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 Welcome To my Hearts  Page.  This page is designed to give some helpful tips and techniques of the game of Hearts. I am no expert in this game, however I have been playing off and on for about three years now. Before I go into some strategies I would like to first say the Hearts is not a game of Hot Potato with the Queen of Spades. Its a game of skill and if played well a person will have a winning percentage of about 50% against average players or above average players. When playing with the experienced players or masters of the game that percentage drops to about 25%. The object of the game of Hearts is simply low score wins. This might sounds like a major no brainer but you would be surprised how many people get nervous and will take points to save a potential moon. You want to cover the moon but you dont want to take a great deal of points to do so. Shooting the Moon is great when your positive you can make it happen. However some players will try to shoot as much as possible. Shooting the Moon will not happen that often in game. Individuals who attempt to shoot the moon usually often die a quick death in Hearts. I will be basing my strategies based on a game too 100 points where each heart is worth 1 point and the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points. Some other versions Like the Jack of Diamonds or 10 of diamonds being worth -10, or 3,4,5 hand, or whose ever gets the Queen of Spades will not be discussed here.

Here are some key terms people use when playing Hearts


I play hearts a little differently than the average Joe. I usually try to get rid of my off suits to avoid taking the lead. Play my primary suits later in the game if possible. The reason I play cards this way is to avoid getting burned later in the hand. Most experienced players will hold for low man if they can. However this is not always the case. Depending on how bad my hand is. I believe that in order to be successful in the game of hearts you have to a variety of the following techniques. Keep your opponent guessing and keep them frustrated. So often you will players just throw spades. Very boring and will usually not get low man. Those types of players dont seem to move up the rankings very fast.

Pulling Spades- Pulling spades is always a good idea if you low man. You wanna win right ? No one said hearts was a game to make friends in. However if you not low man heres something to consider when trying to get low man. If low man is to your left pull spades and try to get them to throw off a high spade like the ace, king or queen. If low man is to your right why would you lead spades. Object of the game is to get low man. You doing the player to your right a big favor especially if they have the ace or king of spades. He or she has their pick of where to dump the Queen of Spades or use ace or king of spades to lead take trick with.

Ducking- 100% ducking is a very poor and frustrating strategy in my opinion. Sometimes you have to play to their level of play. I say beat them at their own game and duck like crazy if your playing with duckers. They will eventually destroy themselves and TRAM out. However, I do recommend partial ducking to avoid leads or tramming out. I will usually take a heart or 2 if I can to eliminate the moon. This is my method of covering  the pass. Dont be so cheap to avoid a point or two. You might give away a moon.

The Sucker Play- This is one of my favorite plays-  The object of this strategy (especially when you are low man) is to throw out a card for example an 8 hoping the person on my left with the queen dumps on you. The Dumper not knowing you have the 3,4,5,6,7 with hit someone else with the queen and saves you from certain points.

Bait Play- Ever have one of those hands where all you have is good cards and you pass the Queen of Spades bare. Well this strategy you dont pass and pull. You simply play everything except spades. The reason you do this is you want to bait your opponents to pull spades and nail the person you passed the queen to. The person who ate the Queen usually wont be mad at you because you didnt pass and pull but will more than likely have a few choice words with the other players.

Hide Your Bad Suit- You ever get a hand where you have 7 or 8 mid range cards in the same suit and you dont have any low ones in that suit. Well this is what you do. Hold em till the end if you can. An experienced player will try to see what suit is bad for you. If your throwing off your bad suit the experienced player will more that likely grab the lead and have your TRAM out.

The Bluff- When you have the Queen of Spades and your short in hearts sometimes I will pretend I'm mooning so others will throw off their high spades. Then I will pull spades until the suit is null(meaning no more spades outstanding for others to pull on you). I will then in turn throw off my highest suit, which is usually a heart at that point, so I can aim for low man. This strategy is very effective and will get an average or above average player the majority of the time. The more advanced players for some reason duck and give to up the moon. Either way this is a sucessful strategy.

Know Your Opponent- If your in a game where everyone ducks you have to play at their level. Duck with them and let them tram out.  If you play a more experienced player who aims for low watch out and start counting cards. The game is ready to get good. Try to play with people you know and play for low man. Some of the best games I have been in are when the winner of game is in the mid 90's of a 100 point game.

Hit the Mooner- Give that Queen of Spades to the mooner. Alot of people dont get this!!! They will hold onto the Queen of Spades and give up the moon or they will eat her. Why pentalize the person covering the moon with the Queen of Spades. Nail the mooner!! I will gladly give up a moon if Im lowman and they expect me to cover. They are crazy if they think I will cover and eat her!!

Top Down- This strategy is based on throwing you high cards out first then ducking towards the last tricks have been played. This is the most common strategy. Not saying its the best however you will not TRAM out towards the end of the hand using this strategy and counting.

