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Hearts Card Game

Hearts is a popular card game that players have enjoyed for a few centuries and generations. It offers a combination of strategy, risk-taking, and luck in its gameplay so that players of all ages can enjoy this game and have hours of entertainment and fun.

Hearts is an evasion trick-taking card game with a twist wherein players must win the least number of tricks. This game is best played between four players, but three to six players can also enjoy this game.

Here we will guide you through many aspects of the game, including its history, gameplay, rules, objective and reasons for popularity and discuss each of the mentioned aspects in detail. Let's begin.

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History of Hearts Card Game

The origin of the Hearts card game lacks clarity. Card game enthusiasts believe that the game originated in Spain from a related card game called Reversis, which was popular in Europe during the 18th century. It involved taking tricks and avoiding certain cards.

However, the Hearts game as we know it today first appeared in the United States during the late 19th century. Soon, it became popular, especially in college settings, and comprised a variety of rules and variations.

The early 20th century saw the standardised rules for the game being established. As a result, the card game witnessed a rise in popularity, making it more widely played.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Hearts became a popular game among soldiers during World War II and in prisons as the first choice to pass the time and bond with each other. Over the years, Hearts became available to play as numerous computer and video game versions.

The simple rules and strategic gameplay made it a favourite and popular card game among players of all ages. Today, Hearts remains a beloved classic card game that continues to be enjoyed by players all over the world. The rich history and widespread popularity of the game are witness to the ever-lasting appeal of this timeless game.

Hearts Game Objective

The objective of Hearts is a crucial component of the game. In this game, players aim to avoid scoring points, win the tricks to win the game and take cards that carry penalty points.

In the Hearts Card game, the player with the lowest score wins, while the player with the highest score loses. The game automatically ends when any player scores more than 100 points. Over time, the manner of achieving this objective has evolved.

In its initial stages, players focused on winning tricks and avoiding taking certain cards that carried penalties. However, players developed new strategies and tactics to outsmart their opponents as the game spread to different regions and cultures.

In some game variations, players aim to collect specific sets of cards or avoid taking any tricks at all. While the usual game objective of Hearts cards is not to win any tricks containing cards of Hearts suit or with the Queen of Spades.

Another way by which players can win the game is by collecting all the cards of the Hearts suit and the Queen of Spades. It is known as Shooting the Moon.

Players can now enjoy Hearts on a variety of platforms, each platform with its own set of rules and objectives, thanks to the advent of digital technology. Despite all of these variations, the core objective of Hearts if summed up is to collect as few penalty points as possible and the player with the lowest score wins the game.

Hearts Game Rules

Hearts is a popular trick-taking card game played worldwide. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards among four players wherein players avoid collecting cards of the suit of Hearts and especially, the Queen of Spades.

Since the game requires strategy and careful planning to win, it is vital to check out and understand the game rules. So, let’s start.

  • When playing Hearts online, each player receives 13 cards. Nevertheless, the number of cards decreases when the player count increases.
  • Each game of Hearts game comprises multiple rounds. The number of rounds varies from platform to platform.
  • The Game of Hearts online begins with passing a set of 3 worse cards to the next opponent. It’s like discarding your worst cards that might get you penalty points.
  • While the 3 worst cards are passed to the opponent on the left in the first round, the 3 worst cards are passed to the right in the 2nd round and across the table in the case of the third round.
  • If the platform offers a fourth round, then no cards are passed in the fourth round. The fourth round also happens to be the final round.
  • At the start of each turn, the player lays down one card in a face-up position known as ‘Leading’. All the following players need to follow that suit. Usually, the player holding 2 clubs takes the lead first-hand.
  • If players do not have cards of the same suit, they can lay down any of the other cards in their hands.
  • After all four cards are played in a round of the Hearts Game online, the player having the highest rank wins the trick. They pick all four cards played and begin with the next turn.
  • If the cards belong to the suit of Hearts or if it is the Queen of Spades, then the winner of the trick receives penalty scores for the same.
  • There are instances like ‘shooting the moon’ in this game where the player wins using the cards of the Hearts suit and the queen of spades. Shooting the moon provides you zero points while the opponents receive 26 points.
  • The player in the free classic Hearts Game cannot lead the trick until they lay off a card of hearts or break the existing suit. For instance, you cannot begin by laying off a card of Hearts to play if it’s your turn and no hearts are played till now.
  • You cannot play Queen of Spades or a card of Hearts in the first round despite not having the suit relevant to the starting card.
  • Some variations of the Hearts Card game online do not allow laying off the Queen of Spades until the hearts are broken, while in some, even if the cards from Hearts suit are not played.
  • Once all cards are played in a game of Hearts online, penalty points are summed, and the player with the minimum points wins the game.
  • If a player hits the 100 points score, then the game of Hearts online finishes automatically. However, if there is more than one player in the game who reaches the 100 points mark, a few more rounds are played to decide the winner.

How to Play Hearts Game Online?

The rules of Hearts remain the same whether playing online or in person. In this game, the objective is to score as few points as possible by avoiding taking certain cards. In the online version of Hearts, the game is typically played with four players. Here’s how we do it.

  • Each player receives 13 cards and the game proceeds with each player taking turns to play a card from their hand. The winner of each trick is determined by the highest-ranking card played.
  • The winner of the trick leads or plays the first card in the next trick. In this game, players avoid winning the tricks containing the Queen of Spades and any card from the Hearts suit.
  • It is because winning the tricks using cards from the hearts suit and playing Queen of Spades gets you penalty points. The player who scores the minimum points wins the Hearts Card game, while the player with the highest points loses.

Playing Hearts online offers several advantages over playing in person. It allows players to play with people globally anywhere and anytime. Most online platforms offer various features like tutorials, chat options, and other helpful tools to improve the gameplay.

Overall, the Hearts game online is an excellent way to enjoy this classic game in a new avatar. It is because players can also hone their strategic and critical thinking skills while playing the game. With a bit of practice and patience, they can become a skilled Hearts player and win against opponents from around the globe.

Hearts Online: Scoring System

The scoring system in Hearts Online is a strategic element of the game as players must balance winning the number of tricks by avoiding penalty points. It is essential to understand the scoring system for the game to emerge victorious in the game.

The scoring system follows the same rules as the traditional card game in Online Hearts Game. So, let’s start.

  • The objective of the game is to avoid collecting penalty points assigned to certain cards. The cards with penalty points are all the cards of Hearts Suit and the Queen of Spades.
  • While the heart cards are worth one point each, the Queen of Spades itself is worth 13 points.
  • Each player’s score is tallied as per the type of cards accumulated at the end of each round. The player with the lowest score at the end wins the game.
  • At the end of each round, the player will receive points equal to the sum of the penalty points they collected.
  • If a player collects all 13 Hearts and the Queen of Spades in one round, it is called "shooting the moon" and they will receive zero points, while all other players receive 26 points.
  • The game continues until one player reaches or exceeds the predetermined score limit of 100 points. At this point, the player with the lowest score is declared the winner.

The scoring system in the game pushes the players to take risks and strategize their moves in order to score minimum points. Players can plan their moves and increase their chances of winning by understanding the scoring system.

Since players can either accumulate points or lose them with each hand, the game automatically becomes dynamic and engaging. As a result, players can see the benefits of playing card games like Hearts.

Top Variants to Play Hearts Online

Apart from the free classic Hearts Game, there are many other variants in the game of Hearts online. Let’s glance at them.

Auction Hearts

It is a four-player variant to play Hearts online. A unique feature of this variant is that players might bid in a sequence to make a declaration for the penalty suit. The first-hand starts by bidding on a specific number of chips that the player is willing to pay as a privilege for naming a card suit.

The following players may pass or increase the bid in a game of hearts online. The Dealer bids in the last position. There is just one round of bids and the player winning the auction adds the bid to the pool and begins with the first trick.

Black Jack

Blackjack and Black Jack are entirely different! Black Jack is the most popular variant to play hearts online. This variation adopts the concept of discarding hearts.

Players need to pass or exchange hearts exactly like the classic version of the Hearts game, but J♠ is a penalty card worth 10 points. And the black lady or Q♠ holds 13 points in the game. All remaining rules stay the same.

Black Lady

Also known as ‘Discard Heart’, Black Lady has been a popular variant of Hearts since 1090. When you play Hearts online, Black Lady frequently appears as the top option to play.

The rules of the Hearts Card Game and Black Lady are almost the same. The Black Lady or the Q♠ is a penalty card that gives 13 points. Later, this variant of the free classic Hearts Game developed moves and combinations such as ‘Shooting the moon’ and passing of cards in various directions for each deal.

Black Maria

A British variant to play Hearts online is the Black Maria. It is a challenging version that contains more penalty cards in the game.

The A♠, K♠ and the Black Maria Q♠ carry a penalty of 10 points, 7 points and 13 points respectively. ‘Shooting the moon’ is an optional rule in this game. Some of the other but less-popular variants of the Hearts Card Game are:

  • Cancellation Hearts
  • Domino Hearts
  • Joker Hearts
  • Partnership Hearts
  • Spot Hearts
  • Omnibus Hearts

Tips & Tricks to Play Hearts Online

With the right tips and tricks, players can increase their chances of winning, get the lowest scores and improve the overall gameplay experience. In this guide, we'll provide valuable insights on how to play Hearts online like a pro. So, let’s get started.

Leading Hearts Early

After evaluating one’s hand in a game of hearts online, a player must decide if they wish to try or pass on the hearts to other players. You can attempt to get them all for ‘Shooting the Moon’, but it could be a risky move.

The basic card game rules say that laying low ranking cards of Hearts is a good choice early in the game. However, you should plan to hold them until you are clear about the number of heart suited cards your opponents have.


