This section covers a few terms that are often heard in a Hearts game and their definitions.

Four cards set down, all of the same suit, one from each player, starting with whoever has the lead, and proceeding clockwise around the table.

Taking a Trick
Playing the highest card in a trick The person who takes a trick will lead off the next trick.

Also known as a `Round of Play' - The thirteen tricks played in a particular segment of the game.

The cards held by a certain player.

One of the classes or categories of cards, either clubs, diamonds, spades, or hearts.

Long Suit
Holding many cards of a particular suit, usually 7 or more.

Short Suit
Holding a few cards of a particular suit, usually 2 or less.

Holding no cards of a particular suit. Having one or more voids is often advantageous.

The first card played in a trick. This establishes the trick suit. All cards that follow must be of that suit, unless a player is void, in which case he may slough.

A card played after the lead which is of the same suit as the lead card.

(Pronounced: "Sluff") If a player is void in the trick suit, he may play any other card. A player will often slough undesirable cards.

A card set down by a player Either a lead, a follow, or a slough

Break Hearts
Also known as "Bleeding Hearts" - Hearts are broken when a heart is sloughed onto someone, as a result of being void in a trick suit. Hearts cannot be led until they are broken. The only exception to this rule is when a player has the lead and his hand consists of nothing but hearts.

High Card
Also referred to as uglies. There is a difference between a high card and the high card:

A high card is a card that all the other players can probably get under. This can be as low as a 5, but is typically higher (say, in the 7 -> Ace range).

The high card is the highest card that was played in a trick after everyone has played. Whoever played it has the lead for the next trick.

Low Card
A low card is a card that can probably be beaten by some other card played in a trick.

A topper is a card that no one can beat. Initially, there is only one topper in a suit: the Ace. If an Ace in a suit has already been played, then the King in that suit will be a topper. Alternatively, if you are holding the Ace, King, Queen and 10, and the Jack has already been played, then all of the cards you hold are toppers.

A high card which will take a trick to prevent someone shooting the moon. This is usually a high heart, but can be a high card of any suit.

Out Card
A low card which will help you lose the lead. There are basically only three out cards in a suit: the 2, 3, and 4. This can change as play proceeds, however; As those lowest cards are played, the cards right above them (say, the 5, 6, and 7) become out cards. Late in a round, an out card is a most valuable possession.

Go Around / Gone Around
The number of times that a trick in a particular suit has been played is the number of times that the suit has "gone around".

Also known as "Shooting the Moon" or "Running it" - A player attempts to take all the point cards, thereby taking no points himself and sticking 26 points to all the other players.

The Queen
The Queen of spades, the Evil One, the Unlucky Lady, the Death-that-comes-a-walkin'-wearing heels, etc. As we all know, there are, in fact, four queens in the deck, but the Queen of spades stands above her peers (hence the capitalization), she being worth 13 points and taking her can cause you to lose the game far more quickly than by any other means.

Spades Siege (or just 'Seige')
The inevitable attempt by players not holding the Queen of spades to attempt to draw her out by repeatedly leading spades tricks, especially early in the game. (Note: If players are holding either the Ace or King of Spades, they might not be too inclined to lead spades either.)

Table Talk
Communication between players around the table, often for the purpose of making "group" plans, but just as often to mislead other players.