Wicked Wednesday: Hearts and Other Games

It’s the month that includes Valentine’s Day right smack in the middle, so let’s talkA studio image of a hand of playing cards. hearts every Wednesday. Today, what about the card game Hearts? Who plays it? What’s your strategy for shooting the moon? If you don’t play Hearts, what other card games do you like? Dish! (Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26889555)

Jessie: The only card game I play with any regularity is Rummy. My mother and grandmother used to play when I was a child and they were a bit competitive about it. One afternoon when I got home from school my mother had been having an unusually good run of luck. My grandmother offered to pay me a dollar if I could beat my mother at a hand. It was the first dollar I ever earned.

Liz: I don’t know that I ever played Hearts, but where I come from (the Valley) we had a card game called 45s. I swear it was invented by someone in the Valley and stayed in a radius of ten or so miles, because no one outside of the town where I grew up has ever heard of it. But my brother and I learned to play at a young age, mostly because my grandparents played. They were SERIOUS about it, too. They played for fun with us, but every weekend they had card games with their friends and man, they were worse than high stakes poker games. I remember many a 45s-related disagreement between friends that lasted for weeks!

Edith: Indeed, Liz – I’ve never heard of 45s. We play Hearts when my sons are home. My older son has an amazing memory and he can track who played what when. When our young friends are here we play cards with them. I taught them what grownups call BS but with the kids we call it No Way. It’s a really fun bluffing game. I played rummy growing up, and my mother tried to teach us Canasta but it never stuck. When I listen to my favorite radio shows on Saturdays, I play solitaire. If I just sit and listen, I fall asleep. If I try to do something like cook, I don’t listen carefully. It’s the perfect solution, and I have found I normally win at least once an hour.

Barb: I played way too many games of hearts in college, and pinochle, bridge–basically any trick-oriented game–in the coffee house in the basement of the Quad at Penn. When my kids were growing up we played mad games of poker at our cottage, and then when the kids went to bed the grownups would play pitch. I don’t play many card games lately. I love to sit and read a book and listen to the rest of the family playing card or board games. However, I’m rethinking this. My mother-in-law played kalooki with a group of friends every week until a month before she died. Now they play with a photo of her in attendance. Keeps your mind working and keeps you connected with friends. Who can ask for more?

Sherry: I think I played Hearts once and got the highest score anyone had ever seen. As I recall that’s not a good thing. We grew up playing all kinds of card games: War, Solitaire, Whist, Spades, etc. In college we played Spades ALL THE TIME. As adults we’ve played Euchre and lots of games of rummy. My parent’s tried to teach me Bridge but it seemed more like work than fun.

Julie: I think I’ve played Hearts, but I’m not sure. I grew up playing Gin, and Rummy, and Gin Rummy. My favorite card game is Cribbage. I learned by watching my grandfather teach my parents how to play, and would play for hours with him. BTW, Barb, I love the idea of weekly card games with friends. Wonder if we could Skype one?

Readers: What card games do you play? Anybody up for a game of Wicked Cozy Hearts?

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About Edith Maxwell

Agatha- and Macavity-nominated and national bestsetlling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mystery series (Kensington Publishing) and the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink). As Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries series and the new Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries (both from Kensington Publishing). Edith has also published award-winning short crime fiction. She lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau and three cats.

33 thoughts on “Wicked Wednesday: Hearts and Other Games

  1. I learned Canasta in second grade, haven’t played it since. Used to play computer solitaire until the program self-deleted. Now I just struggle to catch up with emails and ARCs.

  2. I have never played Hearts. My grandmother played Solitaire every morning while she had her first cup of coffee. As a kid, we played Rummy and a game called Bouree, which in France is a type of dance (I think), and Go Fish, of course. My sons learned a game called Egyptian Slap when they were in Boy Scouts. I don’t know what’s Egyptian about it. All I remember is you had to be fast to steal cards, or something like that!

  3. Hearts! We would play that after so many dinners with our mom and various older relatives! It was amazing how cutthroat they could be! Any shooting the moon on my part was complete luck!

  4. Haven’t played cards in years, but hearts was a favorite way back when. As a young mom in Gloucester, we lived in a community full of kids and many other young moms and the high point of the week was the Wednesday night game of Tripoly. It depends entirely on the luck of the draw so we didn’t have to concentrate a lot–just talk and eat whatever deicious dessert the hostess of the week had prepared. Thanks for a lovely memory!

