Hearts Card Game

Hearts Card Game

What Is Hearts Card Game?

The hearts card game is a trick-taking card game where the objective is to avoid any winning trick containing hearts, especially the queen of spades. The game is primarily made for four players, but most heart game variations can accommodate around three to seven players.

Primarily found in the USA back in the 1880s, some of the popular variations of the game include Black Maria and Black Lady. A standard 52-card deck is utilised and each heart card is worth one penalty point (with the queen of spades worth 13 penalty points). The other cards in the deck will have no value.

What Is The Objective of Hearts Game?

The ideal objective when playing the hearts card game is to be the player with the lowest amount of score at the end of the game. 

Hence, when a player will hit the agreed amount of maximum score or even higher, the game will conclude. As a result, the player having the lowest score among the rest will win. 

What Is The Set-Up To Follow?

Usually, the free online hearts card game is played by four players and each player will receive 13 cards. However, when three players are playing, two of the diamonds will be removed and each player will get 17 cards. Similarly, if five players are playing, two of club & diamond cards will be eliminated and each player will play with 10 cards. 

Alternatively, if six players are playing, then two & three of diamond cards along with three & four of club cards will be removed and each player will play with 8 cards. Lastly, if seven players are playing, then two & three of diamond cards along with three of clubs will be eliminated, and thereby each player will play with seven cards. 

How To Deal & Pass In-Game?

In the hearts card game, deal & play are done in a clockwise manner. All the available cards will be dealt with at a single moment so that every player will have 13 cards (assuming the total number of players is four). 

When playing the first hand, each player will pass any three face-down cards to the player playing on the immediate left. Before the passing begins, players should select the cards that are to be passed and keep them face down, so that the receiving player can obtain them quickly. Once done, the three given cards should be added to each player's hands.

Eventually, the secondhand playing will begin, where every player will pass three cards of their choice (face down) to the player playing on the immediate right. Then on the third hand, three cards (face down) will be passed to the player playing on the opposite. And then on the fourth hand, no cards will be passed. Such a cycle will continue repeating till the end of the game.

Hearts Card Game Rules & Regulations

Once all the cards are provided to the players and the players have arranged their cards properly in their hands, the player having the two of clubs will play first. In case the two of club card has been removed, then the same should be replaced by three of clubs. 

Every player must follow the same suit (if possible) and there’s no trump suit. The highest card that is played among the leading suit will win and then the winner will kick start the next trick. In case any player cannot follow the suit, then he or she can play/throw out any other card present in his or her hand. This is indeed a great way to get rid of high cards so that the player can prevent winning in the next set of tricks.

Exception: Neither the queen of spades nor hearts can be thrown out during the first trick session. But, they can be thrown out in the subsequent sessions.

It should be known that no player can lead with a heart until the queen of spades or a heart has been played. But, the queen of hearts can lead at any given time during the game. Players will have to remember the number of points they're playing for each trick so that the player with the lowest score can win.

How To Play The Hearts Card Game?

The objective of the hearts when playing it online is to have the lowest score and before we tell you how to play, you need to first get familiarised with the following set of scorecards:

Heart - 1 Point

Queen of Spades - 13 Points

The aggregate sum of all scores for each hand should be either 26 or in multiples of 26


  • The game will start with each player receiving 13 cards (assuming that four players are playing). The cards will be kept face down and will be distributed in a clockwise direction.
  • Before the game begins, you have to pass three cards that you don’t want, to the next player in a clockwise direction.
  • After the passing has been completed, the player who has two of clubs will kick start the game. The card should be placed in the middle and then the opponents will try to follow suit. 
  • In case you can't match the current suit, then you can play any card except a heart or queen of spades during the first trick. 
  • The player who played the highest card will win the trick and start the next one. It's not possible to lead using hearts until a heart or queen of spades has been discarded. 
  • Play will continue till a player reaches the maximum scoring limit – which is either 50 or 100 – depending upon what is decided beforehand. 
  • The player having the lowest score will win the game. 

What Is The Scoring System?

Since the hearts card game is a trick-taking game, the ultimate goal should be to win the minimum amount of tricks or better – not win any tricks that contain queen of spades or hearts. At the end of every round, the player will add the overall number of hearts that they’ve won in that specific round (including the queen of spades) and then add the same to the total score. Always remember – the objective is to have the lowest possible score. 

Generally, every player will score penalty points for the tricks that they win. For example, each heart will provide the player with 1 point while the queen of spades will provide the player with 13 points. The moment a player reaches the maximum amount of points (which is usually 100 points), the game will be concluded and the player having the lowest score will win the game.

Different Variants To Play

There are various versions of free hearts card games that you can play, such as:

  • Auction Hearts
  • Black Lady
  • BlackJack
  • Black Maria
  • Domino Hearts
  • Cancellation Hearts
  • Omnibus Hearts
  • Joker Hearts
  • Spot Hearts
  • Partnership Hearts

What Are Some Of The Strategies To Follow In The Hearts Card Game?

It’s suggested that you follow the below-mentioned tips & tricks when playing the free hearts card game:

  • Always remember the kinds of cards that have already been played. 
  • Get rid of diamonds and clubs as quickly as possible. 
  • Don’t forget to pay attention to the cards that you have passed, so that you can learn about your opponents’ strategy. 
  • Don’t forget to hold onto your ‘Ace of Hearts’.
  • Try to be careful when passing the ‘Queen of Spades’.
  • Try to hold onto low hearts. 
  • Don’t try to lead your opponents using an Ace. 
  • Never try to pass the ‘Ace of Clubs’.
  • Always proceed to pass the two of clubs.

Hearts Card Game Vs Poker

When comparing poker vs hearts card game, the major difference that can be identified at first is the method of play each game follows. Hearts card game is a very simple trick-taking game where the lowest possible score will win the game. But, in the poker game, only the player having the highest valuable hand will win.

Furthermore, the game of poker hands & poker rules relies on multiple factors to provide players with the ultimate sense of enjoyment coupled with competitiveness. Factors such as bluffing and reading the behaviour of opponents, help in taking the excitement of the game to a whole new level. Playing hearts card games rarely requires skill, but poker requires a serious amount of skill to get better at the game.

Besides, you’ll also have the chance to meet people from the amazing poker community worldwide - either online or offline - because it’s the most played card game across the globe (even more than Teen Patti game). Hence, poker should be your ideal game choice to play, even if you compare it with other money earning games like Call Break or  3 Patti . So, don’t hesitate and proceed to learn how to play poker today.

Online Hearts Card Game FAQs

Q. What is the maximum amount of points that can be earned in a hearts card game?

Most free heart games can go up to 100 points but some can also go up to a maximum of 50 points.

Q. What is the maximum playing time per hand in a hearts card game?

In the hearts game, the maximum playing time per hand is five minutes. 

Q. What is the maximum number of cards to be played by each player in a hearts card game?

The maximum number of cards each player will have will depend on the number of players playing the hearts game online for free. For instance, when four players are playing, each player will receive 13 cards. The cards will be ranked from Ace (having the highest value) down to 2 (having the lowest value).

Note – Adda52 does not host any hearts card games in any format.

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