Hearts Card Game Rules: How to Play

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Hearts is a popular trick-taking game, often played by four players. It’s known for its unique scoring system, where the objective is to avoid certain cards that carry penalty points.

The Deck and Players

  • Players: Usually 4.
  • Deck: Standard 52-card deck.


  • To have the fewest points at the end of the game by avoiding tricks containing hearts and the Queen of Spades.


  1. Dealing: Deal the entire deck, each player receiving 13 cards.
  2. Passing Cards: At the start of each round, players pass three cards to a neighbor, rotating the direction each round.
  3. Starting the Round: The player with the Two of Clubs starts the first trick.
  4. Playing a Trick: Players follow suit if possible. If not, they can play any card except for hearts or the Queen of Spades on the first trick.
  5. Scoring Cards: Each heart is worth 1 point, and the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points.


  • The game typically ends when a player reaches 100 points. The player with the lowest score wins.


  • Avoid winning tricks with penalty cards.
  • “Shooting the moon” is a risky strategy where winning all penalty cards can grant you zero points and add points to other players.

Hearts combines strategic depth with the unpredictability of card distribution, offering a rich and engaging gameplay experience.

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