Hearts Rules

Blinds and Antes in Poker​

Hearts is a popular trick-taking card game. Unlike other trick-taking card games such as whist, bridge, and spades, Hearts is an evasion game where players must avoid winning hearts. Traditionally, Hearts is played by four people, yet it can be altered to fit three to six players.

The Pack

The standard 52-card pack.


Rank of Cards

Ace is the highest card, and 2 is the lowest.


Objective of the Game

The game is often played to 100 points. The objective of the game is to be the player with the lowest score when another player reaches 100 points.


Card Values

Hearts count as 1 point each.



If played by four people, a dealer is chosen to hand out 13 cards to each player, starting on their left and going clockwise.


The Play

After receiving their cards, each player must pass three cards to another player.


1st deal: Pass three cards to the left.

2nd deal: Pass three cards to the right.

3rd deal: Pass three cards straight across.

4th deal: No cards are passed.


Once the cards have been passed, the round can begin. The player with the 2 of clubs begins, leading with that card. Going clockwise, the next player must follow the same suit if possible. If not, they can play any card in their hand except for a heart in the first trick. A player cannot lead with a heart until hearts have been broken. Hearts are broken when a player follows with a heart because they have no cards in the suit that led.


The player with the highest card in the suit that led wins the trick and collects the four cards, placing them face down. The winner of the trick leads the next round. The aim is to keep your score low by avoiding winning tricks with hearts.


Once all cards are played, each player looks through the tricks they have won, adding up their points in total. The game continues until a player gets 100 points or higher, and the player with the lowest score wins.    

Shooting the Moon

If a player manages to collect all 13 hearts in the game, the player “shoots the moon” and gets 0 points. The other players get 26 points each. 


Black Lady

Black Lady is the most popular variation of Hearts. The variation is named after the queen of spades who is referred to as the “Black Lady.” In this variation, the queen of spades is introduced as an additional penalty card that players must try and avoid collecting. Whereas hearts still count as 1 point each, the queen of spades counts as 13 points, making it the highest penalty card. Similarly to the hearts, a player cannot lead with the Black Lady in the first trick. To “shoot the moon,” a player must also collect the Black Lady in addition to the 13 hearts.     

Black Jack

Black Jack is another variation of Hearts in which the jack of spades takes the place of the Black Lady. The jack of spades counts 10 points. Both the Black Lady and Black Jack retain their suits as spades when played.