•To play hearts, you will need to have four players, some gaming chips, and one deck of regulation playing cards.
•The number cards count as the values indicated, and they are followed by the jack, queen, king, and finally the ace.
•When you play hearts, you will want to win as few chips as possible. Keep in mind that some hearts card software will offer a variation of the game in which the gaming chips are substituted for points, and in this case the object of the game is to refrain from scoring any points.
•Each player receives 13 cards.
•During each round, each player chooses three cards she or he will want to pass to the opposing player –first on the left. Rather than simply handing the cards to the player, it is usually considered fair to place them face down in front of the other player, so she or he will not know which cards are being passed, and so subsequently this will not influence the choice of cards she or he is passing. Once everyone has a little pile of three cards sitting n front of them, every player picks up their new cards.
•The next round will see similar game play, but this time around you play hearts by passing three cards to the right. After that round, the players will pass the cards across from each other.
•The next step to play hearts is to follow the suit that the leader of the game – usually the player who holds the two of clubs card – lays. Thus, if the player with the two of clubs decides to play the five of diamonds, every player needs to play a diamond if she or he has one. A heart card may be substituted for a missing suit card. The highest suit card determines who receives the trick.
•Scoring is done as follows: the queen of spades counts as 13 points, while a heart card counts as one point. If you are unlucky enough to take a trick that contains these cards, you will soon find yourself racking up points, which is not something you will want to do in this game!
•For those hearts aficionados who will want to play on paper the same way they would play against the computer with their hearts card software, the goal is usually not to break or go over 100 points. The person going over 100 points – you guessed it – lost the game.
There are a number of actual strategies to this game that will determine how successful you will be. While many disavow using strategies to help them win, it is peculiar just how many are quite familiar with them in spite of their protestations to the opposite. Here are some of the most famous strategies:
•As you are passing cards, do not pass the low spades. These are safe cards to hold and will come in handy when trying to avoid taking a trick that holds the dreaded queen of spades.
Another trick is to get rid of the diamonds and clubs, so that you can play those nasty little hearts at every opportunity for lack of a different card.