Hearts is said to have originated in Spain in the 1700’s, and at that time was called Reversis.
Then later it was revived in America in the 1880s and has evolved across the world since then. It has many variants which are played globally.
The Hearts card game is essentially a four player game but most of the variations can accommodate between three and six players.
Hearts Card Game is enjoyed by both kids and adults.
Hearts involves 4 players, where the object of the game is have the lowest score, when one player receives more than 100 points.
The game begins when 13 cards are dealt by each player. Each player passes the cards, then plays in a sequence.
The aim is to avoid all the hearts; especially the Queen of Spades!
Set up of the game
The player who has two of clubs at the start of the game leads. Leading means that one player starts the turn with a single card. In this case the player with the two of clubs has to lead with their two of clubs.
One other thing players need to be aware of, is that they cannot lead with hearts until hearts has been broken.
This means that hearts has to have been played at a later stage. If it is a players turn to lead and no heart has been played then players may not select hearts as the card to play first.
In the very first round a heart or the queen of spades cannot be played, not even if a player has any card in the suit leading cards.
Once all the cards have been dealt and played the penalty points have to be counted and the player with the least points wins the hand.
The game is set to end when one or more players reach 100 points or more. If points are over 100 and there are two or more players with equal with the least points, the game continues until there is only one winner.
The Hearts game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, and each player would normally get 13 cards given face down. Some variations are Cancellation Hearts which uses two 52 card packs which are shuffled together.
The cards are dealt out as far as they can go in a clockwise direction. Any cards which are leftover are placed in a separate pile facing down which is then taken by the winner in the game.
Another variation is Black Maria which is played without the 2 of clubs and each player is dealt a total of 17 cards.
Requirements & game rules
- All the cards have to be dealt one at a time. When players pass the cards they must first choose the cards which need to be passed.
- They are placed face down and the receiving player is allowed to pick them up.
- Only then can a player pick up the cards passed to them, look at them and add them to their hand.
How to play – step by step
The objective of the game is to get as few points as possible. When the game begins players must choose 3 cards, which they will pass to one of their opponents.
- Players should pass their 3 worst cards in order get rid of them. The options or rules for passing are; start by passing to the left opponent.
- In the next game players can pass to the opponent on the right. In the third game they can pass across and in the 4th game no passing is allowed.
- Each turn starts with one player playing a single card. The type of card that is played determines what trick will be played. After the first player, the other players then play one card each.
- If the players have a card in the same suit they must play that. However, if they don’t have the same card they can play any of their other cards
Aces are the best cards to pass to the left as they are the most likely cards to win. If a player on the left wins it will lead the next trick. That allows players to play last, and they can see exactly what to play next.
The Twist: if you get all the penalty cards say 13 hearts and queen of spades then you get 0 points and the other 3 players get 26 points each.
This is called Shooting the Moon. This move is risky because if another player gets just one of the hearts you will get a ton of points.
When Hearts is played online, it can be played at different levels. The different levels of Hearts include easy, medium, hard, and expert. As the levels increase, the game becomes more challenging.
If a player is a beginner, they should try their hand against the card players in who are playing in the easy Hearts game.
As each player gains more skills and advances their skills at the Hearts game, they can graduate to the Medium and Expert levels.
It is advisable for players to practice in free mode before, if they are considering playing for money. In free mode they can enhance their skills and be confident in their game play.
Once they are comfortable playing they can start playing for money and make big wins.