Decoding Hearts - A Statistical Dive into the Popular Card Game

By Neal Taparia - 7/10/2023

Hearts, with its blend of strategy and suspense, has kept card-players hooked for generations. But have you ever wondered what lies beneath the surface? What fascinating statistics are at play, shaping every move and decision? So take a little break from competitive Hearts and enjoy reading cool little statistics about the game.

Let’s begin.

The Black Lady

The most frequently passed card in Hearts is the Queen of Spades. The Queen of Spades carries a hefty 13 penalty points, making it a card players often want to get rid of during the passing phase. Statistical analysis reveals that the people pass the Queen of Spades approximately 40% of the time. This suggests that they prioritize avoiding this high-value card and aim to pass it to their opponents whenever possible.

Penalty Points

The average number of penalty points collected per hand in Hearts is approximately 6-8 points. Since the objective of the game is to avoid penalty points, this statistic showcases the challenge participants face in carefully selecting and playing their cards. Skilled players develop strategies to minimize the number of penalty points they accumulate throughout the game, thus increasing their chances of winning.

Luck of the Draw

The probability of receiving the Queen of Spades in the initial deal is 1 in 17 (approximately 5.88%). With a standard 52-card deck, there are four Queens of Spades among the 52 cards. Therefore, the chances of being dealt the Queen of Spades are relatively low but still significant. The presence or absence of the Queen of Spades in someone's hand can greatly influence their gameplay and decision-making.

The Best looking Suit

The suit that is most commonly exhausted early in the game is usually the Diamonds suit. Diamonds do not carry any penalty points, making them a favorable choice for players to get rid of high-value cards. Analyzing card play patterns reveals that people often strategically use Diamonds early on to unload cards they wish to avoid collecting penalty points for. This trend contributes to the rapid depletion of the Diamonds suit.

The Sweet Spot

The average winning score in a game of Hearts is around 50 points. Since the objective is to have the lowest score, achieving a score of 50 or lower is considered a successful outcome. You should strive to minimize the number of penalty points you can collect, strategizing to avoid cards that carry points, all while tactically playing cards that force opponents to accumulate points.

Why so aggressive

Statistical analysis shows that aggressive play, intentionally attempting to make opponents collect penalty points, is often correlated with a higher likelihood of winning. Experienced players carefully balance aggressive play with defensive strategies. By using their knowledge of card distribution and playing strategically, contestants can force opponents into unfavorable situations, increasing their own chances of success.

Less than 1%

The probability of someone shooting the moon (collecting all 26 penalty points) is approximately 1 in 525 (or 0.19%). Shooting the moon is a remarkable achievement that requires exceptional skill and luck. To accomplish this, a player must deliberately collect all the Hearts and the Queen of Spades while avoiding any penalty points. Achieving a moon shot can result in a significant swing in the game's outcome, allowing them to earn 26 points while their opponents receive none. A pretty big shift!

How quick are you?

The average game of Hearts takes around 15-20 minutes to complete, depending on the number of players and their speed of play. The relatively short duration of the game makes Hearts an appealing choice for those seeking a quick and engaging card game. The fast-paced nature of the game contributes to its popularity as participants can enjoy multiple rounds in a short amount of time.


In summary, exploring statistics about the game of Hearts provides valuable insights into its gameplay and strategic elements. Understanding these statistics can help you make informed decisions, refine their strategies, and enhance their performance in this captivating card game. If you liked this type of article, feel free to read cool facts you probably didn’t know about Hearts.