How To Play: Hearts

Hearts strategy covers card passing, avoiding the Queen of Spades, and shooting the moon. Learn game setup, rules, and components. Master tactics to control the lead, manage your hand, and watch for tricks. Follow these tips for a game night win.

So, you’re ready to become the king or queen of Hearts? Excellent choice! In this guide, I’ll break down the game rules and share the ultimate strategies for winning. Grab your friends and get ready to master this classic card game. Stick around and you’ll be the go-to Hearts champion at your next game night.


What’s in the box

  • 1 Deck of 52 Cards
  • 4 Player Guide Cards
  • 1 Score Pad
  • 4 Pencils

How To Play Hearts: Rules Summary

Hearts is a trick-taking card game that’s fun and strategic. Here’s how you can start playing:

  1. Use a standard 52-card deck. Remove jokers.

  2. Each player gets 13 cards. Hearts is meant for 4 players.

  3. Decide on a scorekeeper. This person tracks everyone’s points.

  1. Players pass 3 cards to another player each round. The direction of passing changes each round.

  2. Player with the 2 of clubs starts the first trick.

  3. Players must follow the suit of the first card played. If you can’t, you can play any other suit.

  4. The highest card of the suit wins the trick. The winner starts the next trick.

  1. Hearts are worth 1 point each. The Queen of Spades is worth 13 points.

  2. The goal is to have the least points at the end of the game.

  3. Game ends when a player reaches 100 points. The player with the least points wins.

Special Rules & Conditions
  1. ‘Shooting the Moon’: If you get all 13 hearts and the Queen of Spades, you score zero points, and everyone else scores 26 points.

  2. On the first trick, you can’t play Hearts or the Queen of Spades.

  3. Hearts can’t be played until a heart has been discarded on another trick.

Best Hearts Strategies

Mastering Card Passing Strategies in Hearts

Winning in Hearts? Let’s talk card passing strategies. Pass cards wisely, and you might just outsmart everyone. Here’s how:

Passing High Cards

  1. Pass high cards to get rid of potential hazards.
  2. Keep mid-range cards for safer plays.

Breaking Suits

  1. Pass cards from the same suit to make it easier to avoid getting stuck with high cards.
  2. Force other players to lead suits you don’t have.

Watching Other Players

  1. Observe your opponents’ style.
  2. Pass cards that might disrupt their strategy.

So, sharpen those card passing skills, and you’ll be dominating Hearts in no time!

Avoiding the Queen of Spades in Hearts

Avoiding the Queen of Spades can save you loads of trouble in Hearts. Here are a few tips to keep that pesky queen out of your hand:

1. Pass Wisely

  1. Always pass high spades early.
  2. Keep an eye on what others pass to you.

2. Manage Your Hand

  1. Try to lead with low cards.
  2. Avoid taking control of the game too soon.

3. Watch Out for Tricks

  1. Be wary when someone leads with low spades.
  2. Keep track of which cards have been played.

Hearts can be tricky, but avoiding the Queen of Spades makes a huge difference. This will keep your score low and leave your friends scrambling!

Mastering the Art of Shooting the Moon in Hearts

So, you’re aiming to shoot the moon in Hearts? Buckle up! This move is bold, risky, and oh-so-rewarding if done right. Here’s how to increase your chances:

Gathering High Cards

  1. Collect all the dangerous high cards, especially the Queen of Spades and hearts.

  2. Make sure you have a mix from each suit to control the game.

Monitor Your Opponents

  1. Track which cards your opponents are playing and adjust your strategy.

  2. If they’re onto you, change your tactics.

Control the Lead

  1. Ensure you have enough high cards to keep winning tricks.

  2. If you lose control, you’ll end up with too many points.

## Wrapping Up: Mastering Hearts Like a Pro

Alright, folks, there you have it. You’ve got your passing strategies, ways to avoid that pesky Queen of Spades, and even some ‘Shooting the Moon’ tactics. With practice (and a bit of luck), you’ll soon be the Hearts champion of your game night. Remember, it’s not just about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play them. So, gather your friends, shuffle that deck, and show them who’s boss! Oh, and if you ever forget a rule, just Google ‘How To Play hearts.’ Happy gaming!

Want to know what we think of Hearts? Read our detailed review of Hearts here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.