I usually break them as soon as I can't follow suit but others have told me that's not "appropriate."

Also, when is it appropriate to play the Queen of Spades? I usually do the same, play it when I have my first opportunity to do so.

  • What the heck does "not appropriate" mean anyway? Not appropriate because it prevents them getting rid of cards that give them points? Isn't that the goal of the game? You should use your best strategy. If you have some nasty cards like K or A of spades, you probably want to get rid of those first before you break hearts.
    – Dennis_E
    Aug 30, 2016 at 8:01
  • On or after the second trick when it is legal to play a heart?
    – Joe W
    Aug 30, 2016 at 22:09
  • Thanks for your answers - I appreciate having knowledge so I can play well.
    – user18227
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


There's a couple of things that are important when deciding what to play when you can't follow a suit:

  • Is it at all likely you can take all the points with this hand? Then don't throw any points at your opponents.

  • Are there any cards you need to get rid of to avoid catching points yourself? Examples are the Ace or King of Spades, or a high Diamond. When you have a lot of Diamonds, chances are others can't follow Diamonds and throw in points themselves when you are forced to play the Ace. This can become very costly if all you have is more Diamonds to play. If you still had that little Heart that you threw out instead of Ace of Diamonds, you could have played that and forced another player to take it.

  • Is it possible that the opponent taking the first point, takes all the points? Sometimes you'll regret tossing away that one point when you get 26 added to your score at the end of the hand.

  • Does the ability to lead Hearts give an escape to a player? If a player is forced to lead Spades (and cut in on his own AK in Spades) because he isn't allowed to play Hearts yet, that might be an advantage also.

Conclusion: Don't automatically break Hearts when you can't follow suit. Think of the long-term game, there's plenty of tricks still coming.

  • 1
    Thanks so much for this information. I'm not an experienced player but love the game and want to learn as much as possible.
    – user18227
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .