Here are some additional pointers designed to help you become a more advanced Hearts player.
Handling the Queen:
Handling High Cards:
In this card game, if you are dealt the Queen of Spades, a question you need to ask yourself is, "Do I want to pass her or hold her?" This will depend on whether you are holding enough additional Spades to protect her - that is, to play on the tricks that will inevitably be led in Spades as the game unfolds. Count how many other Spades you are holding. If this number is less than 3 you should probably pass the Queen.
When you have a particularly bad hand one strategy is to play or even lead with a high card on the first or even second trick in which that suit is led. You have a better chance of taking a trick without points the first time a suit is led than later since, in most cases, more (if not all) of your opponents will be forced to follow suit. Watch out, though: You already know that there is an advantage to voiding in a suit, and the player holding the queen may have done so and be lying in wait.
Shooting the Moon:
- In 3 out of 4 hands, you have the chance to pass 3 cards you don't like.
- Pass the Queen of Spades if you don't have many Spades.
- Pass the Ace and/or the King of Spades if you don't have many Spades and you aren't holding the Queen.
- Don't pass low Spades (2 to Jack).
- Pass cards so as to void a suit, if possible.
- Pass high cards, if possible.
- Pass low Hearts to prevent an opponent from Shooting the Moon.
The first thing to notice is whether you have low Hearts. In this card game, it is nearly impossible to Shoot the Moon if you are holding a low Heart, since you will almost certainly lose this Heart to another player. This is why, for both offensive and defensive reasons, good players tend to pass at least one low Heart.
For Shooting the Moon, the best setup in your Hearts suit is an unbroken string of Hearts from the Ace on down - the further down, the better. The next best - and usually more attainable - is no Hearts at all.