- Bid - The number of books each player will predict to win during a hand, announced by each player before the hand begins. The bid is the sum of each team members single bid which are combined to determine the total team bid. The bid equals the total number of books the team must win, or risk being set.
- Blind Bid - The act of bidding the hand before each team member has seen their cards. The point total is typically doubled for a successful blind bid. If not successful the team is considered to be set and loses points. Most games dictate a team must be down a minimum of 100 points to blind bid and also incorporate a minimum blind bid, typically starting at 6.
- Book - The sum of all four cards played by each player during a hand. The player who plays the highest ranking card wins the book. Books should be kept face down on the table in the order they were won.
- Board - The minimum amount of books any team can bid each hand. Board is traditionally 4 books.
- Boston - The act of embarrassing your opponent by winning all 13 books in a hand. Most Spades games determine this an automatic win.
- Breaking Spades - Playing the first Spade of a hand as a cut card. Spades cannot be used as the lead suit in any hand until this occurs.
- Cross-boarding - Any form of verbal and/or non-verbal communication during a hand which directly or indirectly reveals the contents of a players hand or game strategy. This is considered cheating and highly frowned upon.
- Cut or Cutting - When the lead (non-spade) suit being played gets beat by a Spade from a player who does not have any cards from the lead suit remaining. Cutting also occurs when one partner beats their partners winning card.
- Following Suit - Playing a card from the same suit as the first card played.
- Hand - The process of dealing, bidding and playing all cards until 13 books are won. Each game is made up of several hands during which teams will either add or subtract points.
- Misdeal - Any deal resulting in the incorrect number of cards for each player or dealer not receiving the last card. Some games also consider any player not having Spades and/or face-cards a misdeal. The hand is voided and re-dealt if this occurs.
- Nil - A bid to win no books during the hand. A bonus is usually awarded if achieved or penalty incurred if unsuccessful.
- Renege - When a player has a card from the lead suit and can follow suit but does not. Reneging is considered cheating and penalized if proven occurred. If a team challenges reneging has occurred they must identify which book on the table the player did not follow suit. The losing team of the renege challenge is typically penalized 3 books.
- Sandbag or "Bag" - The number of books by a player or team won in excess of the bid amount. Depending on house rules Sandbags can impact teams scores in various ways.
- Sandbagging - Intentionally or unintentionally underbidding the number of books predicted to be won for a given hand. This can be the result of strategy and/or not counting your books correctly during the bidding process.
- Set - If any team is unable to win the number of books bid during any hand they are considered set and will lose points to their total score.