Hearts

Deck: Standard 52 card deck

Rank of Cards: Standard ranking with ace high.

Number of Players: 4

Object of the Game: To have the lowest score when someone reaches or goes over 100 points.

The Deal: Standard dealing, 13 cards to each player.

The Pass: After examining their cards, each player chooses 3 cards from their hand to pass to another player. After they have removed these cards from their hand and placed them face down on the table, they may add the cards that were passed to them to their hand. The first hand, the cards are passed to the player on the left. The second hand, they are passed to the player on the right. The third hand they are passed to the player across the table (second to the left). The fourth hand, no cards are passed. This cycle then repeats until the end of the game.

The Play: The player with the 2 of clubs leads it to the first trick. Play is standard trick-taking without trumps. Players may not lead hearts until hearts have been played on a trick or hearts is the only suit left in the hand of the player leading. The hand consists of thirteen tricks.

Scoring: A player scores 1 point for each card in the hearts suit that he caught during play. The player who captured the queen of spades receives an additional 13 points. If a player captures all 26 points (which is called "shooting the moon"), that player may choose to have his score reduced by 26 points, or may choose to have all other players' scores increased by 26 points. Game continues until one or more players have reached or exceeded 100 points at the conclusion of a hand. The person with the lowest score is then the winner. If there is a tie for low score when a player reaches or goes over 100 points, additional hands are played until there is a clear winner.

Variations

During Passing:

A "scatter" pass and/or a "smoosh" pass may be added to the passing rotation or replace the non-passing hand. A scatter pass is executed by having each player pass one card to each other player. A smoosh pass is accomplished by having each player put three cards in the middle of the table, shuffling them, then dealing them out three to each player.

Players are not required to pass cards if they do not wish. The player may simply pass on the cards that were passed to him (without looking at them). This may result in players sometimes receiving their own cards back.

During Play of the Hand:

During Scoring:

Number of Players:

The game may be played with either 3 or 5 players. The game is played as above with the following differences. Deal the cards as far as they will go evenly. There will be one or two cards left over. Place these cards in the middle of the table face down. The player who takes the first trick (or alternately, the first point) takes these cards and places them with his captured cards (he may look at them first). An alternate method is to let the person who takes the extra cards place these extra cards in their hand and discard an equal number of cards from their hand.

Another method is to discard 1 or 2 small cards from the deck so that the deal comes out even. (Suggested: 2 of Clubs, then either 3 of Clubs or left of dealer leads. For 5 players, leave out 2 of Clubs and 2 of Diamonds.)

Obviously, you cannot pass across the table, but a passing rotation should be decided on before play begins. If a scatter pass is used with 3 players, pass four cards by passing two to each other player. In a 5 player game, the rotation should include passing to the 2nd person to the left, and 2nd person to the right.

Turbo Hearts:

A variation called Turbo Hearts may be played using the following rules:

Double-Deck Hearts:

Two decks can be shuffled together to allow 6 or more players to play. Play by whichever of the above variations you prefer. Player to the left of the dealer leads (since there are two 2 of Clubs). If two identical cards are played to a trick, the first one played is considered to be of higher rank. Taking all 52 points is required to shoot the moon. The total score needed to end the game should also be raised.

Cancellation Hearts:

Cancellation Hearts is played the same as Double-Deck Hearts with the following exception: If two identical cards are played to a trick, they cancel each other out. The highest uncancelled card in the lead suit takes the trick. If all cards in the lead suit are cancelled then the trick is held over and the winner of the next trick captures it (the same person leads to both tricks). If the last trick of the hand is completely cancelled, the person who led takes it (or alternately, it is discarded).

Point-Count Hearts

Point-Count Hearts is played by whichever of the above rules the players prefer. In scoring, each heart counts a number of points equal to it value (e.g. 8 of Hearts is 8 points, 2 of Hearts is 2 points, etc.). The Queen of Spades counts 50 points. Jack, Queen, and King of Hearts can count either 10 points each or 11, 12, and 13 points respectively. The Ace of Hearts can be counted as either 1 or 15 points. The score for ending the game should be increased to 300, 500, or 1000 points.

If you have any suggestions for additions or changes to this page, please e-mail me.

My thanks to Richard Dunlap, George Klemic, Theodore Hwa, Preston Pfarmer, Matthew Ryan, Ilana Stern, Warren Chang, Don Woods, Chris Phillips, and especially Andy Latto. Also a big thanks to John McLeod.

Hay's Rule Book

John McLeod's Card Games Website

This page copyright 1998 John Hay