When I was writing the first version of Black Maria, I was constantly on the lookout for strategies and tactics that would improve my playing ability, as well as that of any computer AI I developed. Unfortunately, tactics for hearts were few and far between online. Some of the links I found had long been dead, and some strategies were steeped in author specific jargon, making them difficult to understand. So I had to learn from playing other people and computer opponents, trying to deduce their strategies for winning, and learning from the scraps of strategy I could find on the web.
Despite the lack of strategy information online, there are dozens of ways to play online. Apple’s App Store has a couple dozen hearts apps just by itself. It seemed odd to me that plenty of people seemed to want to play hearts, but there wasn’t a central place to learn and share strategies.
I thoroughly enjoy playing hearts and would love other people to get into it as well. I think having a place to learn and improve your game will increase interest in hearts, since most people enjoy games they can do well at. And that’s the point of Hearts & Tactics: to provide a place for you to learn new tactics and share those you’ve discovered with others.