has helped me so much.

—Diane Himelein


I have read (studied) about half of your book. I knew a lot of stuff in it, but the stuff I didn’t know is what is helping me (and my pard) become better Spaders. I especially like the hilo, and the faux hilo. My pard and I have tried them out and they have worked wonders on our game. I’m nearing 1900’s again, and with the help of your book I think my pard and I will make it to 2000+ in no time.

Thank you, JohnGalt.

—Michael Stanton


Having just completed half of “How not to lose…”, the following comment seemed reactive enough.

“I HATE YOUR BOOK” (snicker snicker)

Seriously, a few of the pards that I’ve played with in “ACES” complained that I was not “playing well” (OK maybe they were a little less gracious than that). However, I did NOT think they were right. SOO I ordered the book to verify that great minds think alike.

DARN! They were right. I continue to read and learn.

Thanks (sort of)

—Greg Brown


I ordered your book, “How Not to Lose at Spades”, a few months ago. It’s a great book, and I’d like to send a copy to my internet playing partner.

—Al Wiley
North Dakota


My sincerest thanks goes out to fellow teammate and author Tiger_Galt for sharing his experiences with all of us in his book How Not To Lose At Spades. We have often heard that experience is the best teacher. However, this publication is an example of how sometimes the best teacher can be “other” peoples’ experiences. Many of the pitfalls I use to routinely fall in, Galt’s book has helped me to identify and avoid, thus resulting in more wins.

I am in a profession that requires constant research and reading, so the value of such a publication was easily identifiable to me from first glance. Since my application of the humorously suggested Spades tips my average of tourney wins has increased from 3 or 4 per month to 15. Now when you consider working full-time and other responsibilities that must be tended to it is easier to put this average into better perspective.

Like many who enjoy the great game of Spades, we develop tendencies and signs that are common to us and recognizable to our opponents which in most cases will result in defeat. This book is written in a humorous format that enables each person to identify those liabilities and learn how to actually turn the tables and recognize your opponents’ mistakes and better take advantage of them, consistently resulting in more wins.

A prime example of this is how we are given situations that may be tempting to nil with, but unwise as the results of “failure” to successfully make the nil often shows. After realizing what the odds are in any given situation I can better identify what is a more probable nil to make. Once you realize the statistical chances of a good “offensive situation” before you even realize it you are becoming a better “defensive player” enabling you to be able to set more nils.

This is just one of many advantages that the book has given me, and as I continue to refer back to it, the pitfalls, advantages, and disadvantages of different hands dealt to me become easier to identify which makes bidding easier, which is the first and fundamental foundation to winning or losing a hand. Sharing these tips with a regular pard makes both more efficient players and as in my case resulting in more wins. There is a joy that naturally comes from playing the game of Spades but this joy is increased significantly with more knowledge and understanding of the basic fundamentals. Galt has managed to create a learning environment that is also fun to read because of its humor and we have always known that to be the best environment to learn in, certainly the most enjoyable.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the fundamentals of Spades because as the author so aptly put it, “If your opponent is reading this book and you are not, chances are you are losing.”

—Lloyd Doucet


Jack, received my book today…spent the morning reading the first two chapters..I am totally would like to buy one for my favorite Spades partner and have you send it to him….

—Judy Burton


I am enjoying the Book and it’s giving me terminology for tactics I have been using for years but didnt really know it. Of course, I’m barely into it, I KNOW I’ll find LOTS of useful info the deeper I get.

(a few days later) Still working through the Book, has already changed my outlook on bidding. VERY Informative!

Only thing, NOW I’m recommending it to all I pard with on a regular basis. Gotta be playing from the “same page” dont u know……

You’ll be getting another order from me in the next day or so to send to one of my REGULAR pards in Hardwood. SHEESH! I HOPE some buy their own! This could get costly!

I’m “pushing” it to ONLY MY Regular Pards, lol. Don’t want to give my main opponents any opportunity to”catch up”! If anybody asks though, I DO recommend it to all……

—John Godwin


I ordered your book last year after I first started playing Spades. It helped my game immensely and was the best investment I coulda made considering the hours I spend in the Zone. Last night I won my first club TOC, and I would like to show my appreciation to my pard by sending him a copy of your book. I was impressed that you actually took the time to sign my copy and I was wondering if you could inscribe the copy I am going to order with a msg to my pard? (of course)

—Michael A.


I purchased your book in January of this year. Up until then, I never had played seriously. I’ve read it, underlined and highlighted key points, and referred to it often. Since then, I am now regarded as an opponent to reckon with and I was named Captain on an established league team. Imagine that! Thank you very much for the help your book has provided. I encourage as many people as possible to acquire your book; especially those individuals with whom I play outside of league.

