Hearts rules

Hearts card game rules

Hearts is one of the most popular card games in the world. Four players play tricks trying to load the queen of spades and hearts cards to their opponents.

The Deal

One standard deck of 52 cards is used. All the cards are dealt, so that each player has 13.

Before starting to play the tricks, players exchange some of their cards. Each player passes three cards face down to another player, different in each hand:

  • In the first hand, to the player on the left.
  • In the second hand, to the player on the right.
  • In the third hand, to the player in front.
  • In the fourth hand, cards are not exchanged.
  • In the 5th hand the cycle starts again, giving the three cards to the player on the left.

The Play of the Hand

The first trick is always opened with the 2 of clubs. Sucessive tricks are opened by the player who takes the previous trick.

There is no trump suit. The trick is won by the player who played the highest-value card of the suit that was led. The Ace is the highest card.

These are the rules to respect when playing a card:

  • Whenever is possible, a card of the same suit as the lead card must be played.
  • No penalty card (heart or queen of spades) may be played on the first trick.
  • Hearts cannot be led until they have been broken. Hearts are broken when someone has not any card of the suit led and chooses to play a heart.


At the end of the hand players score penalty points:

  • Each Heart scores one point.
  • The Queen of Spades scores 13 points.
  • Shooting The Moon: the player who takes all the penalty cards reverses the result, so it becomes positive.

Hearts in Ludoteka

The game ends when one of the players reaches the limit of 100 points. The player with the the lowest score at that time is the winner.

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