The Difference Between Hearts and Spades

By Neal Taparia - Last updated: 09/27/2023

Card games have been around for quite a long time, with the earliest games dating back to about 1000 AD in China. Games have evolved quite a lot in the past millennia, but most of the games we play today are not that modern. Take Hearts and Spades, for example.

Even though most people think that Hearts and Spades are the same game, they are not in reality. Both of them are part of so-called trick-taking card games, where the goal of the game is to take cards and score points against the competitors. Many of the trick-taking games we know and play today are a variation of the popular Bridge card game invented about 400 years ago.

Hearts and Spades History

The earliest records of the Hearts games came from the 1880s in America, and compared to today's version and rules, there are some differences. Despite that, the game remained almost the same. Spades is about 50 years younger than Hearts, and it was played a lot throughout America in the 1930s. Like Hearts, the rules changed a bit, but the game's gist remained the same.

Similarity and differences between Hearts and Spades

Both card games have identical roots, and both are trick-taking card games, where, depending on the rules, the goal is to have as many points as possible at the end of the game. The player or team with the highest score wins.

Even though the goal is the same, the rules are slightly different.

The goal of Spades is to be the first player or team to reach 500 points. When each hand is dealt, the players can look at their cards and place a bit as to how many tricks they think will get. Alternatively, there is the option to place a blind bid. Each successful trick is worth 10 points, but you can get a penalty if you have less or more trick than your bid. There are also cases when if you bid 0, there are extra points for getting it right. Of course, there is a penalty if you get more than 0 tricks.

Hearts doesn't have such an elaborate point scoring system. The winner of the game is the player that has the lowest score. Once the cards are dealt, each player throws a card on the table. The player that threw the highest card gets all cards from the table. At the end of the game, all players count the cards' points in front of them. Every Hearts card counts as 1 point, while the Queen of Spades is 13 points. Players that managed to get all 26 points from a round get 0 points, while all of the opponents get 26 points.

Learn more with our guides on how to play Spades.


Even though this summary is not enough to go over all of both games' rules, we believe we managed to give you a quick insight into how they are played. With that, we hope you got interested and are looking into playing them. You can play Hearts on Solitaired, and if you're not interested, you can always play free online solitaire on our site!

About the author

Neal Taparia is one of the founders of Solitaired. He loves playing card games and is interested in understanding how games can help with brain training and skills building. In addition to card games, he also likes fishing and mountain biking.

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