How to play Hearts (Card Game)
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The OBJECT OF THE GAME is to be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. The game ends when one player hits the predetermined agreed-upon score or higher. The game is usually played to 100 points, some play to 50. This game is for 3-5 players.
Setup: shuffle a 52 card deck of standard playing cards, without jokers, and deal the cards one at a time, face down, clockwise. In a four-player game, each player is dealt 13 cards; in a three-player game, the 2 of diamonds should be removed, and each player gets 17 cards; in a five-player game, the 2 of diamonds and 2 of clubs should be removed so that each player will get 10 cards.
The term: “hand” is the time it takes to play all the cards each player holds. The term “trick” is 1 round of play where each player plays one card, the resulting pile of cards makes up the trick.
The player holding the 2 of clubs after the deal makes the opening lead. If the 2 has been removed then the 3 of clubs is led. On your turn you play one card. Play proceeds clockwise from the led player.
Each player MUST follow suit if possible. If a player’s hand is void of the suit led, a card of any other suit may be discarded. However, if a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the queen of spades cannot be discarded.
The highest card OF THE SUIT LED wins a trick and the winner of that trick takes all the cards from that trick and places them facedown in front of them, then leads next trick. There is no trump suit. A player may not lead a heart until “hearts have been broken”, that is: when a player discards a heart when another suit is lead. If the player to lead only has hearts AND hearts haven’t been broken, then they pass the lead to the next person clockwise.
Play continues until all the tricks have been taken, then points are scored for each player based on the cards they took from the tricks they won. Each heart is worth 1 point and the queen of spades is worth 13 points. The queen of spades may be led when hearts haven’t been broken, but playing the queen of spades does not break hearts.
When a player takes all 13 hearts and the queen of spades in one hand, they have successfully “shot the moon”. Instead of losing 26 points, that player scores zero and each of his opponents score an additional 26 points.
If no player exceeds the maximum amount of points, shuffle the cards and deal again. The player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins.