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Hearts

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Hearts Rules

Players: 3 - 6, as 2 or 3 teams or individually

Summary

Presets

Play Multiplayer Hearts Online

The Deck and Dealing

Hearts uses a standard deck of cards.

In a 3 player Hearts game, each player receives 17 cards and the Two of Diamonds is removed from the deck.

In a 4 player Hearts game, each player receives 13 cards. The full deck is used.

In a 5 player Hearts game, each player receives 10 cards and the Twos of Diamonds and Spades are removed from the deck.

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.

Play

Whoever holds the Two of Clubs begins by playing it. The other players must follow suit if able. If not, they may play any card except a Heart or the Queen of Spades.

Whoever plays the highest card of the leading suit wins the trick and leads the next trick.

A trick cannot be lead by a Heart until a Heart has been played in another trick, unless the leading player only has Hearts in their hand.

Scoring

Points are scored based on penalty cards taken in the tricks won by the player. Every Heart is worth 1 point and the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points.

However, if one player takes all the penalty cards, then he has a score of zero for the round and instead all the opponents get a penalty of 26 points added to their scores. This is called ‘shooting the moon’.

Winning

The objective of the game is to maintain the lowest score and the game ends when a player reaches 50 points. The target can also be set to 35, 75 or 100. The player with the lowest points wins the game.

Variations

Queen

The penalty for winning the Queen of Spades can be set to 13 or 25.

Bonus

Winning a specific card scores bonus points. 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 (bonus points are subtracted from the player’s score). 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 points (bonus points are subtracted from the player’s score). This can be set to 5 or 10 points. This can also be disabled.

Hearts Penalty

Each heart is worth one penalty point by default. The points scored for winning Hearts cards can be set to:

Shoot the Sun

If a player ‘shoots the sun’, i.e wins all the tricks, he will get double the bonus points of the shoot the moon for that round.

Optional Pass

Players can choose whether to pass cards in each round.

Pass Method

There are many other patterns for passing cards

Break Hearts

This changes the circumstance under which Hearts cards can be first played also refered to as breaking hearts.

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 smallest Clubs.

Kitty

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 queen when able.

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 tricktaking 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 dont 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.

Hearts Feedback

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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