How to Play Hearts, With Variations

Through the years, the card game Hearts has been modified numerous times from its simple beginnings over a century ago to the present. Some people play Hearts thinking that the version they are playing is the one and only version. That is simply not true.

The following rules of Hearts will tell you how to play the game. There are four places within the rules where you must choose from four variations. At each place, pick the variation that you wish to use. Then play the game. In future games, you can choose different combinations of variations. In all, you can play 256 different variations of Hearts.

For these rules, Hearts is played by four players using a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The object of the game is to avoid taking Hearts and other harmful scoring cards.

To begin the game, write the players’ names across the top of a sheet of paper which will be used to record the scores. Then choose a player to be the first dealer. Just pick someone. Or have each player cut the cards, and the player with the highest card is the first dealer.

The dealer shuffles the cards, and then deals them one at a time, face-down, clockwise around the table beginning with the player to her or his left. The deal continues until all of the cards have been dealt and each player has 13 cards. Each player looks at his or her cards.

Before play begins, cards may be passed between players. Either:

1. No cards are passed. or

2. A four-deal system of passing is used. On the first deal, each player passes three cards to the player to the left. On the second deal, each player passes three cards to the player to the right. On the third deal, each player passes three cards to the player across the table. And on the fourth deal, the players don’t pass any cards. or

3. Use the same system as above, but pass four cards. Then each player passes one of the four cards back to the player who passed them. or

4. Each player passes three cards to the dealer who shuffles the cards and deals them back to the players.

Each hand is played as a series of “Tricks”. A trick contains four cards, one from each player. For each trick, one player lays the first card, the lead card, face-up on the table. Then each of the other players in turn moving clockwise around the table lays a card face-up on the table. After the first card is played, the other cards must match the suit of the lead card if possible. Otherwise any card can be played. (One exception – a harmful scoring card cannot be played on the first trick unless the player has no other choice.)

One player plays the lead card of the first trick. Either:

1. The player to the left of the dealer plays her or his lowest card from a suit other than Hearts. or

2. The player with the Two of Clubs plays it as the lead card. or

3. The first player to the left of the dealer with a Two of Clubs, Two of Diamonds, or Two of Spades plays it. or

4. The player with the Two of Clubs shows it to the other players, and then plays any non-scoring card.

Each of the other players plays a card, following suit if possible. The highest card in the suit that was lead wins the trick. The player who played that card takes the four cards in the trick, and then plays the lead card for the next trick.

There is an early-game restriction on leading a Heart. Either:

1. A Heart can be lead after the first trick has been played. or

2. A Heart can be lead after a Heart has been played in a previous trick. or

3. A Heart can be lead after the third trick has been played. or

4. A Heart can be lead after each of the other three suits have been lead, or after two suits have each been lead twice.

When all of the tricks in a hand have been taken, each player examines his or her cards for scoring cards. Either:

1. The 13 Hearts each score 1 point. or

2. The Two through Ten of Hearts each score 1 point, and the Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of Hearts each score 5 points. or

3. The 13 Hearts each score 1 point, the Queen of Spades scores 13 points, and the Jack of Diamonds scores minus 10 points. or

4. The first two Hearts taken by each player score 0 points. All other Hearts each score 2 points, the Queen of Spades scores 13 points, and the Jack of Diamonds scores minus 10 points.

If a player takes all of the scoring cards in a hand, that player “Shoots the Moon”. The player scores 0 points, and each of the other player scores 26 points.

Each player adds her or his points to any previous score on the score sheet.

If none of the players has scored 100 points, the cards are gathered together, and the player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer.

When a player scores 100 points, the player with the lowest score wins the game.

End of rules. I’ve always loved the game of Hearts.

Magic The Gathering – The Game

Magic The Gathering is a collectible card game from Wizards Of The Coast. Created by Richard Garfield, he starting with offering a different game to Wizards, deeming this other game too expensive to manufacture, they requested Richard to come back with something unique, easy but quick to play. The result of that effort and the new game for Wizards was Magic The Gathering. The main aim of the game and it is more often than not, a two player game, is utilizing spells, artifacts and creatures to defeat your opponent and have them go from 20 life points to zero. The game has easy to learn concepts, yet may take some time to understand the outcomes that initially become rather complex.

Each card requires mana for that card to come into play, cards that are land or generate mana allows for these cards to come into play. Each card will be a creature, a spell or an artifact. These cards will affect either the player directly, the other player’s cards in play or both.

Being a collectible game, the cards from each set are available with differing levels of availability from ultra rare, rare, uncommon to common. There are core and expansion sets which are released every year since its inception, 1993. The original sets are almost impossible to get and trying to obtain the original Alpha series of cards, would be an extremely expensive endeavor.

Tournaments allow for various players to see there skills at firstly, test the building of decks that last a tournament as well as being used to defeat each opponent individually. People attend tournaments for fun, for prestige, for prizes such as booster packs or for unique cards or just simply as a social activity.

The game is also available online, yet there are many players from around the world that still enjoy the physical collectible cards available today, some cards from the original 1993 release are worth in excess of thousands of dollars.

The Best Poker Hands

When most of us think of poker, we think of the wild west, booze, and gun fights. Poker was a popular pastime in those days, but poker has experienced an explosion of popularity in recent days as well. You can now find televised poker tournaments regularly. Online poker establishments have also increased. And a renewed interest at home has arisen. There is a lot to the game of poker. People who have played the game a long time can attest to that. But at the foundation of the game are the hands it comprises. Let’s take a look at the best hands in poker. We’ll start with the best and work our way down.

Royal Flush

They don’t call it royal for nothing. This is simply a straight, or 5 sequential cards, of the same suit, with aces high. For example, all your cards are hearts and contain ace, king, queen, jack, ten.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is similar in that it is a straight run in the same suit. But it can be anywhere else in the value spectrum. An example would be 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 of spades.

Four of a Kind

A four of a kind occurs when the holder has the same rank of card in all suits, plus one card that is not related.

Full House

This hand is a little easier to attain. This hand is comprised of three cards of one rank and a pair of another rank. An example would be 3 sixes and 2 tens.

Flush

You have a flush when you are holding five cards of the same suit.

A Straight

A straight occurs when you have five sequential cards of any rank.

Three of a Kind

A three of a kind is comprised of three cards of the same rank. The other cards can be unrelated.

Two Pairs

Two pairs is when the holder has two pairs of the same rank.

One Pair

Only one pair of the same rank with three unrelated comprise this hand.

These are the high hands in poker. The rest are junk and unrelated hands. Once you know the hands, it’s time to gather your game play strategy. But that’s a whole other article.