Oregon Hearts

Walter Hamilton taught me this version of hearts. Strictly speaking, it's a completely different game, not a variation. It's best played very late at night.

The major change in the rules between Oregon Hearts and standard hearts is that in standard hearts, one must follow suit to the first card played to a trick, but in Oregon Hearts, one must follow suit (if possible) to the last card played to a trick (so far). Thus, the suit being "played" can change several times during a trick.

Each heart counts as one point; the S:Q counts as 12.

If one fails to take any points on a hand, one takes 25 instead.

Hearts may not be led until broken; the S:Q does not constitute breaking.

Passing is unnecessary.

If anyone shoots the moon, they win. I've never seen anyone come close.

Oregon Hearts can be played with more than 4 people, either by adding suits or with smaller hands. Double-deck Cancellation Oregon Hearts is amusing, but is not a very good game if one keeps score. It's nearly impossible to maintain a lead.

Jeff Goldsmith, jeff@tintin.jpl.nasa.gov, January 30, 1997