There are countless variations of hearts. Just about every rule can be changed in some way to result in a game that requires different tactics in order to win. Even the game itself has different names, such as The Dirty, Black Lady, and Black Maria. However, there are a few major variations that are noteworthy.
In omnibus hearts, the jack of diamonds serves as a bonus card worth -10 points. Optionally, the jack of diamonds can be required to shoot the moon.
In spot hearts, the values of the penalty and bonus cards change. Hearts become face value: the 2 of hearts is worth 2 points, the 3 is worth 3 points, and so on. The jack is worth 11 points, queen is 12, the king is 13, and the ace of hearts is worth 14 points. The queen of spades jumps in value to 50 points. If this variation is combined with omnibus hearts, then the jack of diamonds becomes -40 points.
The game is played the same as normal, except the people sitting across from one another are partners. Partners share the tricks they take, and thus share the same score as well.
This variation adds a winning condition. If a player wins all 13 tricks, then they have shot the sun, and every other player takes 52 points.
The order of the passing direction can be changed in any way. This includes always passing or never passing regardless of which round it is.
There are also variations where you pass one card to every other player, or pass into a kitty which is shuffled and dealt back out.
Normally, the person with the two of clubs starts the first hand with it. Alternatively, the person with the two of clubs could lead with any club they have. Another variation is the player to the left of the dealer leads whatever card they wish.
The first hand is also unique in that it typically bars point cards from being played. However, this doesn’t have to be the case; in one variation any card may be played on the first hand.