User:Brian/Cancellation Hearts rules
Cancellation Hearts is a five-player card game played according to the following rules:
- Two standard decks consisting of fifty-two cards are used together with a single joker, for a total of 105 cards. The ranks, in increasing order, shall be 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace. The joker is considered to belong to the club suit and to rank below the two of clubs.
- Gameplay proceeds in a series of hands. All rounds shall be played according to an identical set of rules, to be given in the following paragraphs. At the beginning of the first hand of a game, all players are assigned a score of zero. At the end of each hand, points are awarded.
- A hand begins with the distribution of an equal number of cards to each player. Cards are dealt face-down from a shuffled deck.
- If the players agree upon passing of N cards before the beginning of the game, then passing shall be carried out after the deal of each hand according to the following rules: on the first hand of the game, no cards shall be passed; on the second hand, N cards shall be passed to the left; on the third hand, N cards shall be passed two positions to the left; on the fourth hand, N cards shall be passed two positions to the right; and on the fifth hand, N cards shall be passed one position to the right. This sequence repeats cyclically if there are more than five hands in the game. Players must choose which cards to pass before they can examine the cards passed to them.
- The hand proceeds in a series of tricks. The first trick of each hand is led by the player who holds the joker (after any passing, if applicable), who must play it. Play proceeds clockwise with each player playing one card in turn, starting with the leader. The trick ends when each player has played one card.
- The leader may play any card, except that if hearts are unbroken during the current hand and the leader has cards other than hearts, the leader may not play a heart.  Hearts are broken after the first trick during which either a heart or the queen of spades is played by any player.
- The suit of the card that begins a trick is called the leading suit. Subsequent plays in the trick shall follow suit: that is, a player shall play a card of the leading suit from their hand if possible, otherwise the player can choose any card to play. 
- An additional rule which shall take effect only in games with passing is that on the first trick of a hand, it is not permitted to play a heart or the queen of spades, except in the (exceptionally rare) situation in which the player has no other cards to play.
- Ordinarily, a trick is won by the player who played the highest card of the leading suit during that trick. However, if two identical cards are played, they "cancel" each other and neither can win the trick; the trick is won by the highest uncancelled card of the leading suit. If a winner cannot be determined because all cards of the leading suit are cancelled, then the trick is put on hold and the leader of that trick shall lead the following trick; this continues for as long as needed until someone wins a trick, at which point all tricks on hold are given to that player. However, on the last trick of a hand, if all cards of the leading suit are cancelled, then the winner is the player who played the second copy of the highest card of the leading suit.
- The player who wins a trick shall collect all cards played during that trick, without adding them to their hand. The player who wins a trick shall lead the next trick in the round, if any.
- A hand ends when all players have played out their entire hands. At that point, each player is awarded points based on the content of the cards they collected by winning tricks. A player who collects all 26 hearts and both queens of spades chooses to either lower their own score by 52 or add 52 to all other players' scores. Otherwise, each player gains one point for each heart collected during the hand and thirteen points for each queen of spades collected during the hand.
- The game ends if any player's score exceeds 149. When the game ends, the player with the highest score wins.
 However, it is permitted to lead the queen of spades even if hearts are unbroken.
 Therefore, in almost all cases, hearts cannot be broken until some player is void in the leading suit of a trick; in that case, that player can choose to play a heart.