The 3 Best Ways to Play Hearts - wikiHow

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Updated: June 29, 2021

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Hearts is a card game that's traditionally played with 4 people. The goal of the game is to have the lowest score out of all 4 players when the game ends. Hearts is played over several rounds until one player scores 100 points or higher. To start the game, first choose one player to be the dealer. Then, have the dealer deal out 13 cards to each player. Each player should organize their cards by suit, then choose 3 cards to pass to another player. On the first deal, pass the cards to the right. On the second deal, pass them to the left, and on the third deal, pass them straight across. Players don't pass any cards on the fourth deal. Whoever has the 2 of clubs goes first, and they play a card in a suit of their choice face-up. The player to their left must follow with a card in the same suit if they have one. Otherwise, they can play any card in their hand. Once everyone’s had a turn, the person who played the highest card in the suit that led wins the trick and collects all 4 cards. That player leads next. Keep in mind that a player can’t lead with a heart card until hearts have been broken. For hearts to be broken, a player must follow with a heart card because they don’t have a card in the suit that led. As you're playing, try to pass off any hearts in your hand, as well as the Queen of Spades, to the other players since you don't want to win those cards. Once all of the cards have been played, each player adds up the points in the cards they collected that round. Heart cards count as 1 point, and the Queen of Spades counts as 13 points. If a player manages to take all 13 hearts and the Queen of Spades in one hand, called "shooting the moon," they score 0 points and add 26 points to everyone else’s score. Keep playing rounds until one player scores 100 points or higher. At that point, whoever has the lowest score wins! To learn more, including helpful strategies like short-suiting and shooting the moon, scroll down.

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