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HEARTS


Objective:

A card game where you attempt to keep the lowest score by getting rid of all your cards and not getting hearts or the dreaded queen of spades

Game type:

Active. A lot of movement may be required.

Players:

4 players

Needed:

Deck of cards

Rules:

Shuffle and deal the deck to all players (13 cards each). Each player chooses three cards to pass to an opponent (except for every fourth hand, when no cards are passed). The player who has the two of clubs starts the play by leading with it into the middle thus starting the trick. Each player, moving clockwise, plays a card. You must play a card in the same suit. If you do not have one, you can play any card (called sloughing cards), except that you cannot play a heart or the queen of spades on the first trick. Also, you cannot lead with a heart until hearts are \'broken\' meaning someone takes a heart card in a trick because it was sloughed.

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 playing a card into the middle. After thirteen tricks the round ends and points are totaled. You get one point for each heart in your hand and 13 points for the queen of spades. The game continues until one player gets 100 points or more, or until the dealer quits the game. If you win all the hearts and the queen of spades in one hand (called Shooting the Moon), then you get zero points and each other player is penalized 26 points.

Strategies:

Avoid taking a trick containing hearts or the queen of spades. The only time you will want to take such tricks is when you are trying to or trying to prevent someone else from successfully Shooting the Moon. On hands that begin by passing cards to an opponent, pass cards with high values, such as aces or face cards. Play your highest cards early in the game, while your opponents are likely to have some cards in 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. Keep track of which cards have been played, particularly whether the queen of spades has been played and whether hearts have been broken (that is, whether a heart has been discarded on an earlier trick).

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