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Hearts Game Rules by Trisha Ellington
This game uses one standard 52 pack of cards.
There are four players.
Aces are high.
Play progresses to the left.
Object of the game
The object of the game is to score as few points as possible.
The winner is the player who finishes with the lowest score.
At the start of the game
Each player is dealt 13 cards a piece for a total of 52.
Three cards are passed.
The holder of the two of clubs plays first.
The course of play
The holder of the two of clubs or the winner of the last trick leads first.
The player to the leader's left must follow suit if possible.
If one cannot follow suit, then any card can be played. There a some exceptions.
After four cards are played, the player with the highest card that matches the lead card wins the trick.
The trick winner keeps the cards to be totaled at the end of the round and leads the next trick.
This continues for thirteen rounds until all cards are exhausted.
After a round
All points are totaled in the players captured cards.
Every heart is worth one point.
The queen of spades is worth 13 points.
The most points one can get is 26 points, but this can never happen since the player 'runs' or 'shoots the moon'.
If a player has all 26 points, they receive no points at all, BUT the other three players get 26 points instead! This is called 'shooting the moon' and should be attempted whenever possible.
End of the game
When one or more players goes over 100 points, the player with the lowest score wins.
Ties must be broken with further play.
About the Author
Trisha Ellington works for Softgame Company, maker of card games, video poker and puzzles. She works on web sites, designs games and does graphic work.
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