Hearts Rules

Hearts is a card game for 4 players. The object of the game is have the lowest score when one person gets more than 100 points. The game starts by dealing 13 cards to each player. Players then choose 3 cards from this hand to pass to the person on their left. The person with the 2 of clubs leads on the first trick. Play is standard trick-taking* without trumps until the hand is gone. Players may not lead hearts until they have been "broken" (already played on a previous trick), unless hearts are the only suit left in the player's hand. Playing the queen of spades also breaks hearts.

Scores are calculated at the end of each hand. Every heart taken is worth 1 point. The queen of spades is worth 13 points and the jack of diamonds -10. If a player manages to take all 13 hearts and the queen of spades (called "shooting the moon") then instead of adding 26 points to their score, they subtract 26. Or they may choose to take 0 points and give each of their opponents 26 points.

Depending on exactly how options are set, the game ends when one person gets more than 100 points. The winner is the player with the lowest score. If, however, at the end of the hand a player has exactly 100 points, they are declared the winner.

*Standard trick-taking is described as follows: Players must follow the suit of the card lead. The player who plays the highest card (aces high) of the suit lead takes the trick. If a player does not have a card of the suit lead, they are free to play whatever card they want. The player who takes the trick then leads the next trick.