These are the rules I use for Hearts. There are many variations possible, but I use the basic ones from Wikipedia.
The objective of Hearts is to get as few points as possible. Each heart gives one penalty point. There is also
one special card, the Queen of spades, which gives 13 penalty points.
When the game starts you select 3 cards to pass to one of your opponents. Typically you want to pass your three worst
cards to get rid of them. Which opponent you pass to varies, you start by passing to the opponent on your left, then in the
next game you pass to the opponent on your right, third game you pass across the table and in the fourth game there is no
Each turn starts with one player playing a single card, also called leading. The suit of that card determines the suit
of the trick. The other players then play one card each. If they have a card in the same suit as the first card then they must
play that. If they don't then they can play one of their other cards. Once four cards have been played, the player who played
the highest ranking card in the original suit takes the trick, i.e. he takes the four cards on the table and he then starts the
next turn. Any penalty cards in the trick (hearts or queen of spades) are added to the players penalty score. So you want to
avoid taking any tricks that have hearts or the queen of spades.
The player who has the two of clubs at the start of the game leads in the first hand, and he MUST lead with the two of clubs.
You cannot lead a trick with hearts, until hearts has been broken (played on another suit). So if it is your turn to lead and no
heart has been played yet then you may not select a heart as the card to play first. In some variations of the game you can't
play the queen of spades until hearts has been broken as well, but in this version you can always play the queen of spades and
she doesn't break hearts.
In the very first round you may never play a heart or the queen of spades, not even if you don't have any card in the suit of the lead card.
Once all cards have been played the penalty points are counted and the player with the fewest points wins that hand. When one or more players
reach 100 points or more then the entire game is finished, and the player with the least points win. If points are over 100 and there are
two or more equal with the least points then play continues until there's only one winner.
Shooting the Moon! Generally it's bad to get penalty cards, but there is one extra twist! If you get ALL the penalty cards
(13 hearts + Queen of spades) then you get 0 points and the other 3 players get 26 points each! This is called Shooting the Moon.
Trying this can be a really risky move though, since if another player gets just one of the hearts you'll end up with a lot of points...
As of 21.02.2014 I've changed the game so the Queen of Spades no longer breaks hearts. I used to get complaints that it didn't, then when I changed it to make sure she did break then I got even more complaints about that. So, it looks like most people want the Queen of Spades to not break hearts, so that's the way it'll be from now on. Please do not write to me requesting that I change this again!
This game was made by me. (For those that keep emailing me about this, no, I did not invent Hearts, I just made this particular version of the game!). My name is Einar Egilsson and over there on the left is my current Facebook profile picture!
Hearts is the third card game I've created, the other two are Shithead and Crazy Eights.
I used to play Hearts a lot when I was younger, it was one of the games that came with every version of Windows. I wanted to be able to
play Hearts online, and just didn't think all the hundreds of other versions of Hearts would do! Of the card games I've created Hearts is probably my favorite. At least
I play it a lot more than the others.
I found at OpenClipArt, a great site with free graphics. The excellent
playing card images were made by Nicu Buculei, and the player images were made
by Gerald G.