We start around 7. Being a bit early is a good thing and is less likely to inconvenience others looking forward to play. I show up around 6:30 to eat and stake out a section for us. Unless things have changed, happy hour runs to 7.
We generally play partnership spades. If you've never played or it has been awhile, we can coach/kibbutz, or just watch and learn. We follow the framework laid down by Judy and others. We partner up, review the house rules, play spades, and engage in occasionally witty repartee, or not. Overt eye rolling is not discouraged. Some basics from our list: No wild cards, 10 bags lops a 100 off your score, a nil is 100 or minus that if failed, and a blind nil is 200. We play to 500, or not if all agree. Sometimes there is a time limit, like the restaurant is closing. And, very important, while we truly appreciate that some prefer variations or sets of family rules, we stick to the basics. All rule variations must be approved of by all players. More detailed information and rules can be found in the group description.