Hearts is a card game for 4 or 8 players. Played without Jokers, the game is played in rounds with each round consisting of 13 tricks. A trick is one card played from each player (4 or 8 cards). The objective is not to catch any tricks that contain any cards of the Heart suit, or the Queen of Spades. The game is over after one or more players reaches 100 accumulated points, at which point the player (or players) with the lowest overall score win the game.
Most K.R. Engineering games have a variety of options or “house rules” that can be turned on and off by the game owner to change how the game plays. These options can include changing the winning criteria for a game, adding new rules or disabling other rules, or just placing time limits on how long you can be away before the game skips you. It is often helpful to know what house rules you are playing with when you sit down at a game. You can touch the game logo on any K.R. Engineering game to see a list of which options are enabled and which are not.
For owners/administrators wishing to change these options, please see the Administration section of this article.
If you are new to owning a K.R. Engineering game or have upgraded from an older game version, then you may have questions about your new table. Please see this FAQ for answers to some of our most common beginner questions.
Bug Fixes and Upgrades
Most owners of K.R. Engineering games are entitled to free upgrades to newer versions of the game. If a new update is available, then following the updating instructions for your game will result in a new copy of the most recent version being sent to you by the update server. This process is not automatic. You must request an update manually.
If you are having problems with your game, please search this knowledge base or contact us for product support. If the problem you are having has not previously been encountered, a new game version will be released with a fix as soon as possible, and you may qualify for a bug bounty.
DISCLAIMER: The appearance and feature set of games are subject to revision between versions as the capabilities of Second Life change over time. Please see the detailed ChangeLog for your particular game before upgrading. By upgrading. you are agreeing to accept any and all changes that have been imposed on the updated version of the game.
Joining the Game
Most K.R. Engineering games can be played simply by right-clicking on a chair and choosing “Play.”
K.R. Engineering games can be played on a variety of themed furniture objects, and the “chairs” may not always look like chairs. For example, on the Chess theme, the “chairs” are the giant chess pieces. If you are unsure what is a chair and what isn’t on a particular theme, that’s okay! You can right-click and select “Play” on any part of a theme and it will automatically place you in an available chair, even if you didn’t click on a chair specifically.
Important: K.R. Engineering games use a rezzing system. This means that the game (buttons, dice, cards, game boards, etc) is a separate object from the furniture/rezzer/theme. You must right-click on the theme to play, not the game itself, as you cannot sit on the game pieces (such as dice, game boards, cards, etc). You must sit on the furniture around the game to play, not the game pieces.
While most game themes include furniture that you can sit on, there may be some exceptions. The Pocket theme, for example, cannot be sat on, as it has no chairs. Instead, you can join a game on a Pocket theme by clicking the MENU button on the game.
Important: To play Hearts, you must be wearing the Hearts HUD. To get a HUD, press the ‘HUD’ button on the table. You will be given an object called Hearts Game HUD. Find this under your Objects folder and wear it.
The objective of Hearts is simple: Accumulate as few points as possible. Points are accumulated by “catching” certain cards. The Queen of Spades is worth 13 points, and cards of the Heart suit are worth 1 point each.
To start, you must have between 2 and 8 players in the game. If more than 4 players are present, the game will use two decks of cards. In the case that there are not 4 or 8 players playing, then not all of the cards will be dealt. Each player gets 13 cards regardless of the number of players playing. This means if you’re playing with 2 or 3 players, there is no guarantee that all point cards (13 Hearts + Queen of Spades) will show up during each round.
At the beginning of each hand, there is a passing phase where you must select three cards to pass to a neighboring player. The first hand, you pass cards to the person on your left. The second hand, you will pass cards to the player on your right. On the third hand, you will pass cards to the player directly across the table from you. The fourth hand is a “hold” hand, where no cards are passed. This cycle of left, right, across and hold repeats itself as the game progresses.
Once all cards have been passed, the player who holds the 2 of Clubs begins the round by playing it. Each player after them then plays one card of their own, until all players have placed down 1 card. This is called a “trick.” The trick is awarded to one of the players and that player must then start the next trick by placing down a card of their choosing.
Rules for playing cards:
- The first trick of every hand is always started by a 2 of Clubs, no exceptions.
- No point cards may be played on the first trick (no Hearts or Queen of Spades).
- The first card played in a trick determines the trick’s suit. If the 2 of Clubs leads, then Clubs is the suit for this trick. All players after the first card has been played must follow the suit of the first card if they can. If they have no cards of that suit, they may “slough” a card (pronounced SLUFF) of their choosing.
- The winner of the trick is the person who played the highest card that follows suit. It is not possible to win a trick on a sloughed card.
- Example: If the 2 of Clubs is played, followed by the 4 of Clubs, the Jack of Clubs and the Ace of Hearts, then the Jack of Clubs wins the trick even though Jack is less than Ace. The Ace is not the same suit as the first card, and is therefore not able to win the trick. The Ace was sloughed off. The person who won this trick gained 1 point from catching a Heart.
- Heart cards may not be lead with (played as the first card of a trick) until they are “broken.” Hearts are considered broken the first time a Heart is sloughed off.
- Exception: If you ONLY have Hearts in your hand, you may break them by leading.
At the end of each round (when all players have played all of their cards, for a total of 13 tricks) then the cards are reshuffled and redealt for a new hand.
The game is won when one or more players passes 100 accumulated points, tallied up at the end of each round. At this point, the player(s) with the LOWEST score is declared the winner. Ties are possible, but not common.
Shooting the Moon
Shooting the Moon occurs when a player collects all possible points during a round. They are considered to have ‘gone over the moon’ at this point, and they earn NO points for the round. Instead, every other player earns the points they would have gotten. With 4 players, this means that if a single player collects all 26 points (13 Hearts and the Queen of Spades) during a round, then they get 0 points and everyone else gets 26 points instead.
For information on switching out tables and themes, please see this FAQ entry. For an overview of the theme/table administrative menu, please check out our Game Rezzer Administration article. For detailed information on customizing animations and camera views, please see our Player Experience Customization article.
Hearts supports Card Design add-ons! Click here for more information.
K.R. Engineering card games that use a standard playing card deck (and some that use non-standard decks) will allow you to change the cards to be anything that you want if you’re willing to make your own textures for them. You can find more information and instructions by visiting our Custom Cards article.
Gaming.SL Live Integration
Gaming.SL Live (also known as Gaming.SL or G.SL) is gaming platform and services system developed by K.R. Engineering, which brings a variety of enhanced features to games in Second Life that are not possible with Second Life alone. In addition to the features described in this article, G.SL can integrate with your table in the following ways.
Gaming.SL connected games have a grid-wide top score database that allows players to compete and have a pervasive record of their high scores. These high scores can be viewed by using a Top Scores display board in Second Life or by accessing the Top Scores page on the Gaming.SL website. Scores can be filtered down by region, specific game tables, dates, and other criteria.
In addition to recording high scores, games keep a running tally of the total number of times players have won on a game. This information can be viewed on a Top Winners display board in Second Life or by accessing the Top Winners page on the Gaming.SL website. Winners can likewise be filtered by region and other criteria to see a more specific list of winners.
On supported games, players will also be assigned a rank that compares their performance to other players who have played the same game. Players can improve this rank by playing well against other players. Rank information can be viewed on a Top Ranked display board in Second Life or by accessing the Top Ranked page on the Gaming.SL website.
Gaming.SL includes support for Achievements in participating games, where-in you can unlock trophies by performing miraculous or mundane feats of gameplay. Achievements are awarded automatically and announced in Second Life when they are unlocked. Players can check their own achievements by visiting the Achievements page on the Gaming.SL website.
Gaming.SL supports the option to have ongoing recurring Jackpots where players can win cash prizes just for playing, no purchase necessary! Visit the Jackpots page on the Gaming.SL website to see the current jackpot standings, and who you need to defeat to win a prize. Prizes are based on ranking on a leaderboard that is erased during each jackpot period. Players must play during each period to be eligible to win during that period.
Gaming.SL connected games utilize a licensing system that allows scores, ranks, winners, and other attributes to persist between rezzes of the same game, regardless of location in Second Life. This licensing system also allows games to have COPY permissions while still offering instancing control.
Games that use Gaming.SL Live can also optionally be specified as a PUBLIC game by the game’s owner. This will display the game on the Gaming.SL Live Games page, including game status, options, and location, and a button to let a user teleport straight to the game to play. All games default to PRIVATE unless explicitly changed by the owner of the game.
To access the game’s administrative menu, simply click and hold your mouse button down on any part of it for two seconds. A menu will pop up on your screen displaying current settings and providing options to change them. (In slow simulators, this may take slighter longer than two seconds, just hold the mouse button down until you see a menu.)
On certain rezzer versions, depending on where you click, you may open the REZZER’S administrative menu instead of the GAME’S administrative menu. This is okay! If you are in the rezzer admin menu, you can switch directly over to the game admin menu by pressing the “Game ↗” button. Likewise if you open the game menu by mistake, and wish to switch over to the rezzer menu, you can simply press the “↙ Rezzer” button.
Some elements of the administration menu are accessible only by the owner, while others can be accessed by anyone who is considered an administrative user, either explicitly added or implicitly through the Group Admin feature.
There are too many options to fit in a standard dialog window, so the window has been divided into pages. You can use the <<< and >>> buttons at the bottom of the admin menu to change which page of options you are currently viewing. If you don’t see the option you want, it’s on another page!
Many options that were formerly in the game admin menu have been moved to the table/theme/rezzer admin menu. These are options that are game-independent, such as admin users, branding, sound volume, and updating. These options are now set on the table/theme/rezzer and apply automatically to whatever game is being played on that table or theme. For details on accessing the rezzer admin menu and what options are in it, please see the Game Rezzer Administration article.
- Indicators: A menu for changing the color of the turn indicator lights on the game board.
- Color: An alternate way to access the color/theme menu for the table. This is the same as pressing the Color button on the table top.
- Cards: Access the card customization menu. See the ‘CUSTOM CARDS’ section below for more information.
Administrative User Options
- ↙ Rezzer: This button will directly open the rezzer’s administrative menu instead of the game’s menu.
- Players: Access the player management menu to skip or evict players from the game.
- Abandoned: Select this button to change the number of seconds the table waits to reset an abandoned game after all players have left.
- Timeout: Select this button to change the number of seconds the table waits for idle players to begin their turn. If they don’t roll before the timeout occurs, the game will skip them for this round.
- Quiet: Enable quiet mode, reducing the amount of chatter that the game will send to local chat.
- Chatty: Disable quiet mode.
- Fast ON: Enable fast game, requiring only 60 points to end game instead of 100.
- Fast OFF: Disable fast game, requiring the full 100 points to end the game.
- Play Left: Game play passes to your left (clockwise) around the table.
- Play Right: Game play passes to your right (counter-clockwise) around the table.
- Text On: Enable hover text for player scores.
- Text Off: Disable hover text for player scores.
If you have more questions, please use the search tool on our main page to browse our many helpful articles and FAQ entries. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can contact us for assistance.
You can find the ChangeLog for Hearts by visiting this article.