—Martin Culbertson


In July I wondered into the Zone to play Spades. I read about a book that would give me hope – “How not to lose at Spades.” I ordered it and I must tell you I have never had more fun and meet nicer people from all over the world. This book gives you the start you need, and with some practice and some very nice Partners you are on your way to some fun days and nights. I’m ordering the 2nd edition with more lessons then the first as I am working on now going to rated someday and I know from all I got from the first book I’ll be making the leap soon.

—Jackie Taylor


I received your book and read all the chapters – had a couple of days off . I have slowed down on my games and tried to apply some of the strategies you suggest. Yesterday, I won my very first league tourney with my partner! Two of the games were closely won on last hand bidding alone 😉 We had occasion to employ the strategy of forcing the bid to a situation where we simply could not lose! I have shamelessly been quoting you to my partner (with proper acknowledgment of course) and I am planning to persuade him to buy his own copy.

—M. Campbell


Your book arrived safe and sound — and what a book — you have explained the game in the fullest of details — how long have I had it – just over the week, and the difference in my outlook to play has improved 100% — can’t put it down — my strategy is now working — its just the little things you would never have thought of that makes so much difference to the game.

My confidence has improved– still a long way to go I know –but -with your book and my determination – laughing here — soon will make some of the best start to worry. The book is a credit to you and I thank you so much for sending it all this way, and hey – no-one has told me since starting with your book that I am a lousy player — now that is worth a giggle.

Your friend from down under — big hugs — let me know if you write anything else — you have a follower here.

—Shirley Fletcher


I used to see the book “HOW NOT TO LOOSE AT SPADES” all over the internet. But I always thought that I knew the game of Spades as well or better than the next guy. So one day I decided to purchase it just to see what was in it on account I love the game of Spades.

I found it to be one of the best books that I have ever read. I was amazed at the things I learned from reading the book. I actually found myself useing strategies and reading the cards being played instead of just thinking I knew what I was doing.

So when I found out there was a second edition comeing out, I purchased it right away. and well and behold. John Galt went far and beyond the first edition which I thought could not be done. I highly recommend that, if you enjoy the game of Spades as much as I do or are new to the game rather it be on the MSN Zone or wherever you play, buy it and enjoy learning things you might not ever have thought about while playing Spades.

Hats off to you Galt, a very wonderfull job. I have learned a great deal from you!

—Kevin Bryant


A tip of the hat to Jack! He has done it again. The second volume of his Classic -best seller (vol. 1) of How Not To Lose At Spades is now available.


Jack has completely revised and updated his original work. There is lots of new material here. Your game will get better.

Get the Real Deal! Get Galt’s New Book! –


—Mort Harrison


“How Not To Lose At Spades” is the cream of the crop – it just does not get any better. This book is so damn good, that it has only one fault – and that it is – we have just not found it how great it really is.

I was a dreadful Spades player until I found Yahoo, and the Spades Books out there. Joe Andrews’ Book is good, Steve Fleishman’s book is better, and Strichman’s book is the best. Strichman is a terrific player, and an important member of a largest Spades Club in the Zone. Anyone who has played with Strichman knows just how great a player this man is.

“How Not To Lose At Spades” is clear, precise, and to the point. You will gain at least 200 points on your rating after reading this book.

Grab Strichman’s book ASAP, and be ready to take on the giants of the game.

HINT HINT – This book makes a great Christmas gift. Order a few copies and watch those smily faces on Christmas morning!

—Ralph Cormier


Galt’s Book will be the “Bible of Spades” someday. John has created a work of art, as he discusses everything you want to know about Spades – but were afraid to ask. No stone is left unturned. This book is easy to read, has lots of tips and strategies, and will make you a better player.

Get Galt’s book, and be a great player in 30 days or less.

—Raymond Benson


JohnGalt Strictman’s book is a “must” tool for every Spades Player who enjoys competitive Spades. It is an easy read and his command of humor and the English language makes a technical tool an enjoyable read.

My game has improved consistently through trying various strategies offered in the book. JohnGalt makes you think and makes you desire to try his tips. His use of common logic and practical approaches to your hand will have you winning more than losing and making your playing experience most enjoyable.

“How Not to Lose at Spades” is definitely a “must” tool for all Spades playing addicts!

Owner of the largest Spades club at the MSN Gamong Zone


John Galt Strichman has struck gold with his easy to read and informative book of Spades. This book approaches the game from an individuals point of view and is very detailed on strategy, play of the hand and technique. This author covers everything about Spades from A-Z, inclucing bagging strategies, end game technique, and most important of all trump management. This book has the perfect blend of humor and expertise. In my opinion this is a must read for all spades players.

—Anne Lillis


As a long time Spades player with over 20 years experience and a host of tournaments in (3) three seperate game rooms I found Mr. John Strichman’s book an excellant manual.

I have personally introduced new players to this book as well as seasoned players and all have found it to help improve their Spades game strategy and playing.

It has been my pleasure owning a very first copy of the book and playing against Mr. Strichman in several tourney’s most of which he and his partner have won.

The book How Not to lose at Spade is a MUST in any players collection.

—Earl Bartashnick


I bought John’s book several months ago. I can’t begin to say enough good things about what he teaches in the book. I have used many of the techniques and I’m winning consistantly now. It’s so much fun to use them cause most of the time the opps have no idea what hit them. THANKS JOHN

ps. I love your updates too

—Joe Tirello


I’ve played Spades and hosted online Spades tournaments at various online gaming houses for over five years, but I couldn’t pull may game together until I received this book as a gift. Within a week of receiving this book, my partner(s) and I placed in the top 3 in two prestigious online tournaments.

JohnGalt has made it easy and fun to strengthen your Spades-play strategies so that both the beginner and advanced Spades player can improve their game, and the book is conveniently organized so that you can refer to it as you play if you’re not sure what your best strategy is.

—Don Blackwell


First of all, although this book is a paperback, it is a big, magazine-sized book. I mention this because it was much larger than I expected, and helps justify the price.

The author obviously knows his stuff. As I started reading the book, and came to an example where the reader is asked to come up with a bid, I found that not only was my bid wrong, but the author knew exactly what I was thinking, and explains what’s wrong with it. This happened several times within the first couple of chapters.

I have not finished the book yet, but each chapter so far has provided me with knowledge I was able to use to immediately improve upon my game.

It was amazing to come up with a stategy based upon the hand, and then read in the next paragraph: “if you were thinking of doing x, you’re making the most common mistake, and here’s what’s wrong with it.”

—Shawn Milochik


I loved this book. It taught me alot about the game of Spades that I didnt know. I also had the pleasure of being able to play in a few games with John while practicing what I read, so that was an added pleasure and it sure payed off having the knowledge I had gained from the book. I really recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their game…I know I sure have. Good luck everyone!!!!!

—Kathi Ward


I have to tell you that I had never before played Spades until about two years ago, but some friends introduced the game to me and I fell in love with it, and I’ve been playing fairly regularly ever since. Early on I read parts of a friend’s book on Spades (not yours) and some things on the web, but I still felt a bit lost. Then I bought your book on and the lightbulb went off! I particularly like the fact that you strongly advocate always seeing the big picture — that one always has to consider the overall score of the game first and foremost. In fact, your chapter on last-hand bidding has definitely helped me and my partner win many a game that I otherwise would certainly have lost. And yet I still have so much to learn! So I really look forward to diving into the 2nd edition.

—Mark Branson


I received your book on Saturday. The previous day I had received another Spades book (to remain nameless). Well I must say that your book stands head and shoulders (and chest and stomach) above the other book.

I got almost no information from the other book. Your book “hit the spot” so to speak. I found the range of possible bids”, “attention to the score and bags”, and “Risk/Reward” concepts very helpful.

Many Many Thanks for your VERY HELPFUL Book!!!!

—Ed Mallett


I started looking at the book already and I am glad to say I am learning things that should have been obvious and common sense to me. Thank you again and you can be sure I will refer my friends to you.

—Jack Levine
New York


After reading (and studying) your book, I went to a “live” Spades tourney in Nashville in 2003 and won. Frankly, I own all the books on Spades that I believe are on the market. I have been asked many times by other players, who’s book I would recommend, and without hesistation I tell them to buy your book! Being totally honest, and not just because I am talking to you, I believe your Spades book is hands down the best available!

—Larry Compton
West Virginia


I began playing spades about a year ago. What a difference a year makes. After struggling for about 6 months, I was lucky enough to run into Galt and his wife in an online spades site. After watching Galt play, I was amazed at his ability, and a little frustrated with my own game. So I ordered the book.

I read it in its entirety and was pleased at the ease of the writing, not to mention the humor. Galt took very difficult concepts and explained them in simple form, with clear and concise examples. He covers every aspect of the game and takes the focus away from the individual cards dealt and instead places the focus on the entire game, measuring everything in terms of risk and reward. How smart!

Needless to say, I win about 70% of my games now. And I have the pleasure of playing with Galt from time to time. Thanks again for a great book my friend!

—Lucia Salvia


This book improved my Spades game by a landslide. I lose much less often and when I do I can go back and see where I went wrong in my bidding, strategy for playing, etc. Playing Spades is fun, but winning is even more fun!

—B. Nissila


Just wanted you to know I have received the book and did my first read through….. Haven’t lost yet and found where I have made at least 2 errors in my play and maybe 3 or 4 bidding errors. Have had a couple of games where we were way behind but able to pull them out with some smart bidding and going for the set where I wasn’t before because of bags.

