Suits

About

Suits is an all-new card game from the creators of Hearts++ and 500++. Suits is loosely based on Hearts++ but is all new and exciting.

The Rules

This page documents the official rules for suits. Since suits bares substantial similarity to Hearts, it would be best to familiarise yourself with the rules to that game which can be found here and more on which can be found here.

Executive Summary

The Deal

Cards are dealt identically to standard hearts.

Passing Cards

Three Player Games

  1. On the first, and every third subsequent hand (i.e., 1st, 4th, 7th, ...), players pass three cards to the player on their left and two cards to the player on their right (3 left, 2 right).
  2. On the second, and every third subsequent hand (i.e., 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th, ...), players pass three cards to the player on their right and two cards to the player on their left (3 right, 2 left).
  3. On the third, and every third subsequent hand (i.e., 3rd, 6th, 9th, ...), players pass no cards (hold).

Four Player Games

  1. On the first, and every fourth subsequent hand (i.e., 1st, 5th, 9th, ...), players pass two cards to the player on their left and one card to the player on their right. Of the three cards that the player receives, one card is passed to the opposite player. (2 left, 1 right, 1 across).
  2. On the second, and every fourth subsequent hand (i.e., 2nd, 6th, 10th, ...), players pass two cards to the player on their right and one card to the player on their left. Of the three cards that the player receives, one card is passed to the opposite player. (2 right, 1 left, 1 across).
  3. On the third, and every fourth subsequent hand (i.e., 3rd, 7th, 11th, ...), players pass three cards to the player opposite. Of the three cards that the player receives, one card is passed to the player on the left and one card is passed to the player on the right. (3 across, 1 to the sides).
  4. On the fourth, and every fourth subsequent hand (i.e., 4th, 8th, 12th, ...), players pass no cards (hold).

General Play and Scoring

Card Values

Cards are awarded the following points.
CardPoints
Any picture card (Ace, King, Queen, Jack)1
Any 1010
Other cards2

The number of points in every round is therefore 120 (118 in 3 player games).

Shooting

Just as in hearts, it is possible to `shoot the moon'. Shooting is basically achieved by winning all cards of any suit as well as the 10 of another suit. However, if a player "breaks" a suit by leading it, they can not shoot in that suit unless they have no cards of any other broken suit at the time of play (see Breaking Caveat below).

Single Shoot

Players can shoot by winning every card of at least one suit plus at least one other 10. Players who shoot receive 0 points, while other players receive 40 (or 38 for 3 player clubs) points plus the number of points that they otherwise won. It is possible (but unusual) for two players to shoot at the same. In this case, points are given in the same way. For example, if Alice, Bob, and Victor are playing and Alice shoots hearts and Bob shoots diamonds, then Alice gets 40 points (from Bob's shoot), Bob gets 40 points (from Alice's shoot) and Victor gets 80 points (40 from Bob's shoot and 40 from Alice's).

Double Shoot

Players can double shoot by winning every card of at least two suits plus as well as all four 10s. Players who double shoot receive 0 points, while other players receive 80 (or 78 for 3 player clubs) points plus the number of points that they otherwise won.

The Breaking Caveat Explained

Players can not shoot in a suit if they break a suit by leading it when they could have led a card of a suit that was already broken. Consider the following example. Michael, John and Ted are playing. Michael thinks he might be able to shoot. It is his turn to lead first. No suits have been broken so he can shoot in any suit he chooses to lead (since he has no choice but to lead a non-broken suit). Michael plays the Ace of clubs, John the 10 of clubs and Ted the 9 of diamonds - Michael wins. There are now two broken suits - clubs and diamonds. If Michael next leads either clubs or diamonds he can still shoot in those suits since they have already been broken. If Michael instead leads spades or hearts then (assuming he still has either a club or a diamond in his hand) he can not use that suit as his shooting suit. If he only has spades and hearts in his hands, he can lead either suit and still shoot with those suits since he can not lead an already-broken suit.

Holy Communion

Any player that wins all four tens receives 0 points.

Failing to Win a Trick

Each player that fails to win a trick in a hand receives 20 points. This rule does not apply if any other player shoots.

Winning the Game

Due to the greater number of points in suits, the winning (losing) score is consequently higher.

Losing scores.
Number of PlayersLosing Score
3300
4200
5180

If a player scores exactly the losing score, they subtract their highest score from any one hand. For example, if Bob scores 300 points in a 3 player game, and of all hands he had a highest score of 80, then Bob's score is 300 - 80 = 220. Note that a score can only be subtracted once. If Bob hits 300 again he can not deduct the same 80 points from his score. If a player comes within N points of the highest score but does not exceed the losing score, then that player subtracts the N+1th highest score from their tally. For example, if Bob scores 298 and had a third highest score of 45 (say from the first round), then Bob's score is 298 - 45 = 253. This score can not be deducted again.

Once any player exceeds the losing score the winner is the player with the lowest score, unless all players exceed the losing score, in which case the winner is the player with the highest score.

Teamplay

Note: We've never tried teamplay, we've just carried the rules over from hearts++.

It is possible (some would say preferable) to play suits with four players in two two-player teams. Teammates sit opposite each other.

Dealing

For passing hands (i.e., non hold-em hands), players pass three cards across to their teammates. From the three cards received, players pass on one card.

  1. On the first, and every fourth subsequent hand (i.e., 1st, 5th, 9th, ...), players pass the card to the player on the left.
  2. On the second, and every fourth subsequent hand (i.e., 2nd, 6th, 10th, ...), players pass the card to the player on their right.
  3. On the third, and every fourth subsequent hand (i.e., 3rd, 7th, 11th, ...), players pass the card back to their teammate.

The fourth (and every fourth subsequent hand) is either a hold'em or a hold'em variant.

Scoring

Teammates tally their points individually, then sum them to obtain the team score. Shoots are not split between teammates (i.e., Bill must win all hearts and the 10 of spades by himself to shoot hearts). When a player shoots, the teammate does not get the points from the teammate's shoot and the points are awarded to the other team (e.g., if Bill double shoots, then Bill and Bob's team gets 0 points while the other team gets 40, not 80 points).

Players that fail to win a trick add 10 points (rather than 20) to their team's score (unless a shoot occurred).

Winning the Game

The losing score in teamplay is 400.

Endnote

Suits is a creation of myself with certain distractions from Robert Colvin and Chris Hunter, the co-creators of Hearts++.

If you've tried suits then your feedback is welcome. Only three people have ever played suits. I think I've managed to convince them that it's a good idea.

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