How to Play: Hearts

Filed under: Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Big Kids, Activities: Tweens, Activities: Family Time, Kids' Games

Do you heart hearts? Credit: Getty Images

What you need: Four players and a standard deck of playing cards.

How to play: All the cards are dealt to each player, so players have 13 cards. During the first round of play, players select three of their cards to pass face down to the player on their left. Once they have done that, they can pick up the three cards that are being passed to them. In the second round, players choose three cards to pass to the player on their right. The third round, players pass three cards to the person sitting opposite of them. No cards are passed on the fourth round. The cycle then repeats with the fifth hand. The player with the two of clubs must lead with it for the first trick. There are no trump cards. You should follow suit of the lead card if you are able to. The player who played the highest valued card wins the trick. Once all the cards have been played, players who have a heart score one point. The unlucky person with the queen of spades scores 13 points. If a player wins all of the scoring cards, then he or she can either reduce their score by 26 or add 26 to all of the other player's scores. Play continues until one person reaches 100 points.

The rules: It is against the rules to play a heart as a lead if a heart hasn't been played in a trick. A player who has nothing but hearts in their hand can lead with a heart. Spades can be used as a lead card at anytime during the game. It's a common practice to lead with spades to smoke out the queen.

How to win: The player with the lowest amount of points wins the game.

What else you need to know: Some people treat the jack of diamonds as a bonus card, and it counts as a negative 10 points for the player left with this card.

Related: More Kids Games


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.