Holding the Cards

Games & Cards

Scoring in Hearts: How to Count Points

The goal in Hearts is to score as few points as possible. The player with the least points when one of the players reaches 100 points is the winner.

How to Keep Score in Hearts

After the hand has been played, points are counted for every heart that has been captured and for the Queen of Spades.

Each heart is worth 1 point. The Q♠ is worth 13 points. Count up the total and record it for that person’s score. For example, after the hand is over, you won 3 tricks containing the following cards:

♣K  ♦2, 3, 5, A  ♠2, 10, J, Q  ♥2, 3, Q

What did you score? You get 16 penalty points (13 for the Q♠ + 1 each for the 2, 3, Q♥)

Each player counts their points in the same way and the next deal begins. After each hand, each player’s points are added to their previous total. When one player reaches 100 points, the game is over. The player with the least points wins.

Special Scoring: Shooting the Moon

When a player Shoots the Moon—wins every penalty card (all the hearts and the Queen of Spades)—regular scoring doesn’t apply.

This player scores nothing for the hand and every other player scores 26 points. As you can see, this makes a big difference and is one of the things that makes Hearts interesting.


  • The player who Shoots the Moon has the option of applying the points as described above or subtracting 26 points from their own score (and the other players get no points). 

Jack of Diamonds Variation

In this variation of Hearts, the J♦ is a bonus card—whoever wins it gets to subtract 10 points from their score. All the other cards are counted like normal. 

In this variation, the J♦ can also be required to Shoot the Moon or it might not. This should be decided before the game starts.

Now that you’re ready to play, learn how to win at Hearts.

Scroll to top