Valentine Hearts

This game is invented by me as a variant of Hearts. There are some very quirky changes in the arrangements of suits and so on. It combines Hearts and Flowers with the Black Lady (Q) rule in it plus quirky chages in rules. The very important cards of this game are the Q and the Q.

Number of Players: 4.
Cards: One deck of 52 cards, no jokers.

Ranking of cards:
In the suit, the ranking is: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
In the suit, the ranking is: A, K, Q, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
In the suit, the ranking is: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
In the suit, the ranking is: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The properties of the Q

These are the rules concerning the Q:
1. The Q can be played on a or a lead (other than the Q).
2. The Q counts as +5 for anyone who takes it in a trick.
3. The Q can't be played on a lead, as it is not a heart in the card rankings for this game.
4. Playing the Q does not break hearts!
5. The first heart played/discarded may not be the Q. (aka the "Breaking Your Sweetheart's Heart" rule). Anyone who is in violation of this rule will be assessed a 10 point penalty (-10) during the scoring stage. If a or is led, but the person doesn't have the suit which was led, and s/he only has the Q to follow suit with AND hearts aren't broken yet, s/he can play any other card without penalty.
6. When the Q is led, either clubs or diamonds (if the next player has them) must be played, and the first club or diamond played will determine the suit to be followed.
Example #1: Q was led by Anne, Ben has clubs and diamonds, then plays out the 9. Now clubs is the suit that must be followed.
Example #2: Q was led by Sue, Tom has clubs and diamonds, then plays out the 7. Now diamonds is the suit that must be followed.
Example #3: Q was led by Elizabeth, Frank has no clubs or diamonds, so he plays out the 10. Now if Gerri has diamonds (except the Q) or clubs, she has to play either diamonds or clubs, and if she puts down a diamond (except the Q)/club, then Harry has to play a diamond (except the Q)/club if he has any.
Who wins when the Q is led?
Example #1: A: Q, B: 6, C: 8, D: 10. A wins, because the Q is higher than either the 8 or the 10.
Example #2: A: Q, B: 6, C: J, D: 7. A wins, because the Q is higher than the J.
Example #3: A: Q, B: K, C: K, D: Q. A wins, because no one can follow suit (remember that the Q is not ranked as a heart, but as a club or diamond), and the Q is not counted as a diamond.
Example #4: A: Q, B: K, C: 8, D: A. B wins, as his K establishes clubs as the to-follow suit and even though D's A is higher in rank than B's K, it does not win as clubs is already established as the to-follow suit.
Example #5: A: Q, B: K, C: 10, D: A. B wins, as his K establishes diamonds as the to-follow suit and even though D's A is higher in rank than B's K, it does not win as diamonds is already established as the to-follow suit.
Example #6: A: Q, B: K, C: 10, D: A. D wins, as B establishes diamonds by playing the K, and then D beats both B (and A) with the A, as it is both higher than either the K or the Q.
Example #7: A: Q, B: K, C: A, D: Q. D wins, as he is the only player who played a club or diamond and his Q ranks higher than A's Q.
Example #8: A: Q, B: K, C: A, D: K. D wins, as he is the only player who played a club or diamond and his K ranks higher than A's Q.

These are the rules concerning the Q:
1. The Q can be played on a lead (other than the Q).
2. The Q counts as -25 for anyone who takes it in a trick.
3. The Q can't be played on a lead, as it is not a diamond in the card rankings for this game. Likewise, if the Q is led, then the suit that must be followed is hearts, not diamonds, as the Q is not ranked as a diamond.
4. Playing the Q does break hearts!

What breaks hearts?
The Q, the Q and all hearts except the Q.

Point Card Scoring:
Q counts as -13.
Q counts as -25.
any except the Q counts as -1.
Q counts as +5.
any counts as +1.

Shooting the Moon:
To shoot the moon, a player must win all the minus point cards (that is, the Q, the Q and all hearts (except the Q)).

First Blood Rule:
No point cards (i.e. hearts, clubs and queens) can be played on the first trick, unless if your hand is composed entirely of point cards.

Deal:
All four players cut. The person who cuts the lowest card deals first. The dealer deals 13 cards (i.e. the entire deck), one at a time, clockwise.

Exchanging/passing cards:
Every player exchanges/passes three cards to another player in this format:
Deal #1 (, 5, etc.): Cards are passed to the left.
Deal #2 (, 6, etc.): Cards are passed to the right.
Deal #3 (, 7, etc.): Cards are passed across the table.
Deal #4 (, 8, etc.): No exchange. Keepers!

Play:
The person who has the 2 starts play. All the players then must follow suit, and the highest card of the suit followed wins the trick. The winner of the trick leads to the next one. If player can't follow suit, s/he may play any card, subject to the First Blood Rule and the Breaking Your Sweetheart's Heart Rule (See Rule #5 regarding the Q). Hearts can't be led until they're broken (that is, discarded into a trick), unless if your hand is composed entirely of the Q, the Q and/or hearts. Clubs may be led at any time after the first trick.

Reneging:
If a player can follow suit but plays another card (the exception to this is Rule #5 regarding the Q), and is caught, s/he will be assessed a 50 point penalty (-50 added to his/her score).

Scoring:
All point cards are scored according to the table above, plus any and all penalties incurred by the players, but if one player shoots the moon, -50 will be added to all the other players' scores plus any plus point cards (clubs or the Q) which the other players may have won. If the player who shot the moon wins any plus scoring cards, he gets the total point value of those cards.

Next deal:
If the game is not over yet (see below), then the person who sat to the left of the dealer deals the next hand.

End of game:
The first person to amass -250 points loses and the game ends. The player with the least negative/most positive score wins the game.

You are visitor number since 23 August 2006.
Page last updated on: August 23, 2006

Links to Other Hearts Pages
John McLeod's Hearts Page
The House of Cards Main Page
The House of Cards Hearts Page

Back to the Card Games Index Page

E-mail: Click this link to send me e-mail.