Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 16:35:44 -0500
From: Patrick Weber <deleted>
Subject: hearts variation
First let me say that you have a very informative and well put together website.
Some friends of mine and I have been playing a variation of Hearts that we call Gong Xu. I really don't think that's how it's spelled. The name supposedly means "Reveal the Pig" in chinese, but I haven't verified that either. It is very similar to some of the omnibus rules but I'll highlight the main differences below.
The game is called "Reveal the Pig" because the Q of spades is refered to as the "pig" and the J of diamond is the "sheep".
The game is (usually) played to 100 points.
At the begininng of play, after the cards are dealt and before the first trick is played any player with the Q Spades, J Diamonds, 10 clubs, or Ace of Hearts can put that card face up on the table and say "Doubling". Any or all of these four cards can be "doubled". What this does is double the point value for that card. In the case of the 10 of clubs it makes it a "quadruple" card in other words it multiply's the hand by 4. When the Ace of Hearts is doubled it doubles the point value for all hearts.
Whoever takes the "pig" leads the next hand. The bearer of the two of clubs leads the first hand, but doesn't necessarily have to play it. Hearts must still be "broken" and no point cards may be played in the first trick.
These rules add an interesting flavor to the game and significantly alter the strategy. By being able to double certain point values you can thereby use a good hand in a more offensive manner.
If there are any questions please ask.
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 14:15:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dian <deleted>
Subject: another variation of a variation of hearts
I am 13 years old and I love hearts especially omnibus hearts! But when I visited China I learned how to play Gongzhu, however my uncle's played it differently from the variation you have listed. You can place you card down like in the version you have but you have the option putting it faced down, you would double value of the card. If you the card faced up you quadruple the value (ex. ten of clubs now multiplies your total by 8). Also another thing is if the ace of hearts if that is put faced down or up, it affects all the hearts. (this plays a role, especially if someone is trying to shoot the moon and fails!) Another item of importance is that you lose if you are over 100 or -100. I like this rule because it makes people more cautious and the strategy changes from round to round. This is my favorite version of hearts because it is ever changing, anything can happen. It's also really fast, somebody could lose in one round of play. ! When I played with my uncles, if lost you have to crawl under the table, adults are extremely embarrassed by this for some reason!
P.S You can play with two decks, even more tricky!
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