The Black Lady card game goes by different names such as Black Queen or even simply as Hearts. This classic game has stood the test of time to become one of the popular choices among players.

It falls into card games genre of trick-avoidance and is said to utilise strategy and skill, as well as a touch of luck. Over the years, the game has gone through numerous adaptations depending on the region and even resulted in a few variations turning up.

Regardless, its main objective remains the same, which is to avoid collecting certain unwanted cards, typically ones belonging to the Hearts suit and the dreaded Queen of Spades. As the same time, you must attempt to force your opponents into acquiring these cards.

There is a points system that we will discuss in a separate section. To win the game, you must ensure that you collect the least number of points out of all the players at the table.

What is Black Queen Card Game?

The origins of the Black Queen card game can be traced back to the 18th century, allowing it to carry a historical significance among card players.

The game is played using a standard deck of 52 cards and is considered suitable for occasions that involve family and friends, or even as a casual pastime.

It does not matter whether you are a seasoned player or a novice, the Black Lady card game facilitates strategic thinking, challenge, and entertainment.

Thanks to technology, by finding the right source, you can play Black Queen card game online, too.

What is the Objective of the Black Lady Card Game?

The main objective of the Black Lady Card Game is to avoid collecting specific cards, primarily those belonging to the Hearts suit and the Queen of Spades. At the same time, you must also aim to accumulate the fewest points from among the players playing against you.

When it comes to the value of the cards, each card in the Hearts suit is worth one point, whereas the Queen of Spades carries a hefty thirteen points.

If you are the player who has the least points against their name at the end of the game, you win.

The game’s strategy involves being careful about which cards to play or trying to "shoot the moon", which means collecting all the Hearts and the Queen of Spades, or avoiding them altogether.

How Many Individuals Can Play the Black Queen Card Game?

Typically, the Black Queen Card Game is designed for 3 to 7 players. However, the game has variations that can accommodate more. This game is versatile and can be enjoyed in smaller gatherings as well as in larger groups.

You can adjust the number of players as per their availability and preference, making it a flexible and engaging for various group sizes.

What Props are Needed to Play the Black Lady Card Game?

To play Hearts or the Black Lady Card Game, you will need a minimal set of props, the main being a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The deck should comprise all the four suits – Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades – each with thirteen cards ranging from Ace to King.

Plus, you will require a flat surface for dealing the cards, perhaps as a table, and something to keep the score. While customised scoring sheets or online apps are readily available today, you can use a pen and a paper to make a note of the scores.

Black Lady Card Game Gameplay

You will find that the gameplay of the Black Lady Card game is straightforward, yet engaging. Here are the different elements of the game explained in detail for better clarity –

Dealing of cards: As stated, the game is normally played between 3 to 7 players using a standard deck of 52 cards. The dealer shuffles the cards and distributes them evenly, usually dealing all the cards to ensure an equal distribution

The first player: The first player is usually the player sitting to the left of the dealer. Alternatively, the first player can also be decided judging by which player holds the 2 of Clubs card. It is best advised to play one of the lower-valued cards

The game begins: Other players at the table follow the same suit in clockwise order until one of them cannot, in which case, they can play any card

Avoiding Hearts and the Queen of Spades: Your main objective is to not collect cards representing the Hearts suit and the Queen of Spades card. Hearts are worth one point each, and the Queen of Spades is worth thirteen points. You must try your best to dump these cards onto other players

Scoring: After the end of each round, you note down the scores. You and other players gather penalty points depending on whether or not you have collected the Queen of Spades or any card from the Hearts suit

Winning the game: You can play the game for numerous rounds, something that you can decide before the game begins. The player who is left with the fewest points or no points at all at the end of the rounds wins the game

In some variations of the Black Lady Card Game, after the card is dealt, players pass a set of cards to their neighbours. This stage is strategic with the intention of either improving their own hand or sabotaging their opponents’.

