Play the Vintage 1914 Dice Game of Hearts with Regular Dice
Parker Brothers published the simple dice game of Hearts in 1914, but the old game can still be enjoyed today.
Like many old games of the past, the production for the dice game called Hearts by Parker Brothers has ended. However, original games can sometimes be found for sale on EBay. These games comprise of six cube dice with one of each of the letters, H-E-A-R-T-S, written on a side. The game box also includes a cup to roll the dice from and instructions for playing the game.
For anyone interested in playing the game today and unable to find an original, regular numbered dice can be used. The 1 would be equivalent to the H, 2=E, 3=A, and so forth. Instead of being ‘An Exciting Letter Game’ as advertised on the Parker Brother’s box, it would be ‘An Exciting Number Game’.
The game is played by each person taking turns in rolling the dice. Any number of players can join in the fun. It is a game of pure chance; which for younger children, just learning to count or recognize letters (in the traditional game) is ideal. For older players, the game offers the time to leisurely gather and socialize with each other.
The goal for the players is to be the first to reach a chosen point value set at the beginning of the game. 100 points is the most common goal decided upon. However, players may choose any number they would like.
Each player gets one roll per turn and scoring is based on the roll. Basically, players are trying to roll ‘HEARTS’ or ‘123456’. This roll would earn a player 25 points. 5 points for each letter/number rolled after the initial H or 1.
For a player to score any points in his turn, he must roll at least a HE. For example, a player may roll, HE TTTT. His score would be 5 for the round. A player only scores points for letters which appear in order of the word.
The following list shows the scoring:
- HE = 5 points (or 1,2)
- HEA = 10 points ( or 1,2,3)
- HEAR = 15 points (or 1,2,3,4)
- HEART = 20 points (or 1,2,3,4,5)
- HEARTS = 25 points (or 1,2,3,4,5,6)
Each player’s score is recorded on a piece of paper and added to previous scores.
Additional rules have been added in the years since it was first played. These are not found in the original 1914 game instructions.
- The rolling of 4 H’s has been considered to ‘double’ a player’s score.
- The rolling of 4 S’s has been considered to wipe out a player’s score.
This last rule may have been added after the invention of the 1953 Skunk dice game. In this two dice game, a roll of double skunks, would wipe out a player’s score. The game of Skunk is another easy to play dice game, and is slightly more than a game of pure chance.
Dice games have been around since the beginning of civilization. They are believed to have been one of the first types of games invented; even before board games. The rolling of dice continues to provide players with a satisfying form of entertainment and a way to gather together and enjoy each other’s company.