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Hearts Card Game Rules


Hearts is a trick taking game where players try to avoid winning tricks containing heart suited cards and the Queen of Spades. Hearts can be played with 2 to 12 players.

Ranking of Cards

In Hearts, Aces are high and 2s are low



Play Multiplayer Hearts Online

The Deck and the Deal

Hearts is played with a standard 52 card deck. After shuffling the deck, the dealer passes out all of the cards, one by one, face down, to each player. The number of cards differ based on the number of players:

Passing Cards

In the first round before cards are played, each player selects three cards from their hand to pass face down to the player on their left.

In the second round, each player passes three cards to the player on their right.

In the third round, each player passes to the player opposite them.

In the fourth round, no cards are passed.

This pattern repeats throughout the game.

How to Play

The player with the 2 of Clubs leads the first trick with that card. Going clockwise, players follow suit if possible. The player with the highest card in the lead suit, wins the trick. The winner of the trick leads the next suit. This continues until all cards have been played. After that, cards are reshuffled, re-dealt, and the next round begins.


Players try to have the least number of points in the game. Each heart suited card in a trick won is worth 1 point. The Queen of Spades in a trick won is worth 13 points.

If a player wins all of the heart suited cards and the Queen of Spades, the player receives 0 points while all other players receive 26 points; this is called 'Shooting the Moon'.


Once a player has received 50 points, the game ends. The player with the least number of points at that time wins the game.


CardzMania supports several customizable rules and options so you can play Hearts exactly how you like or how you grew up playing with your friends and family. In addition to the classic way of playing, we often have new creative options for you to try to spice up the game if you are interested in trying different spins for fun.


Players determine a set amount of points when the game ends.


Players determine a set amount of rounds (also known as hands or deals) that the game will go to (instead of the points selection above).


Players only have a set amount of time to make their turn after which a turn is automatically played for them and the game proceeds: Fast is 7 seconds, Standard is 15 seconds, Slow is 30 seconds, and Very Slow is 60 seconds. Players can also choose to disable the timer, but that is only for private tables.


The penalty for winning the Queen of Spades can be set to 12, 13, 25, or 50


Winning a specific card scores bonus points (bonus points are subtracted from the player's score). This card can be set to the Ten, Jack or Queen of Diamonds. This can also be disabled.

Bonus Effect

This sets the points scored for the bonus points. The options are 'Minus 10' or 'Minus 10 floor' (the player's score does not go below 0 points).

No Tricks Bonus

A player who wins no tricks in a round scores bonus or penalty points. This can be set to 0, -5, -10, 5, or 10 points. This can also be disabled.

Hearts Penalty

By default, each heart is worth 1 penalty point. The points scored for winning Hearts cards can be set to an equal value (1 for each) or their pip value with face cards worth 10 points and the Ace worth 15 points.

Shooting Bonus

Players can decide how bonus points will be awarded for shooting the moon. Players can decide to subtract the points if shooting the moon does give you first place, add the points to their score, or subtract the points from their score.

Shoot the Sun

A player 'Shoots the Sun' if they win all the tricks in the round. If a player Shoots the Sun, they receive double the bonus from Shooting the Moon.

Optional Pass

Players can choose whether to pass cards in each round.

Pass Method

There are many other patterns for passing cards

Break Hearts

Breaking Hearts refers to changing the circumstances under which Hearts cards can first be played.

Single deck with 7 or 8 players

Double deck is used with more than 6 players. For 7 and 8 players, this option lets you play with a single deck instead of the two decks.

First card wins

First card wins when two of the same cards are played (as opposed to the second card). This comes into play when two decks are used.

Turn Based Start

Players take turns to lead the first trick instead of starting with whoever has the smallest Clubs.

Wide Open

The first trick can be led with any card. If disabled, the first trick must be led with the smallest Club card.


The full deck is used always and the leftover cards are set aside which form the kitty. The first player to pick up a penalty card is forced to pick up all of the kitty's cards as part of that trick. In a 4 player game, each player receives 12 cards and the remaining 4 cards form the kitty.

Must Play The Queen

The holder of the Queen of Spades must play the card when able.

Special Effect

Players can decide a special effect on their points if they reach a special mark. Players can decide if the effect halves their points, resets their points to zero, or they can disable this option.

Special Effect At

Players can decide what the special mark is for their special effect. The options for this variation are: 25, 50, 75, 100, 250, or 500

Hearts Strategy

Heart is a trick taking card game which also involves card passing. Hearts cannot be led unless someone breaks hearts. Anyone can break hearts by playing a heart on a trick (when they cannot follow suit). Depending on the settings, you can also break hearts by playing black queen / queen of spades. Once hearts has been broken, no restrictions apply.

