Hearts is a popular and fast-paced card game for four players. In the Windows version, all three of your opponents are played by the computer.
Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type games, and then, in the list of results, click Games Explorer.
(Don't see it? You might need to turn on Windows Games. See Where are my games?)
Choose cards by clicking them. To change your mind, click a selected card again.
If you need to finish a game later, just exit the game, and then click Save. The next time you play, you'll be asked whether you want to continue your saved game. If so, click Yes.
You can change player names, turn animation or sound on and off, and more.
Click the Game menu, and then click Options.
Make your choices, and then click OK.
You can select different card decks and backgrounds.
Click the Game menu, and then click Change Appearance.
To score as few points as possible.
Hearts is played with a single deck of 52 cards. Your opponents (played by your computer) are West, North, and East. Each player receives 13 cards.
Players begin each hand by passing three cards to their opponent (except for every fourth hand, when no cards are passed). The player holding the two of clubs plays that card to start the first trick (game-speak for the cards played in a single round).
Players must follow with a card from the same suit. If you don't have one, you can play any card (except during the first trick, when you can't play a heart or the queen of spades).
Whoever plays the highest card takes the trick and starts the next round. In Hearts, the cards are ranked from ace (high) to two (low).
Players can start subsequent tricks with a card from any suit. The exception is hearts. You can't play a heart unless someone has played one in a previous trick. (Or, in game parlance, until hearts have been broken.)
The goal in hearts is to pass all your hearts to other players (who are also trying to pass theirs to you). The game ends when a player reaches 100 points. At that point, the player with the fewest total points wins.
Each heart in a trick equals 1 point. The queen of spades is worth 13 points.
Take tricks with high cards. If you have to take a trick, use the higher of your cards to do it. You can use the lowest card in your hand to lead the next trick. Opening with a low card will often keep other players from ducking the trick by playing a lower card. Ducking, or avoiding having to pick up cards, usually helps your opponents.
Don't pick up hearts or the queen of spades. You only want them when you are trying to shoot the moon or trying to prevent someone else from shooting the moon.
Shoot the moon. In Hearts, a player who "shoots the moon" has amassed all the available hearts and the queen of spades. Your opponents automatically earn 26 points. Your score remains unchanged.
Pass high cards. On hands that begin by passing cards to an opponent, pass aces or face cards if you can.
Count cards. Keep track of played cards—particularly the queen of spades—and whether hearts have been broken. That way, you know if an opponent might be preparing to shoot the moon.
Hold on to the ace of hearts. Almost no other card gives you so much control, especially over situations such as who shoots the moon.
Hearts is a trick-based card game in which the goal is to get rid of your cards while avoiding points. Tricks are the groups of cards set down by players in each round. Points are scored whenever you take a trick that contains hearts or the queen of spades. Hearts is played with four players, and as soon as one player has more than 100 points, the player with the lowest score wins.
Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.
If Hearts is not available, you might need to turn on the Games feature. For more information about turning on the Games feature, see Where are my games?
If you don't have a saved game, Hearts starts a new game. If you have a saved game, you can continue your previous game.
Choose three cards to pass to an opponent (except for every fourth hand, when no cards are passed). To select a card to pass, click it. To cancel the selection of a card, click it again.
The player who has the two of clubs starts the play by leading with it.
Each player, moving clockwise, clicks a card to play. You must play a card in the same suit. If you do not have one, you can play any card, except that you cannot play a heart or the queen of spades on the first trick.
The person who plays the highest card of the same suit as the first card played takes the trick. That player starts the next trick by clicking a card to lead. You cannot lead with a heart until hearts have been broken. Hearts are broken when a heart has been played on a previous trick.
Take tricks with your higher card. If you have to take a trick, use the higher of your cards to do it. You can use the lowest card in your hand to lead the next trick. Opening with a low card will often keep other players from ducking the trick by playing a lower card. Ducking, or avoiding having to pick up cards, usually helps your opponents.
Don't pick up hearts or the queen of spades. You only want them when you are trying to shoot the moon or trying to prevent someone else from successfully shooting the moon.
Shoot the moon. To shoot the moon is to collect all the hearts and the queen of spades. When that happens, you score zero points and each other player scores 26 points. Your chances of successfully shooting the moon are best if your hand contains a large number of high-value hearts and spades.
Pass cards with high values. On hands that begin by passing cards to an opponent, pass cards with high values, such as aces or face cards. You'll start the game by passing cards to the left, then across, then to the right.
Play high cards early. Take the opportunity to discard your highest cards when your opponents appear to have some cards of each suit and will have to play those cards instead of hearts. Tricks that do not contain any hearts or the queen of spades do not add to your score.
Count cards. Keep track of cards that have been played, particularly whether the queen of spades has been played and whether hearts have been broken. Hearts are broken when the first heart is discarded on a trick. If you know who holds these cards, you know who's closest to shooting the moon.
Keep the ace of hearts. Almost no other card gives you so much control over things like who shoots the moon.
You can adjust the game options in the Options dialog box.
Select the check boxes for any options that you want to turn on, and then click OK.
If you need to finish a game later, just close the game and click Save. The next time you start a game, the game will ask you whether you want to continue your saved game. To do so, click Yes.