Are you looking for a new game to try but hoping to avoid a steep learning curve? UNO Hearts feels familiar since it combines two classic card games you’ve surely already played. But even if not, these UNO Hearts rules will make it all clear.
UNO doesn’t need a lengthy introduction. This family-friendly card game for all age groups is incredibly successful thanks to its simplicity, fast pace, and fun (check out classic UNO rules).
Besides that, UNO is also known for its numerous variations. Fans of the game can, thus, always try something slightly different while staying within their comfort zone.
UNO Hearts also benefits from the popularity of another classic game – Hearts (don’t confuse it with the similar game of Spades – see Spades card game rules for comparison). It is a simple yet intelligent trick-taking game that is easy to comprehend and fun to master.
This UNO Hearts rules guide will cover the following:
- What is UNO Hearts?
- What you’ll need to play UNO Hearts
- UNO Hearts rules
- How to play UNO Hearts (video tutorial)
- Other similar games to UNO Hearts (our guides)
If you want to know how to play UNO Hearts, read on for complete step-by-step instructions.
What is UNO Hearts?
Hearts is a card game that first appeared in America in the 1880s. It’s a so-called evasive trick-taking game related to a more complex Bridge. The game has many variations and alternatives, with UNO Hearts (introduced in 1994) being one of the most popular.
While UNO Hearts draws on the original game’s rules and principles, it also comes with several novelties that make it even more fun.
Number of Players: 2 – 8 players
Length of Play: 10 – 30 minutes
Category: Trick-taking card game
Similar to: Hearts, UNO classic, Bridge
Main Objective: Avoid collecting points as you take tricks and get rid of your cards.
Why We Love It: UNO Hearts takes a classic game of Hearts and spices it up with more tactics, interaction, and unpredictability.
What You’ll Need to Play UNO Hearts
To play a classic Hearts game, you need a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
- 24 Hearts (numbers 0 to 23)
- 24 Yellow cards (numbers 0 to 23)
- 24 Green cards (numbers 0 to 23)
- 24 Purple cards (numbers 0 to 23)
- 10 Wild Draw cards (1 – 10)
- 2 Extra cards
UNO Hearts Rules and Gameplay
UNO Hearts is played over several hands, consisting of 13 rounds (or tricks) each. Your goal in each round is to collect as few points as possible. But it’s not as easy as it sounds since the cards constantly play various tricks on you.
Before playing, learn more about the cards and their special functions first.
Cards and their functions
Cards distinguish the UNO Hearts game from the classic game of Hearts at first sight. Even if you consider yourself an expert on the traditional version of this game, this is something you should pay good attention to before you start playing.
The cards can be divided into two major groups:
These cards are associated with a specific points value. Claiming them with your tricks will increase your score at the end of the hand (which is something you don’t want). Point cards include:
HEARTS: There are 24 heart cards in the deck, each worth 1 point.
YELLOW 13: You certainly want to avoid this card as it’s worth 13 points.
Special cards do not have any point value, but they can change the course of the game dramatically with their unique functionality:
GREEN & PURPLE 8: “PASS YOUR HAND”: If these cards appear in a trick, players must immediately pass all their cards to the player sitting next to them in the direction decided by the player who took the trick. If both 8s appear in one trick, pass the cards just once.
WILD DRAW CARDS: Wild cards are numbered 1 to 10, corresponding to the face value they represent. Nevertheless, the suit is decided by the player who uses them. There are a few important rules to note when you’re using wild cards:
- A Wild Card does not affect the lead suit. This must be matched whenever possible.
- Even if you choose the Wild Card to act as Heart, it will not be worth any points.
- Use Wild Card only as a suit you do not have in your hand naturally.
- In a tie between a “normal” card and a Wild Card with the same numerical value and assigned suit, Wild Card always wins.
- The player taking a Wild Card in a trick must draw as many cards as indicated by the Wild Card’s value. Next, he shows these cards to his opponents and stores them straight away in his trick pile (if you run out of a draw pile, you can skip drawing).
Now when you ‘re familiar with the value and functions of the cards, you can start playing.
Starting the Game
First, choose a dealer. It can, for example, be the oldest or most experienced player. His task is to shuffle all the cards in the deck (except for the two extras – you can put these aside) and deal 13 down-facing cards to each player.
The remaining cards serve as a draw pile. Put it face down on the table.
How to Play UNO Hearts
This is how you proceed with the game:
- The player sitting on the left of the dealer plays first. He picks a random lead card from his hand and places it face-up in the center of the table.
- The next player to the left (and subsequently all the others) must try to match the suit of the leading card. If you don’t have the matching suit, you can play any other card from your hand.
- Once everyone takes their turn, the player with the highest-ranking card of the matching suit takes the whole trick. (Example: Leading card is Purple 3. The opponents play purple 5, purple 10, and green 15. The player with purple 10 wins the trick, takes all the cards on the table, and stores them in a separate trick pile).
- The winner of the trick now leads a new round.
- The game continues until the players use all the cards in their hands.
Additional and alternative rules
Here are a few additional and optional rules to follow during the gameplay:
- You cannot lead with any heart card before someone already played the Yellow 13 during the same hand. The only exception is when you have no other cards to play.
- Advanced players may follow the “PASS THREE” rule: Once they get cards, they pick three and pass them face down to the player on their left.
- “SHOOT THE MOON” is an optional rule that spares the player from collecting the points if he was the only player to score them after the hand is over. Instead, his opponents will earn 20 points each, while he gets zero.
UNO Hearts Scoring
After each hand (i.e., after 13 rounds or tricks), all players turn over their trick piles and count their scores based on the points value they collected with the tricks they won. Write these scores down and continue playing until one of the players gathers 60 or more points.
Unfortunately, this player is the loser of the game. Since your goal is to avoid point cards, the winner is whoever has the lowest score.
How to Play UNO Hearts – Video Tutorial
UNO Hearts Frequently Asked Questions
Can you still buy UNO Hearts?
UNO Hearts was first introduced in 1994; as of 2022, there are no newer editions. You can still buy the original card set in specialized online shops, thrift shops, or in a used condition from individuals. However, Mattel discontinued selling the game officially long ago.
Is UNO Hearts suitable for small kids?
UNO Hearts involves some basic counts, so it’s mostly suitable for kids at least six or seven years old.
Is UNO Hearts easier than classic Hearts?
UNO Hearts is, in some regards, a simplified version of the classic game of Hearts. Kids will definitely find the colorful UNO cards easier to distinguish compared to the standard cards. Nonetheless, UNO’s special cards with various functions also make the game a bit trickier.
Other Similar Games to UNO Hearts (Our Guides)
Before you go, check out our guides to the following UNO Hearts alternatives: