aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

You gotta have Heart(s)

A further reflection from playing Hearts:

In the game of Hearts, the low score wins; that is, players are trying to avoid taking points. Each Heart is worth a point, and the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points. So points are bad, and somebody's going to take a whole lot of them every hand, and you don't want that person to be you.

In such a game, there are two basic strategies. Some people are playing to win, but most people are playing not to lose. Those playing to win understand that they're going to take points most of the time -- and a lot of points some of the time. It doesn't matter, so long as the other players take more points than you do. You make that happen by controlling the flow of the game, especially by determining when the Queen of Spades will be played. It's a high risk/high benefit strategy. The people playing not to lose will simply try to avoid taking points. They are risk averse, they obsess over taking points. This leads them into foolish play. By avoiding risk, they forfeit control of the game, and wind up taking more points than if they were willing to contend for control. They are following a low risk/high benefit strategy that doesn't work.

He who has ears and all that jazz.

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