5 Classic Card Games with Similarities to Hearts

Some old favorites that share a special bond with classic Hearts.

By GamesRecon

Do you have a fondness for the classic card game Hearts? Do you enjoy challenging your friends or family to an intense strategy-filled play that requires staying several steps ahead with each move made?

If so, you might want to try some similar card games with interesting twists. We’ve collected five shifted takes on this old favorite; all are played using standard decks of cards and feature strategies blending deception and probability management that keep each player guessing as the game progresses.

From Black Maria to Grasobern – these classics may become favorites in no time! If you’re ready for a fresh challenge (with familiar rules), learn more about five classic card game alternatives to Hearts today!

Incredible Card Games with Similarities to Hearts

If you like the gameplay delivered to you by Hearts, try other online Hearts alternatives that will provide the same level of intensity and challenge. Check them out below:

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Black Lady

Black Lady is probably one of the most popular variations of Hearts, overtaking its originator and found at almost every major online card gaming platform. It follows similar rules, with the main difference being that you must avoid winning any tricks containing Hearts or the Queen of Spades. This twist creates an exciting dynamic where players must carefully weigh their options, especially as they avoid any penalty cards.

It initially appeared in 1909 under the name Discard Hearts. Most of the time, it’s also confused with the original Hearts game since it’s extremely popular due to the Queen of Spades, which is equivalent to 13 penalty points. This addition makes it an enticing and more challenging alternative to the classic Hearts game.

Apart from browser-based platforms, you can also enjoy the mobile app version of Black Lady. Download it today and experience this infamous variation anywhere and anytime you want!

Black Maria

Black Maria is also similar to Black Lady, but with more demanding and trickier gameplay since it includes not only the Queen of Spades but also the King and Ace of Spades. This British variation first appeared in 1958. However, its rules were already available as early as 1939.

Here are some basics of Black Maria:

  • Ace of Spades equals ten points, and King of Spades is equivalent to seven points.
  • Best played by three players.
  • The goal is to avoid taking or capturing penalty cards in tricks.
  • The ranking of cards is A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2, and there are no trump suits.

After an agreed number of deals, the player with the lowest accumulated penalty points wins. You can play this online Hearts variation if your evading skills are on point. The best part is that the gameplay is the same as Black Lady, so you can quickly learn the ropes and start playing immediately!

Omnibus Hearts

In the 1950s, Omnibus Hearts was said to be one of the most rapidly growing variations of Hearts. What sets it apart from other variants is that it includes all the elements and features found in the different members of the Hearts family. Therefore, it can already be deemed as a separate game.

Omnibus Hearts is the same as Black Lady, with the addition of the ten of Diamonds card, which earns ten points for players who take it in a trick. Players who take 15 counters or cards with penalty points, such as the Queen of Spades, ten of Diamonds, and the thirteen Hearts cards, will score 26 additional attributes for the deal and zero for the actual score.

Some players consider Omnibus Hearts the best variation due to its unique features. Once a player takes all penalty cards, the term is hitting the moon, take-all, or slam. Once players reach 100 points, they lose, and the one with the lowest score wins.

Badam Satti

An infamous Indian card game with the same rules and features as Hearts is Badam Satti. Also known as 7 of Hearts, this variation is best played by four players. Here, the game starts with the owner of the 7 of Hearts leading the play. It’s known by many names, depending on where it’s played, such as Fan Tan, Sjuan, Laying Out Sevens, Domino, and Crazy Sevens.

Some basics to remember:

  • The other three sevens may be played as the first cards of their respective suits.
  • Cards are played to form a sequence up and down in suits from sevens (like Solitaire)
  • The first player to play all cards in their hands wins, or the one with the lowest card value wins
  • Scoring is based on the remaining cards in a player’s hand

Even though it was devised in India, millions worldwide know this Hearts alternative. Many websites offer Badam Satti for free so that you can play with your friends or other players from different countries. However, mobile versions are also free for those who want to play it on the go!


Originating from Old Bavaria, now known as Altbayern, Grasobern is an incredibly popular trick-avoidance card game still played and enjoyed by eastern Bavaria, especially in Upper Palatinate. Its gameplay is not as stressful or demanding as other variations, so it’s ideal for those who want a more relaxed gaming experience.

Grasobern is also known by many names, such as Grasoberl, Grünobern, and Laubobern. The earliest recorded documentation of its rules and gameplay is in 1826, published in the Bavarian Courier. The game uses a standard deck of 32 Bavarian-pattern playing cards, and the suits differ from Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds that we are all familiar with.

Instead, it uses Bells (Schellen), Leaves/Grass (Gras), Acorns (Eichel), and Hearts (Herz). As many as eight players can join, and the minimum is three. The goal is to avoid taking the first and last trick and the trick with the Grasober or the Ober of Leaves. These tricks give a penalty, so players will need to pay their fees in coins or counters.

Evade Tricks to Score Less and Win

Unlike most traditional card games, where players must take as many tricks as possible, trick-avoidance games are the complete opposite. These variations and alternatives require players to avoid certain cards, which makes it more challenging and exciting. If you want to know more, download or play the ones listed above to enjoy card games like Hearts!