You’re bound to play the hearts card game eventually because it’s an extremely popular pastime. The objective is simple, the interactions are fun. However, there’s obviously a method to the madness or else you’d win every hand. So, what does it take to become a master at the game of hearts? Not much, it turns out.
How to play the hearts card game
Unlike other card games, the objective of hearts is to finish with the lowest possible score. Using a standard 52-card deck, four players receive 13 cards at the beginning and attempt to make “tricks” before their opponents. When the adjustable limit of 100 is reached, the game stops.
The card rank is traditional – Ace to 2, with the Ace high. Players must follow suit according to whichever suit is thrown first. If the player doesn’t have anything in their hand from the existing suit, they can then throw whatever suit they want. The highest card thrown wins the trick.
NOTE: The player holding the two of clubs is usually the one who starts the round.
Tips for better tricks in hearts
Players must pass three cards to someone else at the beginning of each new round. This is a crucial moment in the game. It’s your chance to get rid of the bad cards in your hand – the queens, the kings, and Aces. Meanwhile, try to pass off all high-value cards from the hearts suit if possible.
Furthermore, watch out for the queen of spades because it spells trouble. Many players will even lead with spades to lure out the queen. Good passes almost always include high spades and low hearts because those cards block your opponent(s) from tossing out devastating blows in the next round.
For best results, try to thin out your hand at the very beginning. When you’re out of cards that match the suit thrown, there will be no other choice than to start throwing out other suits (hearts). Hold on to queens until the very end if possible because that can prevent certain opponents from taking tricks and winning the game.
The value of protection in the hearts card game
This is important, so listen up. The hearts card game is all about strategy and patience. You see, low cards of any suit can help you win so they’re commonly called “protection cards.” It’s crucial that you know how to use them.
Coordinating high cards are a must or else the technique won’t work (and you’ll just get stuck with a bad hand). Use this strategy to duck all the hearts until everyone runs out. Essentially, heart cards are no longer risky because you’re the only one holding them…for now. This is not a card trick This is a tip straight from the pros.
Play hearts for fun or for competition. It really doesn’t matter how you play because it’s an entertaining card game either way. There’s more than luck involved here though, so try to stay focused and pay attention to what your opponents throw down. Anticipate their next move and get in front of it by setting up a volley and passing off the right cards at the right time.