Play Hearts Online - Free Card Game

Play Hearts Online
Play Hearts:

Ready to play Hearts online? Compete against three computer opponents to see who can collect the fewest points.

This game is part of the free online brain games collection.

To begin, click the Small, Medium, or Large button under the picture of the game. This opens the game in a pop-up window.

If you like this game, you might enjoy Rummy.

Play Hearts Online - Instructions

Hearts are worth 1 point while the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points. All other cards have no point value.

The object of Hearts is to have the least number of points when the game ends.

Card games like Hearts train attention span and concentration, memory, and logical reasoning. If you like this game, you might also enjoy the other free card and tile games on this site, such as Solitaire Multi-Game, Texas Hold'em, and Mahjong Multi-Level.

Note: This Hearts game does have Shoot the Moon, but you can't subtract it from your own score. Instead, 26 points are added to your opponents' scores.

QUICKSTART. After the pop-up window appears, click the PLAY button in the middle of the window. This opens the Hearts game difficulty screen.

Click the right and left arrow buttons to browse the difficulty levels. These include Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert.

Click a level to start playing. For example, if you want to play the easy difficulty, click the word Easy.

Next you'll see an Instructions window. After reviewing the instructions for Hearts, click the X to close the Instructions window. This reveals the card table and you can start playing.

At the beginning of the round, click three cards in your hand that you want to pass. Then click the PASS button.

When it's your turn during the round, click the card in your hand that you want to play for that round. This places the card face-up on the table.

hearts scoring
End-of-round Scoring

INSTRUCTIONS. Since Heart cards and the Queen of Spades are worth points, and the goal is to have the lowest score, these are unwanted cards you want to get rid of. Pass those cards to other players or lose them in a trick if you can.

In this online Hearts card game, you play against three computer opponents. This game follows the standard modern rules for Hearts.

Hearts is played to 100 points. The game ends as soon as one player reaches this score. At that point, the scores of the other players are compared, and the player with the lowest score wins.

An advantage when you play Hearts online is that the game keeps track of player point scores automatically. This saves you the time of having to write the scores down.

Hearts has entertained people for centuries. The game dates back to the 1700's in Spain, where Hearts emerged from a set of related card games known as Reversis.

Even if you've never played Hearts before, give it a try. You might like it!

Detailed Rules to Play Hearts Online

Hearts penalty cards
Hearts card game penalty cards

As mentioned above, there are four players in this online Hearts card game, you plus three computer opponents. As you start to play hearts online, all the cards from a standard 52-card deck are dealt out, with each player receiving 13 cards. (Four times 13 equals 52 cards.)

Like many card games, Hearts game play proceeds through the winning of "tricks". A trick consists of each player laying one card from their hand in the middle of the card table.

The player who played the highest-value card of the leading suit wins the trick and takes all four cards. Point cards in the trick (i.e., all Heart cards and/or the Queen of Spades) are added to that player's score.

During the game, all cards of each player's hand are face down until passed or played in a trick. When you play Hearts online, your 13 cards are face up so you can see them, but your cards appear face down to the other players.

Before the first trick only, each player gets rid of three cards of their choice from their hand by passing them to another player. The idea is to pass cards that would add to your point total. To win at Hearts, you need the lowest score at the end of the game.

After studying his or her hand, the player chooses three cards they do not want. For example, you might want to get rid of high Hearts, or the Queen of Spades. (Remember, the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points all by itself.) Which player you pass the three cards to depends on a specific order of rotation.

Passing Rotation

hearts pass left
Passing window

Each player must pass three cards from their own hand before looking at the three cards they've received from another player. In other words, you cannot immediately pass along a "bad" card that you just received to the next player in the rotation.

The player you pass to on the first trick changes when the cards run out and a new round begins. This passing rotation follows a specific order, which is:

  1. Pass to the player on your left (first trick of first round).

  2. Pass to the player on your right (first trick of second round).

  3. Pass to the player across the table (first trick of third round).

  4. No passing. (first trick of fourth round)

To remember the Hearts passing rotation, I first imagine the card table with four players at the sides (with me at the "bottom", like in this online Hearts game). The order is left-right-across-back to me.

This forms a sort of sideways figure eight. The rotation order is repeated until the end of the game.

Winning Tricks

Two of Clubs
2 of Clubs leads

The player holding the 2 of Clubs after the passing is complete plays that card to start the first trick. The other players must follow suit if possible. In other words, a Club must be played by the other players on the first trick, if they have a Club in their hand.

During any trick, if a player has no cards in the suit that was led, a card of any other any suit may be played.

IMPORTANT EXCEPTION. If a player has no Clubs on the first trick, they cannot play any Heart card or the Queen of Spades.

The highest card of the suit led wins the trick. There are no trump cards. The winner of the trick gets all the cards and leads the next trick.

A Heart card cannot be led until either a Heart of the Queen of Spades has been played. This is known as "breaking Hearts". The Queen of Spades can be led at any time as you play Hearts online, except on the first trick.

Hearts Scoring

At the end of each hand, the number of Hearts the winner of the trick has taken is counted. Each Heart card counts as 1 point each. The Queen of Spades counts as 13 points.

shooting the moon
Shooting the Moon

SHOOTING THE MOON. Whether you play Hearts online or with real cards, the object of the game is to have the lowest score at the end.

There is a special rule, however, called "shooting the moon" that can you can use to add a lot of points to the other players' scores or to decrease your own score. This happens if you get all 13 Hearts plus the Queen of Spades.

If you manage to win all 13 Heart cards as well as the Queen of Spades card, you can choose from two special scoring options:

  • Add 26 points to every other player's score, keeping your score the same.

  • Subtract 26 points from your own score. (Note: I'm not sure whether this second option is available in this online Hearts game.)

It is somewhat rare for anyone to end up with every Hearts card and the Queen of Spades, but you can use the special scoring rules to your advantage when it happens to you or if you achieve it intentionally.

Note: Hearts can be played with different variations of the rules. The instructions on this page apply when you play Hearts online with the flash game above.

When the last card is played, the round ends and the total scores are compared. If no one has reached 100 points, the cards are reshuffled and re-dealt, and another round of Hearts is played (including the three-card passing step, and the 2 of Clubs being led again on the first trick).

TROUBLESHOOTING. A visitor named Barbara pointed out that sometimes in this Hearts game your last card is played with the trick before the final trick. When this happens, you have no card to play for the final trick, and you are stuck.

The way around this, according to visitor Alec from UK, is to simply close then reopen the game. Your game is saved, and reopening it allows you to continue playing. Thanks, Alec!

Whether you play Hearts online or in person with friends, it's a great brain training exercise, as are most card games.

Published: 05/11/2012
Last Updated: 06/11/2020

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Reproduction without permission is prohibited