Break some hearts by learning how to play the hearts card game at Hearts rules! Game on.

How to Play Hearts Card Game

The popular game of Hearts has been proudly sitting on the ‘Start’ menu of many Microsoft computers. We all know the layout on the screen in front of us, but few of us actually know how to play the hearts card game in real life.  Read on for our Hearts card game tutorial!

The origin of the Hearts card game can be traced back to 18th century Spain, where it used to be known as Reversis. According to Wikipedia, as time went on this game grew in its complexity as more and more cards were added, until we reached the game as it is known today. It still remains a great game in which players have to use trickery in order to beat their opponents.

If you don’t know how to play Hearts, we’ve got you covered. The steps are easy to learn, and you’ll have the Spades rules under your belt in a heartbeat!

Hearts Card Game Requirements

You will need 4 players, and a regular 52-card deck. Some sources say that you can add more than 4 players to your group, but let’s be safe and agree on 4. You will need to decide on a number that you will be playing towards – most Heart games go up to 100 points, but some only play up to 50.

Hearts Playing Time

5 minutes per hand

How to Play Hearts

  1. The object of this game is to be the player with the lowest score. Familiarize yourself with these score cards first:
    • A heart – 1 point
    • The queen – 13 points
    • The aggregate total of all the scores for each hand must be a multiple of 26, or 26 itself.
  2. Each player will receive 13 cards, face-down, distributed in a clockwise direction around the group.
  3. Before the game starts, players will pass 3 cards that they don’t want in a clockwise direction.
  4. After the pass, the player who has the 2 or clubs will start the game. The card is placed in the middle and the other players must try to follow suit.
  5. If you can’t match the suit, you can play any card, except a queen of spades or a heart during the first trick.
  6. The highest card of the suit led wins the trick and may start the new one.
  7. The winner of the trick takes it and places it face down. You may not lead with hearts until a queen or a heart has been discarded.
  8. Play until the first player reaches 100 or 50 – whichever number you have decided on.

Hearts Video Tutorial

Hearts Card Game Variations

Alternatively, you can play this game with 3 or 5 people. In this instance the gameplay will remain the same, but the initial dealing will be different. It will work as follows:

  • For 3 players – remove the 2 of diamonds and deal 17 cards to each player, placing the cards face-down on the table.
  • For 5 players – remove the 2 of diamonds and the 2 of clubs, and continue to deal 10 cards to each player placing the cards face-down on the table.