HEARTS Card Game Rules and How to Play Guide

In this article, you can read about the basic rules of the card game Hearts and learn how to play. The object of the game is to be the player with the lowest score when the game ends. The game ends when one player hits the predetermined agreed-upon score or higher. The game is usually played to 100 points, some play to 50. This game is for 3 to 5 players.

Setup

Shuffle a standard deck of playing cards without Joker’s and deal the cards one at a time face down clockwise.

In a four-player game, each player is dealt 13 cards.

Otherwise, In a three-player game, the two of the diamonds should be removed and each player will get 17 cards.

Lastly, In a 5 player game, the 2 of diamonds and 2 of clubs should be removed so that each player will get 10 cards.

What is a ‘hand’?

The term ‘hand’ is the time it takes to play all the cards that each player holds. The term ‘trick’ is one round of play where each player plays one card and the resulting pile of cards makes up of the trick.

After looking at your hand each player chooses 3 cards and passes them face down to another player. All players must pass their cards before looking at the cards received from an opponent.

Gameplay

The passing rotation in a 4 player game is first to the player on your left the next hand to the player on your right the next hand to the player across the table and the next hand there is no passing. Then the rotation repeats until the game ends.

When other than four players are playing the passing rotation is first to the player on your left then to the player on your right then repeat.

The player holding the two of clubs after the deal makes the opening lead. If the two have been removed then it is the three of clubs that are led instead. Play proceeds clockwise from the lead player.

Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player’s hand is void of the suit lead a card of any other suit may be played. However, if a player has no clubs when the first trick is led to a heart or the Queen of Spades may not be played.

The highest card of the suit led wins the trick and the winner of that trick takes all the cards from that trick and places them face down in front of them then leads the next trick.

There is no trump suit. A player may not lead a heart until hearts have been broken. That is when a player discards a heart when another suit is led. If the player to lead only has hearts and hearts hasn’t been broken then may pass the lead to the next person clockwise.

Play continues until all the tricks have been taken then points are scored for each player based on the cards they took from each of the tricks they won.

The Queen for the win

Each heart is worth one point and the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points. The Queen of Spades may not be led when hearts haven’t been broken but playing the Queen of Spades does not break hearts.

When a player takes all 13 hearts and the Queen of Spades, on one hand, they have successfully shot the moon. Instead of losing 26 points that player scores zero and each of his opponents score an additional 26 points.

If no player exceeds the maximum amount of points shuffle the cards and deal again. The player with the lowest total score at the end of the game wins.

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