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Try to win a Hearts game. To win, you need to try and earn the least points by passing cards to your opponents and playing the lowest card.
Hearts is a trick-taking playing card game for four players. The winner is the player with the lowest score after an agreed number of deals.
In this article, we'll look at:
Precursors to the game of Hearts originated in Spain around 1750. A game at that time, called “Four Jacks”, involved avoiding any trick containing a Jack.
Hearts emerged in the United States during the 1880s. It was a no-trump game for four players using 52 cards, the aim being to avoid taking any Hearts, rather than Jacks, in tricks.
A variant emerged in Britain in the late 1930's called Black Lady which features the addition of the queen of spades as a minus card. Many versions that are labelled as “Hearts” today are typically the Black Lady variant.
Hearts uses one deck of 52 cards.
The object of the game is to be the player with the lowest score when the game ends. This game is for three to five players but is typically played with four.
Remove the Jokers and deal the cards one at a time face down clockwise. In the four player game, each player is dealt thirteen cards.
A “hand” is the time it takes to play all the cards that each player holds. A “trick” is one round of play where each player plays one card and the resulting pile of cards makes up of the trick.
Players must follow suit if able to do so. If they can't, the player can play any card. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit led and the trick winner then leads.
After looking at his or her hand, each player chooses three cards and passes them face down to another player. All players must pass their own cards before looking at the cards received from an opponent. The passing rotation is:
This rotation repeats until the game ends.
The player holding the 2 of clubs (after the passing) plays that card to start the first trick. Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player has no cards in the suit led, a card of any other suit may be discarded. Exception: If a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the Queen of Spades cannot be played.
The highest card of the suit led wins a trick (there is no trumps in this game).
The winner of the trick gets all the cards and starts the next trick.
Hearts may not be led until a heart or the Queen of Spades has been played (this is called 'breaking' hearts). The Queen of Spades can be led at any time.
Each heart captured incurs a penalty point. The queen of spades is worth 13 points. At the end of each hand the total pently points accrued are added to your overall score.
If you get all hearts and the queen of spades it is called “Shooting The Moon” and you can choose between removing 26 points from your score or adding 26 points to all opponent scores.
The winner is the player with the lowest score after an agreed number of deals. Alternatively, a target score can be agreed upon. When the first player reaches the target, the game ends. The player with the lowest score wins.
The game ends when a player reaches 100 points. Whoever has the lowest score when 100 points is reached is the winner. You can submit your score to the leaderboard.
Pass the two of Clubs. The two determines which player starts. If you pass the two to another player, you may be able to get rid of your highest club on the first trick with little risk.
Pass the Ace and King of Spades unless you also have many lower Spades in your hand. This makes you less likely to get stuck eating the Queen of Spades.
If you have the Queen of Spades pass it unless you have many lower Spades, plan on trying to Shoot the Moon, or have other voided suits which allow you to quickly dump the Qneen on someone else in the game.
If you have many Spades in your hand including the Queen try to pass cards which allow you to void either Diamonds or Clubs.
Never lead with an Ace. You never know when someone has voided that suit and can give you a heart or the Queen of Spades. Leading with an Ace guarantees you will win the trick. On the other hand, this may be a great move if you are trying to Shoot the Moon!
Shooting the Moon is an alternate way to win a round of Hearts. It can be achieved by collecting hearts and the Queen of Spades. If one player accumulates all the heart cards and the Queen of Spades they “Shoot The Moon”, which means all of their opponents take 26 points! If you aim to Shoot the Moon the key is to be subtle, trying to get rid of some of your lower or middle cards early and look like you are accidentally eating tricks until the remaining cards in your hand guarantee a success by the time your competitors figure out what you are doing.
In Hearts, self-preservation is important. Throw your dangerous cards away first. If you never score any points, you're pretty sure to win, so aim for that goal first. The best way not to take tricks is called “ducking”. Ducking means always playing your highest card under the card that was played by others.
Hold onto low Hearts. After hearts are broken, hearts can be led for any following trick & they can be dumped on other's tricks whenever you are void that suit.
Pay attention to what you are passed. The cards that you are passed can give you information about your opponents strategy. For example, if all three cards are the same suit then that player might be trying to void a suit. If an opponent passes you many lower value cards they might be trying to Shoot The Moon.
How many cards are used in Hearts?
In a four-player game, each player is dealt thirteen cards. In a three-player game, the two of diamonds should be removed, and each player gets seventeen cards. In a five-player game, the two of diamonds and two of clubs should be removed so that each player will get ten cards.
Are Aces high in Hearts?
In Hearts, Ace is high and there is no trump suit.
What are the chances of successfully Shooting The Moon in Hearts?
There are 635,013,559,600 different starting hands of thirteen cards from a fifty-two card deck. The chances of shooting the moon are around 0.26% if your opponents play their hands optimally with intent to stop you, though most opponents play incorrectly, giving you a much higher odds of shooting the moon. The key to doing it is to conceal your intent until your hand is nearly impossible to stop.
There are many close versions to Hearts. These include:
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