Another strategy for how to play Hearts Card Game is a Void. It’s a scenario when the player does not have any card from a specific suit. This can be advantageous as it prevents the player from winning points from that suit. It also helps in the shedding of poor cards. Applying a smart passing strategy can increase the chances of Void.

When you play hearts online, it is important to apply your memory skills as it involves a lot of passing of cards. With good concentration levels, you can cut down your scores and win the game. If you wish to sharpen your intuitive and logical skills, check out the free classic Hearts Game and lose tricks to win the game.

Observe the Gameplay Carefully

One of the important strategies in the Hearts card game is to observe the cards your opponent’s play. When you keep track of the cards played in the game, especially the high-ranking ones, you can strategize and plan your moves accordingly. As a result, your winning probability increases drastically.

Pass High-Ranking Cards

In the Hearts card game, the objective is to score the lowest possible score and avoid winning as many tricks as possible. The best way to apply this strategy is to pass the high-ranking cards to opponents when the game begins.

Furthermore, players must also remember to pass the high-ranking cards, such as the Queen of Spades, at the earliest. Employing a strategy like this helps the player to avoid receiving penalty points when they get stuck with such cards.

Keep a low profile

Keeping a low profile during competitive games increases your chances of winning the game. So, If a player has a lot of low-ranking cards, they must play them strategically and stay under the radar. This way, opponents will have a hard time figuring out the cards you have, besides targeting and forcing the player to take points.

Take calculated risks

Every game of skill contains a small portion which is dependent on luck. It is why card enthusiasts and veteran card players advocate taking blind risks. The reason behind it is that sometimes players need to take some points and win a round to win the overall game. It is why players start getting more aggressive with their gameplay in the later rounds of the game.

Play the long game

It is important in trick-taking cards especially to not lose sight of the big picture and play the long game. Hence, card game enthusiasts and heart card game players reiterate that the goal of the game is to have the lowest score at the end, which is why players must not get caught up in winning every round and should rather focus on the end result.

Benefits of Playing Hearts Card Game

Playing Hearts online is not only a pleasant way to pass the time, but it also offers several benefits for players. These benefits range from personal development to social interaction to acquiring an entirely new set of skills.


Playing Hearts online allows card enthusiasts to play the game anytime and anywhere as per their comfort. The computer or system takes care of everything; hence, players don’t need to gather a group of friends to shuffle or deal out the cards.


Online Hearts offers a variety of game modes and variations. As a result, it allows you to choose which one best suits your preferences. With technological advancement, players can gain global exposure as they can play against the computer or with other players from any corner of the world.

Improved Cognitive Skills

Playing Hearts online can help players to improve your strategic thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. While playing the game, players pay attention to the cards already played and the ones left in the deck to make the best possible moves.

This intense mental exercise boosts cognitive abilities and brain functionality. It helps players to focus, retain more information, and think ten steps ahead and come up with out-of-the-box solutions now and then.


Playing Hearts online is free of cost on the general part of platforms for most devices in multiple regions, making it a free form of entertainment. As a result, players or enthusiasts of this classic card game don’t have to spend money on buying the game itself.

Popularity of Hearts Card Game

There are several reasons for the popularity of the Hearts Card game. One of the main reasons is that it requires risk-taking from players, meaning players have to decide if they have to play it safe or take a chance during a trick to gain an advantage.

Another great thing about the Hearts is its adaptability. Card enthusiasts can enjoy this game as a casual game with friends and family or a competitive tournament. It is an easy-to-learn game, which makes it perfect for players of all ages and skill levels, making it a game worth trying.

To sum up, Hearts is a fun and exciting card game that people of all ages and skill sets can enjoy. The rich history of the game and its evolution since its birth to the point that it is available online to players globally as per their comfort makes it one of the most popular card games.

Furthermore, the strategic nature and unpredictable game nature place Hearts Card game among the top picks of card game enthusiasts. With that said, we have covered all possible aspects of the Hearts card game. So, players, gather some friends and play online to enjoy the thrill of the game of Hearts.

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Hearts Game- FAQ

Q. How much is the Queen of spades worth in Hearts Card Game?

13 Penalty Points. In a game of hearts free online games, the Queen of spades is an unlucky card as it shoots up your score with 13 penalty points. Players need to avoid this card.

Q. How do you play free Hearts Game online?

To play hearts online, 4 players play with a standard 52-card deck with High as Aces and 2’s as lowest ones. All hearts in the game give 1 penalty point, and Queen of spades gives 13 penalty points. The free classic Hearts best card game like bluff finishes when someone reaches 100 points, and the one with the lowest score wins the game.

Q. Is the Queen of spades the highest card in Hearts Card Game online?

When each hand ends, the count of total hearts and Queen of spades is applicable for scoring. Q♠ is the highest card with 13 points that could make you lose the game of hearts multiplayer online games .

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