The game is a slight variation on regular Hearts, with a few cards having extra meaning, the possibility for a trick to go around twice, and “special” cards being “charged” (doubling their value). In Turbo Hearts, points are bad.
In Turbo Hearts, the 10♣ doubles your score final score, the J♦ gives you -10 points (good), the Q♠ is worth 13 points, and each heart is worth 1 point. “Running” is defined as taking the Q♠ and all of the hearts. This is equivilant to “shooting the moon” in regular hearts. Nines are also special in Turbo Hearts; if they are played in suit, they make a trick go around twice. Charging is a technique that happens before a hand begins that has a few effects:
- The charged suite is now worth double. A charged Q♠ is now worth 26pts, a charged A♥ makes all hearts worth 2pts, a charged 10♣ is worth 4x your final score, and a charged J♦ is worth -20pts.
- The charged card must be placed face up in front of the player until they play it
- There is a caviate to charging a card however, you cannot play a charged card on the first trick in suit unless you are forced to do so. An example: You charge the 10♣ and the only other club you have is the 9♣. On the first club trick, you cannot play the 10♣ since you have another club, so you play your 9, making the trick go around again. Now, you have to play a second time and since your 10♣ is the only card in suit, you must play that card.
The game consists for 4 hands with the flow of the game as follows:
- Passing – in order of the 4 hands: 3 left, 3 right, 3 diagonal, no passing.
- Charging – anyone with a chargeable card (10♣, Q♠, J♦, A♥) can now charge.
- Play starts – the person with the 2♣ plays first.
- Tricks – gameplay continues until all tricks have been claimed
- Scoring – scoring is tabulated and saved for later; more details below
Scoring may be the most complicated part of playing Turbo Hearts but it is really easy once you get the hang of it. Scoring is performed by totally up everyones points, multiplying if they got the 10♣, making negative if they “ran” and totally it up with the previous tricks. We keep a notebook of scores, with each hand taking a line, the hand total on the left and the cumulative sum on the right. Negatives are wrapped in parens. It looks like this:
|0 – 0||0 – 0||72 – 72||11 – 11|
|16 – 16||32 – 32||(10) – 62||16 – 27|
|12 – 18||4 – 45||16 – 78||16 – 43|
|0 – 18||0 – 45||0 – 78||(248) – (205)|
These are your hand scores and as you can see, I did really well on the last hand (ran for 248 pts!)
These scores are then kept cumulatively across multiple games and multiple players. Your final game score is calculated by “paying out”. What this means, is your total number of points, you must pay to all other players (and they must pay to you). It is good to have a low hand score but the opposite is true for a game score; higher scores are better.
So the final games scores are:
|RF||-18*3 + 35 + 78 – 205 =||-146|
|TW||-35*3 + 18 + 78 – 205 =||-214|
|KB||-78*3 + 18 + 35 – 205=||-386|
|EA||205*3 + 18 + 45 + 78 =||756|
We keep these numbers are a long term tally. You can just sum up everyones game scores to see their standings.
The best way to think of these game scores is as pennies. In this game, I would be making $7.56 while the others would be paying out $1.46, $2.14, $3.86 respectively.
In my next post, I will lay out some basic strategy, but now you know how to play.