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Black Lady Game Strategies and Tips

Here are a few strategies that will help you extend your wins while playing the Black Lady Card Game –

Dodge the Queen of Spades: The Queen of Spades is the most troublesome card in the game, so ensure that you evade it and try to dump it on your opponents during the passing phase if the variation allows it or lead it when others have exhausted their Spades

Lead with strong cards: If you lead with high cards of a dominant suit, you can force others to play lower cards. That way, you can take control of a trick and avoid cards of the Hearts suit

Shoot the Moon: Shooting the Moon is a unique strategy in the game where you target collecting all the Hearts cards and the Queen of Spades. It wins you the round while other players get penalised

Bluffing: By bluffing and playing lower cards in a suit, you can get your opponents to think that you do not have many cards of that suit. As a result, they take the trick and collect points

Watch cards closely: Watch the cards closely and see which Hearts have been played and which cards the others are playing, as it will help you make informed decisions

These tips will help you handle the challenges better that you face during the Black Queen game -

Careful passing: Be strategic by passing high-value cards to your opponents. It will also help you to get the low-ranked ones

Watch the Queen: Knowing when the Queen of Spades has been played and who still has it can benefit a great deal

Play each round at a time: Focus on one round rather than chasing the end result of the game. Accordingly, it may not be a bad strategy to accumulate a few Hearts in the early rounds if it ensures you will not take them later

Observe others: Deduce your opponents’ strategies by keeping a close watch on their cards, as you will pick up on their strategy and play

Keep practising: The more you play this card game, the better you will become at it. Gradually, you will become good at reading your opponents and start thinking on your feet

How Does Scoring Work in the Black Lady Card Game?

Scoring is an integral and critical part of the Black Lady Card Game since it helps determine the winner. At the end of each round, everyone playing accumulates points as penalty depending on the cards they have collected.

Each card of the heart suit is worth one point, while the Queen of Spades carries thirteen points. You must make sure that you have the least number of points at the end of the game.

Depending on the variation being played, victory may be awarded to the player with the highest score. However, the traditional rules state that the player with the fewest points wins.

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Black Queen Card Game Variations

Listed below are the three different variations of the Black Lady Card Game that you can play along with brief descriptions for each –

Black Jack: 

Black Jack is a card game and a variant of the Black Queen card game that dates back to 1909. In this game, instead of the Queen of Spades, the Jack of Spades is the most dreaded card.

Also, as opposed to being valued at thirteen points, it is worth ten Hearts cards. The rules of this card’s usage changed over time with the recent guidelines stating that it must be discarded before any other card if a player does not have a card of the suit in play. Its surrounding rules are more or less the same

Complex Hearts:

This card game is played using the complex number system, where the player who reaches 100 points first is considered as the loser. Here, the Queen of Spades is worth thirteen points, Jack of Diamonds carries -10, and the Ten of Clubs multiplies the total score by 2

Pink Lady: 

In Pink Lady, the Queen of Hearts holds a similar position alongside the Queen of Spades, carrying 13 points of its own. So, as opposed to 25 points to avoid in the Black Queen Card Game, Pink Lady requires you to dodge 38 points in a single round

Poker vs. Black Lady Card Game – A Comparison

While there are a few similarities between the Black Lady card game and Poker, they carry dissimilarities that make them stand out from each other.

Read on to know what these differences are –


Poker: The objective of Poker may vary from variant to variant. However, it revolves around hand rankings, betting, and bluffing. Furthermore, your aim to win chips or money by deriving the best hand or forcing your opponents to fold

Black Lady Card Game: The objective of Black Lady card game is to collect as few penalty points as possible. You do this by avoiding certain high-value cards that are cards of the Hearts suit and the Queen of Spades. If you have the lowest score, you win the round and eventually the game

Number of Players:

Poker: With Poker, you can play anywhere from 2 to 10 players based on the variant that is being played. However, when there are official tournaments being played, the number of players can substantially go up

Black Lady Card Game: Black Lady card game is typically meant to be played between 3 to 7 players. Its variations though can support inclusion of more players

Deck and Cards:

Poker: Poker makes use of a standard deck of 52 cards but depending on the variant, it can involve multiple decks. Cards of all four decks come into play, with no particular values assigned to them

Black Lady Card Game: This game, too, uses a standard deck of 52 cards, with all four suits involved, but specific cards carry penalty points


Poker: The gameplay of Poker involves a combination of skill, strategy, psychology, and chance, as players are required to be efficient at betting, raising, checking, or folding

Black Lady Card Game: Black Lady card game requires players to follow suit with the aim to collect as few penalty points as possible


Poker: In Poker, you can win by a couple of ways such as having the best hand at showdown or being the last players with chips during a tournament

Black Lady Card Game: In Black Queen game, you must have the lowest score at the end of the game to be declared the winner

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