How to Play Hearts

Want to learn how to play hearts? The hearts card game originated in Spain during the 1700s. Hearts isn't about amore. It's about losing tricks. What role does the Queen of Spades play? She doesn't represent lady luck. Here are a few hearts-healthy strategies to boost your card game skills.

Playing Together
Even though hearts is a game played individually, teamwork can be a benefit. Similar to targeting, players strategize to team up to pile points on the winner. Teamwork is essential if a player shoots the moon, or wins every single trick, which scores a premium.

Leading
Lead a card that has to be topped by at least one other player. The best lead is a low card, or early in the game, any card below a Jack. Tracking cards is important so you know what's been played.

Ducking
Avoid holding high cards by ducking them. Ducking means you play the highest card that is numerically under the top card played. For example, if the ten is the highest card played by another player, play your highest card under the ten.

Avoiding the Queen
Most people hold onto the Queen of Spades until late in the game. Players with a handful of spades will try to fish out the queen. If you don't possess the queen of spades, but you do have the ace or king in hand, get rid of these cards as soon as possible since they will capture the queen and the points that come with her.

If you didn't receive many spades in the deal and you inherit the queen from a pass, you'll need to be inventive to get rid of her. Lead with highest cards first.

Lowering the Heart Rate
If you hold hearts in your hand, it's best to keep a low, middle and high card. Don't toss a heart if the suit hasn't been played yet. Usually, you will end up taking the hand which means you'll earn points.

Targeting
Target the player with the lowest points. If possible, pass hearts and the queen to these players. It's possible you'll end up with high cards, but you may consider targeting yourself to keep the game going.

Hearts is a strategy game that can turn into a challenging of wits. Use these strategies to assist in winning.

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