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How to Play Hearts: Rules and More

How to play:
The player to the left of the dealer leads first. (Or the person holding the 2 of clubs card can start first.) Each player after the lead must follow suit if he can. If he can't, he may play any card he wants.

A player wins a trick when he plays the highest card of the suit that is led. The winner of the trick leads the next.

A player can't lead with a heart until a heart has been "broken," or played in the game. Hearts are broken when a player lacks a card in the suit that has been led, so he throws down a heart instead. Many people play that hearts can't be broken on the first trick.

How to keep score:
After all the cards have been played, players count up their tricks. Each player receives a penalty point for each heart card they have. The player who ends up with the queen of spades gets 13 points. Here's a bonus: the player who ends up with the jack of diamonds gets to subtract 10 points from his score.

The player with least number of points when any player reaches 50 points (or another preset score or time limit) wins.

Revoke:
If a player doesn't follow the suit even though he is able, he isn't penalized if he corrects his mistake before the trick is completed. If a revoke isn't corrected in time, and is discovered before the deal has been scored, the "offender" is charged for all the hearts in that deal and no other player receives any penalty points.



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