Hearts card game rules. How to play hearts

Hearts a trick taking card game played worldwide, albeit with different rules. On this page you will find the rules for the variation played in the US, which is also known as Black Lady. The American version of Hearts is also well known in other parts of the world. Indeed, this form of the game was played by many people, as it was (in the pre-internet era) one of the standard games in Microsoft Windows. On this page you will learn how to play hearts the card game.

How to play hearts<br />

How to play hearts: general rules

  1. Hearts is usually played with 4 players.
  2. Hearts is played with all 52 cards in the deck, excluding jokers.
  3. Each player is dealt 13 cards. The cards are dealt one at a time.
  4. The lowest card is a 2 and the highest card is an ace.
  5. After dealing, each player passes 3 cards of their choice to another player:
  • In the first round, you pass 3 cards to the player to your left.
  • In the second round, you pass 3 cards to the player to your right.
  • In the third round, you pass 3 cards to the player opposite you.
  • In the fourth round, you pass no cards.
  • In the fifth round, this cycle begins again.
  1. The player with the 2 of clubs in hand must come out first with this card.
  2. The player with the highest card wins the trick.
  3. The winner of the trick may come out on the next trick.
  4. Players must follow suit at all times if possible. If a player cannot follow suit, he or she may play another card of their choice.
  5. The goal of the game is to achieve as few penalty points as possible. If a player has obtained a pre-agreed number of penalty points, then the player with the fewest penalty points at that time is the winner of the game. On Microsoft Windows, the game ends when a player reaches 100 or more penalty points.

Hearts gentleman’s rules

In the American version of hears, there are some gentleman’s rules.

  • No points may be added in the first trick unless not otherwise possible.
  • A player may not come out with hearts until another player has added hearts in a previous trick.
  • The player who has the queen of spades must throw it at this first opportunity in case he cannot win the trick himself.

Scoring in hearts

The following cards result in penalty points:

  • Queen of spades: 13 points
  • Each heart card: 1 point.

A total of 26 penalty points can be distributed per game. If a player scores all 26 points, called a pit, the opposing players receive 26 penalty points. A pit is also called Shoot the Moon.

How to play hearts with 3 players

Are you short a player and do you want to play hearts with 3 players. No problems, remove the 2 of diamonds and each player receives 17 cards.

How to play hearts with 5 players

You can play hearts with 5 players as well. Remove the 2 of diamonds from the deck and each players is dealt 10 cards.

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