First Hand- When starting a new game I dont discriminate the Queen of Spades on the first trick. Meaning if I have her Ill let her go the first chance I get. Its only fair everyone is at zero. I have played with some people who play that totally back az words. They will throw a heart vs the Queen of Spades. Does seem right in some cases when others are mooning and you pentalize the coverer.

Bottom Up- This strategy is kind of dangerous because you can TRAM out real easy towards the end of the hand. Basically all you do is duck and hope you don’t get the lead. Very lame play but a lot of players do this.

Minimize Your Points- On A bad hand where your guaranteed the Queen of Spades try to minimize your points. For example if someone is constantly throwing spades and your doomed take the queen come back with a low spade after you drained all your high cards and hope they TRAM out. You might get 13 points for the Queen of Spades but you make em pay for pulling on you and give them hearts in return.

Passing- My strategy for passing 3 cards out of the 13 is alot different from most players. Who ever said passing a low heart was a good idea. Sometimes I do not even throw hearts. The object of the game is to win with lowest score. There are other ways to cover your pass. For example if some one leads a high heart (right after hearts have been broken) some people will cover be guaranteed 4 pts and the lead. Not me! I will wait until I can dump off one of my high hearts on another. If I pass no hearts I will generally dump a high heart first chance I get on the 2 other players in the game I didnt pass too. Some times this strategy gives up a moon but the odds are working for you in a situation like that. If you concentrate on giving a heart whenever possible to one of the other 2 players or take one yourself they can continue to throw high hearts and eat points. I also pass high cards to other players to utilize the above strategy. Give them the false hopes on getting a moon. Another good thing to do on the pass is to pass the 2 of clubs. The 2 of clubs in your hand will not get you the lead on first trick but it messes up the person you passed to because they still have their high clubs in their hand after first trick has been taken.

Counting- This is the most important thing to do in a hearts game. Counting is actually very easy to do. The way I count is groups of 4 and how many times that suit have been around the table. For example on a standard game where clubs are lead first that’s 4 clubs if everyone has one. Next time clubs is played you could have a total of  7 or 8 clubs played. Just keep track of how many times clubs have been lead by multiplying number of times around the table tmes the number of players that have clubs. Assuming that everyone has a club and its been played 3 times (3*4=12 out of 13 per suit)  it would not be wise to throw a club the four time unless your trying moon.

Passing and Pulling- This strategy allows you to pass a high card to another person in the game to avoid lead or too pull the Queen of Spades out after she was passed. Pulling the Queen of Spades after you just passed her is by no means a honorable strategy or smart play unless your low man trying to win the game. So many times I see people just throw spades just to get her out. Alot of the time you hit the high man in the game and make winning more difficult. However if you low man who cares about passing and pulling the object of the game is to win with lowest score. Another type of passing and pulling is to pass high off suits to another player in the game. For example if I pass the King and Queen of diamonds to the player on my left. I will lead an off suit high card like the 10 to get them in the lead. If they duck I will more than likely continue with that suit until they take the lead.

Holding For Low Man- This strategy allows you to hold the Queen of Spades for the lowman in the game. Object is to stay out of the lead and throw off your high cards to other players. A good Hold hand for low man is 5 or more spades in your hand including the Queen of Spades. Make low man sweats while your holding for him or her. For people that realize one player is holding for low man should try to help out the person holding the Queen of Spades. For example if  low man doesnt have any diamonds try and lead clubs to get low man in the lead so the person holding The Queen of Spades can dump her on lowman. People sometimes just give up and try to get out of lead. Alot of the time the person holding the Queen of Spades will hold for low so dont be afraid to try to get lowman. In this example lead those clubs and get em!

The Great Escape- Use this strategy on aweful hands. If your holding the Queen of Spades and you have horrible cards try to run out the suits your bad in first. For example if you have 1 club the 3 and the other suits are all high run the other suits out so you can lead the 3. Alot of players will tram out because the didnt null hearts, diamonds, and spades for this example. You cant always do this and be sucessful but its worth a try and also gives the impression your mooning and people will not usually throw off hearts and save you points.

Lead Left- This is a good strategy if your holding the Queen of Spades with 2 or 3 supporting spades. Basically the objective of this strategy is you want the player on your left to lead spades so you can dump the Queen of Spades on the ace of spade or king of spades to either the player accross or too your right. Under no circumstance you want the player on your right to lead. If he or she attempts to take the lead you should cover it and lead an off suit. Reason being the player accross from you might be holding the ace or king of spades. Generally speaking its a good idea to have the player on your left lead just in case your playing with dumpers then you can easily duck.

I hope this page was helpful I really enjoyed creating it. Please feel free to email me for a game or any additional questions about this page. Good luck and have fun.