Card Games

How to Play Hearts

How to Play Hearts: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Classic Card Game

Introduction to Hearts:

Hearts is a timeless card game that has captivated players for generations with its blend of strategy, skill, and suspense. Originating from the 19th-century game of Reversis, Hearts has evolved into a beloved pastime enjoyed by players of all ages. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to become a master of Hearts and outmaneuver your opponents with finesse.

Game Objective:

The objective of Hearts is to score as few points as possible by avoiding certain cards, particularly Hearts, and the Queen of Spades, while aiming to collect other valuable cards known as tricks. Players must carefully manage their hand and anticipate their opponents’ moves to achieve victory.

Game Setup:

Setting up a game of Hearts is simple and straightforward, requiring only a standard deck of 52 playing cards and a group of enthusiastic players. After shuffling the deck thoroughly, each player is dealt a hand of 13 cards, and the remaining cards are set aside to form the draw pile.

How to Play Hearts:

  1. Passing Cards:
    • At the beginning of each round, players select and pass a specific number of cards to their opponents, depending on the round number.
    • In the first round, players pass three cards to the player on their left. In subsequent rounds, the number of cards passed alternates between passing to the left, to the right, across, and no passing.
  2. Playing Tricks:
    • The player with the 2 of Clubs leads the first trick by playing the 2 of Clubs. In subsequent tricks, the winner of the previous trick leads.
    • Players must follow suit if possible, playing a card of the same suit as the leading card. If unable to follow suit, players can play any card.
    • The player who played the highest card of the leading suit or the highest Heart (if Hearts have been broken) wins the trick and leads the next trick.
  3. Scoring Points:
    • Points in Hearts are scored based on the cards collected in tricks. Hearts are worth one point each, while the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points.
    • The objective is to avoid collecting Hearts and the Queen of Spades while aiming to collect other cards to “shoot the moon” (collect all the Hearts and the Queen of Spades) or “go low” (collect as few points as possible).

Alternate Ways of How to Play Hearts:

  1. Variations of Passing:
    • Experiment with different passing variations, such as passing cards based on specific criteria (e.g., passing the highest Hearts or low cards) or allowing players to choose which cards to pass.
  2. Team Hearts:
    • Form teams and work together to achieve specific objectives, such as shooting the moon or preventing opponents from achieving their goals.
    • Team Hearts encourages communication and collaboration between teammates, adding an extra layer of strategy to the game.

Quick Play Tips:

  1. Manage Your Hand: Pay close attention to the cards in your hand and develop a strategy for avoiding Hearts and the Queen of Spades while collecting other valuable cards.
  2. Anticipate Opponents’ Moves: Predict your opponents’ strategies and adjust your gameplay accordingly to outmaneuver them and minimize the points you collect.
  3. Timing is Key: Time your plays carefully, especially when leading tricks, to maximize your chances of winning tricks and achieving your objectives.


Hearts is a classic card game that offers endless opportunities for strategic thinking, skillful play, and thrilling competition. Whether you’re playing with friends, family, or fellow enthusiasts, Hearts promises hours of entertainment and excitement. So gather your cards, shuffle the deck, and prepare for a heart-pounding adventure into the world of Hearts!

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