What Is the Difference Between the Card Games Hearts and Spades?

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By Monica Bates

Card games are a fun way to spend time with friends and family. Two popular card games that many people enjoy are Hearts and Spades.

While both games involve trick-taking, there are some key differences between the two that set them apart. In this article, we will explore what makes Hearts different from Spades.

Objective of the Game

The first major difference between Hearts and Spades is their objective. In Hearts, the goal is to have the lowest score at the end of the game.

Players try to avoid taking certain cards which add points to their score. In contrast, in Spades, players aim to be the first team or player to reach a certain number of points by winning tricks.

Deck of Cards

Another difference between these two games is the deck of cards used. Hearts is played with a standard 52-card deck, while Spades uses a 52-card deck plus one or two jokers.

The Trump Suit

One of the most significant differences between these two games is how trump suits are determined. In Hearts, there is no trump suit; instead, players must follow suit if possible. However, in Spades, players bid on how many tricks they think they can win and choose a suit as trumps for that round.

Scoring in Hearts

To keep score in Hearts, players track points based on certain cards taken during each round. The Queen of Spades and any hearts card carry points (with the Queen being worth 13 points). The player with the lowest score at the end of each round earns zero points for that round.

  • Queen of spades: 13 points
  • Hearts: 1 point each

Scoring in Spades

In Spades, the scoring is different. Players earn points for each trick won, and the number of points earned per trick is determined by the bid made at the beginning of the round.

If a player wins more tricks than their bid, they earn extra points. However, if they fail to reach their bid, they lose points.


In conclusion, while both Hearts and Spades involve trick-taking and are played with cards, there are significant differences between them. Hearts is all about avoiding certain cards to keep your score low, while Spades requires players to bid on how many tricks they think they can win with a trump suit in play. Whether you prefer one over the other or enjoy playing both, these classic card games are sure to provide hours of entertainment.