Hearts is a trick-taking card game played by four players. This card game as currently known, originated with a family of associated games called Reversis, which were popular around 1750 in Spain. The game has become popular in live play among grade school students in Canada, and has increased in popularity through Internet gaming websites. In many parts of the world it became known through the Microsoft version of the game packaged with most 1990s versions of its Windows operating system.
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Hearts is a four-player point-based strategy card game. The object of the game is to be the player with the fewest points. Cards have the following point values: Hearts: 1 point, Queen of Spades: gives 13 points, Other cards: 0 points.
This game uses the standard 52-card pack. Each player is dealt a hand of 13 cards from a 52 card deck. The hand is sorted by suit, then rank: Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, Clubs. Cards that are out of play are inactive and darkened.
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The game ends when a player reaches 100 points. The winner is the player with the lowest total score.
How to play
The game begins with all cards being deal. Next, each player chooses three cards, and passes them to another player. After receiving 3 cards passed to you, the first trick is led by the player to the left of the dealer. Play continues in a clockwise manner. Each player plays one card and together they are called a trick. The highest card in the led suit wins and the point value of all the cards in that trick are assessed. You must follow suit until your hand is absent of the led suit. At that point, any card can be played. The player that wins the trick now leads a card. Hearts cannot be led until they are BROKEN by either someone playing a Heart or the Queen of Spades on a trick. Play continues in this manner until all cards are gone.
There are many variations of this awesome game such as: Small Hearts, Queens, Rickety Kate, Partnership Hearts, Likha, Booster Nines, 500 Hearts.
Hearts strategies and tips:
Success in Hearts is largely determined by the cards you discard before every hand. There are two basic passing strategies. The first, and most obvious, is simply to rid your hand of the dangerous cards: High hearts; the ace, king, or queen of spades; and any other high cards. A second strategy is to try to empty your hand of a single suit by passing only one suit to your opponent. Once you have no cards of a particular suit left, you can discard your dangerous cards every time that suit is led.
When playing with the queen of spades, the number of points in each round doubles from 13 to 26 (the queen being worth 13 points). Therefore, the danger of taking any trick is decidedly increased. It's better to keep the Queen of spades and dump her on someone during play than to discard her only to have her dumped back on you. But you can't keep the Queen unless you have enough spades to defend her (four is best, three is chancy). The best insurance against picking up the Queen of spades is to lead low spades every chance you get.
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The most obvious strategy is to play low cards, which is all well and good if you have them, but somewhat more difficult when you do not. A good rule to follow when beginning is to play your high cards on the first lead of a suit and move to your lower cards when the suit is led again. With each play of a suit it is increasingly likely that one of the other players will be out of that suit and thus able to discard points (either hearts or, far worse, the queen of spades.
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You can play classic Hearts online on our website. And it's free! No download, no login required, simple gameplay! Good luck and have a good time! Find us on the web as 'Hearts 444'.