—David Moshier


I had played spades in college for about a year (not on-line spades – real cards) and had gotten pretty competent thanks to an excellent partner who carried me. In the intervening (25 or so) years I probably only played 10 or 12 times. Several months ago I happened upon Zone spading and really enjoyed it and played frequently getting my rating up a little over 2200. At this point, though, my game stalled. I could hold my own, but wasn’t getting any better. I like to excel, so I started looking around for a book or something to help improve my game.

I read some of Strichman’s archived columns on the Zone and they showed me a few things I had been doing wrong (and reinforced some of what I had been doing right!). And, of course, I learned that he had also written a book – How Not to Lose at Spades. I ordered the book and Strichman graciously signed it and promptly mailed it off.

This book changed my whole approach to spades. Before, I had some favorite strategies and tactics. This book taught me that the proper “overall strategy” is to evaluate the potential risks and rewards of your bids and play with the ultimate goal of Winning the Game (or Not Losing the Game as Galt might say). You may say to yourself, “well that’s what I already do.” IMHO, I doubt it – unless you are among the elite or you have read this or another equally good spades book (I haven’t read the others – I offer no opinion of them). I have played with very good players, with thousands of games under their belts who make relatively simple mistakes that would be impossible to imagine if they attacked the game with the appropriate risk/reward approach.

One example (made up by me): Your team has 460 points (no bags) and the opponents have 410. Your partner has bid 3, the opponents have combined for a bid of 3 and it is your bid. You hold AKQJ6 of spades, no hearts, and the rest of your hand is basically junk. What should you bid? Really you should know the answer without looking at your cards – read the book to see why. You bid 1 (after looking – of course I’d actually look – lol). There is zero reward for bidding more than 1. You will win the game if you bid 1, because that will take your point total 500 (+ 1 point per bag) and you cannot possibly bag out even if you take every trick. It doesn’t really matter what the risks are from bidding 2, 3, 4, or 5. Because the reward for doing so is exactly zero.

Trust me, this book will reorient your thinking about spades. But that is not all, oh no, that is not all. Strichman knows how you think – he knows the mistakes you make, the strategies that you are not aware of. You will learn to avoid these common mistakes and to implement these winning strategies that you do not know about. Your game will improve enormously unless you are already among the very advanced already.

There is one aspect of the game that is not covered in the depth that would be necessary to help elevate you to the true upper echelons of the game. That aspect is trying to absolutely maximize the number of tricks that you take with your (and your partner’s) hands. Bridge players are masters at this and many many thick tomes have been written for bridge players to help them achieve this skill. This is in no way a criticism of Strichman’s book – the book would have increased in length four- or five-fold if he had attempted to really address that. This book has excellent advice on maximizing your trick-taking, it’s just not the most advanced, in-depth treatment of the subject.

I have not yet fully digested all parts of the book, but I know that it has already improved my game enormously. The book is an easy, even fun, read and is very accessible. And it will improve your game from the first day you read it – assuming you implement its ideas :). I know that the various aspects of my game are at different skill levels at this time. Currently, I am trying to work on maximizing my trick-taking skills, while shoring up the other parts of my game. I look at this book as a solid foundation on all aspects of the game and a great taking-off point for those looking to make it into the elite.

Recommendation: Buy this book if you want to enjoy spades more and start winning more / losing less!

—Eric Vanarsdall


I am very impressed with this book. You have to read it a little at a time, stopping to put the suggestions into practice as you go along. Why? Because Jack’s book causes a paradigm shift in your thinking. You’ll never see the game the same again–your ability to analyze not only your own game, but that of your pard and pones, will increase exponentially. Not only is this a great book, but John (Jack) Strichman is a very personable and approachable person, who will go the extra mile for you. I feel as though I am fortunate enough to have two great pards–“The Lady in Red” I am ever honored to have across the table from me, and Jack sitting beside me whispering winning secrets in my ear.b>

—KatyRose O’Day


I’ve been playing about 2 years now and until I read “How NOT To Lose At Spades” I was basically just flying by the seat of my pants. Learning the risk/rewards system has helped me analyze my possibilities and those of the “pones”. This book brings everything down to a level everyone could understand, not technical terms or diagrams as I’ve found in other books. Jack gives basic strategies as well as advanced. The humor found in this book helps take away the fact that you are truly learning something in the long run. Before I purchased this book, I read all of his monthly columns and we’ve also developed a friendship thru the game of spades. His mentoring has increased my win percentage dramatically. I highly recommend this book for all levels of players.

—Tom Kucer

Thank you very much for your kind words. You are what makes all of this worthwhile.