What is ‘Hearts’?

‘Hearts’ usually refers to a card suit when used in the casino. The hearts set is one of the four suits in a standard 52 card deck, symbolised by a red heart symbol. The Queen of Hearts often features as an important card in games. Hearts is also a reverse trick-taking card game which is similar to Whist and Bridge, but follows a trick evasion strategy.

‘Hearts’ Explained

In the traditional deck of 52 cards, there are four groups of suits, of which two are black and two are red. These suits are named spades, clubs, hearts and diamonds, and each has a symbol representing this suit. The hearts and diamonds together make up the red cards in the set. Like the other suits, the hearts are individually numbered from 2-10, along with an ace and three court cards – the jack, queen and king.

In games where the suits are ranked, such as bridge, hearts are more desirable than spades but less so than clubs or diamonds. The suits are ranked alphabetically, and hearts is the third of the four groups. Other games have different rules about suit ranks: red cards may have a higher value than black ones, or hearts might outrank clubs.

The game of ‘Hearts’ is a little-seen version of Whist, in which players aim to evade tricks and score low rather than collect tricks for points. The rules are very similar and play passes round the table with trumps being played for in the same manner, but players aim to have the least points when the round ends. Hearts became popular again in the late 1990s and early 2000s thanks to an electronic version of the game that was available through Windows PCs. Today there is still some demand for the game, though it is rarely seen in casinos and is usually played for fun online.