The Game of Hearts

So you’re interested in learning how to play hearts, or as many of us know it the card game on your computer that isn’t solitaire. Cards are always a great way to keep some conversations going, stoke some competitive fires, and maybe have a few drinks. Hearts, despite the maybe feminine sounding name is good for all of these things and relatively quick to learn. One of the most important rules is right in the name in fact, cards of the eponymous suit are where you’ll find yourself some points. The game dates back a few hundred years and just because your grandmother can kick your ass in it does not mean you won’t have a great time doing the same to your friends.

The gameplay is relatively straightforward, four players are dealt equal hands until the deck is distributed and then gameplay starts. Some people play with the possibility of passing cards before the first, second, and third “tricks” or rounds. If you are not playing this way the person to the left of the dealer starts the round by playing any card they’d like, the person on their left must play a card in that suit if they can, but if they have no cards of the first card’s suit they may play any they like. Play continues like this until four cards have been played and the hand is then awarded to the player whose card is the highest card in the suit set by the first card played. After this points are recorded and play goes on with whoever “won” the previous round (ended up taking the cards) starting.

The scoring of the game is fairly simple and here are two types of cards that traditionally carry points with them. The object of the game is to accrue as few points as possible through the rounds, like golf, and gameplay stops when a number of rounds have finished or a certain point value is reached. If a player “wins” or takes any hands with a heart suited card in it they are awarded one point for every heart they take. The most dangerous card is the queen of spades, which if taken carries 13 points with it. So there you are, a simple enough game to pass the time with tons of variations to play around with if you find yourself getting a bit board. You can also now play with tons of apps on your commute to work, or even boot up that Windows 98 desktop you have in your attic and give it a whirl.