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19

As with most strategy games, I don't think there's an optimal way to answer this. I tend to focus on what cards I want to keep. I'll address a non-Shoot-The-Moon hand because that's the majority of hands I play. I like the Ace of Clubs. Having the early lead puts you in control. I prefer to void Clubs or Diamonds as soon as possible. I won't ever pass 2 ...


18

There is no etiquette required when playing the QS. It is worth half of the available points in the hand. Anyone expecting you to be "polite" with it (whatever that means) is unrealistic and should go back to playing against the computer. There are strategic exceptions. For example, it may be advantageous to pass on an opportunity to play the Queen if ...


12

No, because in hearts there is private knowledge The answer to this question is a categorical no. Having a perfect memory of cards that have been played and in what order is insufficient to guarantee optimal play, and we can say this without even having to define optimal play. On the first turn of the game, you have limited knowledge of how the cards have ...


11

Never try to pass away all your spades. If someone then passes you the Queen, you have a high chance of getting stuck. Similarly, never pass away a bunch of low hearts. This again leaves you open to catching lots of unwanted tricks if you are passed the high ones. Only pass the Queen of Spades if you don't have a bunch of other spades; having other ...


10

I just want to say, as a mathematician who has studied Game Theory for several years, that you DO NOT need perfect information to have an optimal strategy. In fact, Game Theory has a very rich body of results about games of imperfect information. It is a common misconception. Here's another one: an optimal strategy means you win every time. This is also ...


8

Assuming you're not trying to Shoot the Moon, I usually approach it from the strategy of trying to take as few tricks as possible: Can you short yourself out of a non-Spades suit? The sooner you can be out of a suit, the sooner you can be dumping high cards from other suits (or just unloading hearts in general). If you have spades, look at tossing the ...


6

It's certainly possible to calculate which hands can Shoot the Moon with 100% probability, but it's not going to be easy. There are 635,013,559,600 different starting hands of 13 cards from a 52 card deck. We know that if we are dealt all 13 cards of one suit, there's 4 hands out of 635,013,559,600 that will shoot the moon ;) If we have 12 cards of one ...


5

Your card-passing strategy should also take into account the opponent you're passing your cards to. For example, if you are passing to an opponent that semi-regularly tries to shoot the moon, make sure you aren't playing into their hand. For example, don't pass them the Ace, Queen, and Jack of Hearts. Mix in a low heart or a mid-range non-heart card.


5

I think a better way of thinking about this question is "Is it possible to create a Hearts playing program that would get the best possible result 100% of the time"? I think Hearts is similar to a simplified version of Bridge. There are LOTS of studies of Bridge hands, and in most situations there is a clear optimal play. But there are also times for ...


5

The reason H2,H3,H4,H5 is more likely than H6,S6,C6,D6 is simply the rules of the game. If a heart is led, it is mandatory to play a heart if possible, so most tricks contain four of the same suit, and a trick with one of each suit is extremely rare. When you add in the requirement for all four to be of the same rank, your second example is vanishingly ...


4

It can be risky to throw it very early (before any hearts have been played), as if you throw it to a player with a heart-strong hand you may be making it easy for them the shoot the moon. Of course, they're likely call you nasty names when you throw it, just to conceal the shooting possibilities...


4

To the question whether Hearts is such a simple game, that it is possible after a while to completely master it (meaning that several players can reach this level where it is not possible to improve, and between them only luck will decide who wins), the answer is definitely no. Some of the answers here are a bit inaccurate though. People argue that because ...


4

Yahoo! Games has Hearts. Actually I originally signed up for a Yahoo account so I could play Hearts.


4

My general priority for passing when attempting to avoid points is: AK and usually Q of Spades. The AK are passed like a hot potato. If I'm long in lower Spades (6+) and have the Queen, I might try to keep her to foist off-suit, or when the AK turn up from someone else's hand. So, keeping the Queen is a judgement call, but absolutely nothing good can come ...


3

The other answers are good but I'll also add, never pass your highest heart if it is J or higher. Otherwise, you are handing the other person a moon shot.


2

I used to play mostly Bridge and occasionally Hearts on pogo.com. Again it's a site that's been around for many years, though!


1

Hearts is a game of doing low-down, nasty things. Your opponents need to grow a skin (or a pair) and learn to turn the tables on you by "hunting the bitch"; instead of trying to void Diamonds or Clubs early as they're apparently trying to do, they should be leading low Spade after low Spade to force you to "eat" that Queen by following suit with it. If that ...


1

Because some people worry that others will "get control" (aka "shoot the moon"), they have a personal rule not to play the QS before hearts are not just broken, but have been taken by two different people. That's their personal rule and they're welcome to have it. Then, especially if they are not playing against a wide variety of people, they may get it into ...


1

It depends on your hand sometimes, if I have a very heavy Spade hand, I will hold on the Q to play later on, trying to give it to whomever is leading at that point. Sometimes it backfires and you end up with it though! If I only have a few spades I get rid as soon as possible!!!


1

The chances of each player getting exactly one card of a set, be that set {2H, 3H, 4H, 5H} or {6D, 6C, 6H, 6S} is the same. However, 6 was just an example; the chance of each player having a card with the same value but a different suit is actually bigger then the lowest four Hearts being distributed like that. So the starting position is actually in favour ...


1

Other answers good; my two cents: If you pass high hearts include a low heart too. It makes it very hard for someone to shoot the moon if you pass them the Ace and the 2 of Hearts.


1

This sounds like it might be a form of Minnesota Whist. Even if it is not, I'd suggst starting with a cassification resource like: Pagat and seeing if anything else jogs your memory.


1

You can play Hearts now on Board Game Arena. There are also many other board and card games available. If you want to know why I recommend BGA, please have a look at my post on another question here. There are many reasons to join BGA community, mostly: Many great games. Technology - web based Both live & asynchronous play Table system ...


1

PlayOK is pretty good and uses almost-standard rules of Black Lady Hearts. It runs on Java.


1

Part of the thing about Hearts is that you pass cards between the players before the round starts. This means that you can try to improve your hand and hope your opponents don't mess that up. However, at least in 4-player games, 1 of every 4 hands has no pass first. Having said all that, the best hand involves taking every heart and the Queen of Spades, ...



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