  5. We played Hearts in college–until we discovered Bridge, which ate up a lot of time! I learned Pinochle with my mother and step-father, Backgammon and Cribbage with my grandmother, Russian Bank with a high school friend. But right now I can’t remember the last time I played any sort of game.

  6. We played a lot of Bridge in college, but also Nurtz, which was a vicious form of four-handed solitaire played with four decks of cards. I’ve heard it called other names but they elude me just now. Great fun to watch as well as to play.

  7. I’ve never played hearts but we use to play spades and UNO a lot. I do play solitaire and double solitaire just about every day.

  8. When I was a kid we played all kinds of card games, including War, Go Fish, Hearts, and Slap. But I don’t remember any of the rules any more. We rarely play cards here. However, we have a friend in Santa Fe whose wife had a brain embolism years ago, and who has residual attention issues. She plays cards–either with an actual deck, or on the computer–many hours a day. When she and my husband get together he will gamely play Gin Rummy or Euchre with her for hours.

    When our kids were in high school one of the classes seniors were required to take at the time involved life skills. The teacher was a psychologist, and she taught the kids Euchre, as a way of giving the students a non-alcohol related way to keep themselves amused, socially. I loved that idea!

    I admit to being a huge fan of all kinds of computer solitaire: Freecell, Spider, Twin Peaks, etc. I’m not sure if they keep my brain sharp or rot it faster, though.

  9. I played Hearts in high school and lots of Crazy Eights with the kids when they were little. I loved playing Gin Rummy as a a child because I learned I could hold my own playing with adults. Many of the adults in the family would play Pinochle at gatherings but I never remember being asked if I wanted to learn. My Grandmother was a cut-throat UNO player in her later years. I enjoy playing cards but have no one near me who is interested right now, so I occasionally play Free Cell on the computer.

  10. This brought back memories of three-handed gin rummy around the kitchen table. I was also taught pinochle and euchre so I could sit in during potty breaks when the neighbors came over. Haven’t played them since. I occasionally played double solitaire with my mom when I was little . I do love computer solitaire and spend too much time on it.

  11. My mom doesn’t like Hearts. I will sometimes play with my dad, brother, and sister-in-law, however. The most I’ve played is against the computer.

    Edith, I believe the official name for BS is “I Doubt It.” At least that was in an old Hoyle book. I agree, it’s a very fun game.

    There are a couple of good games we play as a family that allow for five people. One is Spiral Down. Another is Sixes.

    When I was little, before my brother was born, my parents would play canasta, and I would sit there and watch or play solitaire. We will all play canasta some, although not very often because there are usually five adults, and you can’t play it with that number. When I’m not around, my parents, brother, and sister-in-law will play pinochle. They’ve tried to teach it to me, but it hasn’t stuck, probably because I rarely get a chance to play it.

    And Sherry, Spiral Down is another game where you are trying to get the lowest possible score. If your score in that game gets high enough, you enter the Markosphere. That’s how good I was when I started. I’ve picked up on the strategy of the game now, and I’m usually in the top three out of five with a double digit score – no where near the Markosphere range.

  12. I haven’t played cards much in recent years, but grew up having a card-loving granny. We played an incredibly complicated game called Spite and Malice, which involved two decks of cards. Wish I could remember the rules now! With my husband’s family, there were games of 500. Really just an extended set of gin. But my favorite will always be Setback. This can be played by any number of players (past one, of course) and can be played either in teams of two or solo. A group of us as undergrads would play regularly at the home of one of our professors. And I remember playing with groups of friends in a local bar. Fun!

  13. We played Hearts as a family, but our favorite game is Blackjack or Twenty-one. We are teaching the Grands how to play and they are learning math skills like our sons did when they were young. We also played lots of Uno and as a child I learned how to play canasta, but have not played it in a very long time.

  14. My family and I played many card games growing up- hearts, gin rummy, rummy and war to name a few. Also different kinds of solitaire. My favorite though is cribbage. I learned watching my father and grandmother playing. I have so many great memories of playing cribbage with my father. We were quite competitive!

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