For years, card games have been a source of entertainment that seemingly strengthens relationships. In each set lies a possible strategic move and a new way of doing things.
Likewise, each game requires two or more players, making it more fun and engaging. But as of late, it seems like technology has taken over.
Luckily enough, there’s a new series that takes a fresh approach to a deck-ruled game and television itself:
The World Series of Spades
If you’re wondering what Spades is, it’s a fun, trick-taking card game that is played with four players. The objective of Spades is to win as many “tricks” as you bid.
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The World Series of Spades, a 14 episode series with more to come, is produced by comedian Clint Coley. His natural skill for inducing smiles and laughter took him The Laff House in Philadelphia and the New York area before moving to Los Angeles.
Throughout the years, Coley has traveled the country, performing his comedy routines for various crowds. In 2012, he even opened for comedian D.L. Hughley. Coley’s way of ticking others’ funny bones earned him the moniker, “The Prince of Comedy.”
In 2014, his debut comedy album, I’m an Adult turned into a Live Nation theater tour with Coley selling over 1,600 tickets in four cities.
His other comedy compilation, Sturgis soared up to #13 on the Billboard Comedy Album Chart and reached No. 3 on the iTunes chart, which was released on iTunes under an exclusive deal with Apple.
Aside from this, Clint has also written, produced, and starred in several short films, including The First Date, The First Time, and Scratch.
The goal in The World Series of Spades is to have fun and win. It solely centers on the interaction between those playing, the strategies they use, friendly competition, and how the game is played. Case in point, individuals are competing for bragging rights.
The World Series of Spades stars Clint Coley, Deneia Freeman, Curtisha Thomas, Brennon Edwards, Natalie Knox, Jamal Doman, Patrick Batiste, Cherelle Patrice, and Raymond Jones.
The camera gives a bird’s-eye view of what cards are thrown on the table and the other players’ reactions. Another great thing about The World Series of Spades is that it wasn’t scripted either! Every response was natural.
To prep for the show, Clint teamed up with Transit Picture’s creator, Brennan Edwards, who had the vision of the layout and executed.
Additionally, the two picked out the team players. In the game, teammates were chosen based on their ranks. Everyone chose a card, and whoever had the same suit partnered up for the rounds.
Clint’s favorite segment is when it comes down to the last hand because it’s more suspenseful. He hopes audiences can learn how to play spades by watching the show, and that’ll encourage current Spade opponents to keep playing.
One off-screen moment he found humorous was his competitiveness when the game would halt. “I was dead serious and not playing,” he adds.
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Deneia Freeman and Herman Coley, the character who is based on Clint Coley’s father, host the first-ever episode of The World Series of Spades.
The version of the game at hand is described as professional, organized, spades play. As the show begins, Coley asks Freeman what she’s looking forward to in The World Series of Spades to which she responds with it’s a professional game.
“So many people are used to playing at home. They don’t count their books right. There are no bags. There’s no pendency. This time around, you got to come correct.”
Deeper into the conversation, you’ll come to know that this is a game that will influence the way spades are seen and played for life.
Round 1, which is called Round Robin Tournament, consists of the teams F**k Your Feelings and The Dirty Mitten. The players on F**k Your Feelings are Clint Coley and Tish T, who know each other and have played the game together.
The Dirty Mitten, however, has two members who are from the same area, Michigan but have never played spades together: Brennon Edwards and Natalie Knox.
Before the game commences, the referee explains the rule of the game. The cards of choice are big joker, little joker, two diamonds, and two of spades, all created by The Black Pack.
Those who choose to play spades are given 10 seconds to make a move. After 10 seconds, a sandbag will appear. Sandbags are used when one underbids extra tricks that they’ve taken.
For each of these sandbag trick, the individual will get an extra point. But, if they get ten sandbags during a hand, they must subtract 100 points from their score.
Three sandbags in one hand mean that you’re set, and five means that you go back 50 points. Renig is an automatic loss of three books.
You have to call your own renig and which book. If you’re wrong, you lose three books. Current games are played to 200 points, and the minimum you can board is four books. If you don’t make a board on the first hand, you lose.
Additionally, if there are two setbacks, then your team loses the game. The rules also prohibit board talk, and if it’s done, the player will lose one book. The best two out three games wins the round.
The first game starts with the first hand setting the tone, which in this case, is Clint Coley. Each player throws out an array of cards from Aces to Clubs.
Amid the round of card throws, Coley and the other players add in some playful banter. And as fate may have it, F**k Your Feelings earn two books. “Oooh cutting Clubs off the rip early,” Herman Coley says in a joking manner.
As the round continues, F**k Your Feelings have their books increase, but as time progresses, Natalie Knox ends up taking a few of Clint’s cards. Because of this, Dirty Mitten goes from having one book to two.
Dirty Mitten also showcases a smooth move, in terms of teamwork, as Brennon sets up the cards in a way that allows Natalie to take the deal once more. Still, Coley somehow uses the tricks Natalie used on Dirty Mittens back, earning his team two books in the process.
“If you want the book, you gotta earn it,” says Herman Coley.
Deeper into the episode, you’ll see what the little joker card looks like, the jack, and big joker. We also come to know that two spades are considered wild cards. In the end, F**k Your Feelings win the first game. The score is 70-60.
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The second game sees the referee messing around with the cards, which, in turn, puts the players in high spirits about what’s to come next. Essentially, he flips the cards over, which Denia Freeman admits is a Philly thing.
This segment focuses on bidding and the rules behind it. First, Coley asks Trish how many books she has, which we learn is three. He then unveils that he also has three and tells the ref that they can go six. Subsequently, we learn that this is a safe play.
By the end of this round, F**k Your Feelings earns seven books and bids, getting them to 140 points. Dirty Mitten ends up with 120 points, garnering six books and five bids.
“One thing that I saw from F**k Your Feelings was that they weren’t panicking when they were down five books to two. After they made their fifth book, F**k Your Feelings needed to win five of the next six. That’s not easy. And they did just that.” Herman added.
During the third game, Natalie starts with bidding four. But instead of taking this amount, Brennan ups it with two more. When it’s F**k Your Feelings turn, Clint tells Trish that he has three and a punk, which means a possible.
Because of this, Dirty Mitten decides to go seven. But the team still needs seven to win. As the cards fall, Dirty Mitten earns the first book, which then turns to three.
By the time Dirty Mitten and F**k Your Feelings are close in both books and bids, Clint does a temperature check; a term used when you lead off a round with a spade.
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Elsewhere, viewers will see an example of board talk. In the end, F**k Your Feelings takes the lead once more, gaining 200 points while Dirty Mitten gets 180.
F**k Your Feelings’ accumulation of points earns them the winning spot. During the other episodes, you’ll see these two teams go head-to-head against other teams, The Headliners and The JP’s. The newly mentioned teams even play against each other as well.
The World Series of Spades premieres on September 1, 2020, via Facebook Watch.
Keep your eyes open!
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