Trick taking basic rules: In a trick, each player plays a single card. One player is selected to start (the played card is known as the lead card or the leading card), then play proceeds clockwise around the table. If possible, players must play a card which is the same suit as the lead card played - this is called 'following suit'. If a player cannot follow suit, then they may play any card in their hand. Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

The card passing stage makes this card game Hearts very interesting as different people employ very interesting strategies i.e. before the start of the trick taking game players choose to pass three cards to another player. When you pass to the opponent, you have to think about how these cards could benefit them, so passing cards which are all high might help them shoot the moon thats why whenever passing to the opponent, its always good to pass a mix of cards. In trick taking stage, you have to keep a count of which cards have been played as you want to avoid getting penalty points (penalty heart is worth one point and penalty queen of spades is worth 13 points). One of the best things about playing card games online is that you don't have to worry about dealing the cards and as a result, you can play the card game easily and quickly. In addition to this, the game scores are kept automatically as well!

Hearts strategy varies based on the variation you are playing. When playing omnibus (with jack of diamonds), the strategy completely changes as you have to keep a few high cards (especially of diamonds) so that you can win the jack of diamonds for bonus 10 points. Players often change their strategy as they themselves or other players reach the end of the game. With jack of diamonds, players score is deducted 10 points.

Trick Basics

Trick Taking games center around having the highest ranked card in a draw. Typically, players of trick taking games sit in a circle, sometimes in teams and sometimes playing solo, and are dealt a hand of cards. Given the specific game's card ranking (and trump - special suit that beats other suits), players draw a card from their hand in hopes that it outranks the other cards played. The player who outranks the others wins the trick for that round and gameplay is repeated until the cards are exhausted. Typically the player or team with the most tricks wins the game.

In a trick, each player plays a single card. One player is selected to start, then play proceeds clockwise around the table. If possible, players must play a card which is the same suit as the first card played - this is called 'following suit'. If a player cannot follow suit, then they may play any card in their hand. Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

After all cards have been dealt, normal trick taking commences. Remember all cards of the suit declared as trump (trump cards) beats any other suit. Whichever team wins seven tricks out of thirteen wins the round, winning all thirteen tricks is referred to as court. If the dealers team achieves this feat, its called a goon court. In single sir, winning the first seven consecutive tricks constitutes a court.

After cards dealt, depending on the trump, you have to figure out your strategy for the game whether to play trump first or not. In single sir / single sar winning the first seven tricks constitutes as a court or a goon court, so the strategy is very different than double sir / double sar. Whichever team (dealers team or trump callers team) wins seven tricks wins the deal and the opposing team becomes the dealer. In double sir, you have to win two consecutive tricks, so the strategy is totally different as you need to keep another high card to win the pile. Note that the second and the second last trick cannot be won, so you have to be extra careful about that too. This game is played in many variations so you have to be extra careful about the rules.

Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.


The cards that a player is dealt forms their hand. Each round, a player selects one of the cards in their hand and plays them into the pile. In most trick taking games, all players are dealt the same number of cards and the hand is hidden from the other players, but in some games, like 500, a player can reveal their hand for bonus points.


The pile is the spot where players place their chosen card for the round. The player with the highest ranked card receives all of the cards in the pile and sets them to the side. In most trick taking games, the individual cards in the pile have a specific point value that is given to the winner.


The dealer is chosen at random and passes out the deck of cards to form each player's hand. In most games, the dealer position rotates to the left once the deck needs to be re-shuffled and re-dealt.


Arguably the most important part of any trick taking game, the trump suit is the highest ranked suit in the game. Every game has its own method of selecting trump. Some games leave the selection up to the winner of the bid while some games make the suit of the lead card the trump suit.


The ranking of the cards is dependent on the game. Ace is usually considered the highest in trick games, but some games from Europe, like Klaverjassen, have the Jack of trump the highest card.


Most trick taking games contain an auctioning/bidding phase at the beginning of gameplay. During this time, players take turns bidding how many tricks they expect to win in the game. The player with the highest bid leads the first trick and decides the trump suit in most games. Often times, if the winner of the bid, sometimes called the declarer, fails to win the amount of tricks they bidded, they receive a lot of penalty points

Lead Card

The Lead card is the first card in the trick. In most trick taking games, subsequent players need to play the suit of the lead card if they can.

Card Game Basics

A deck of cards consists of 52 cards, with 4 distinctive subgroups. Each of these subgroups is recognised by a symbol and are referred to as suits. They consist of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. Each suit contains 13 cards which, generally, are considered in this order, Ace (A), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jacks (J), Queen (Q) and King (K). Some games include the two Jokers found in a standard deck but most games don't.


Would like to discuss new features or variations for Hearts? Need a custom rule? Have a question? Got a suggestion? Don't see a game you want to play? Please contact us by email, facebook or twitter - we really value your feedback and love hearing from all of you!

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