Knowing when to Shoot the Moon in Hearts card game is important, but it’s also important to prevent others from doing it too.
So basically preventing it can be split in two basic steps. The first step is identifying the situation and the second step is spoiling your opponents plan.
How to know someone is trying to Shoot the Moon
So there are a couple of obvious pointers:
- Someone is leading high Hearts. This is the most obvious indicator and you should go into defense immediately.
- Someone leads a King or Ace of Spades and picks up the Queen. If someone did that, he is either a retard or he’s trying to Shoot the Moon.
- Someone plays a low card of one suit and then starts playing the highest cards of that same suit. This is a good indicator that he is afraid of missing a Heart, but it’s not definite, so you should be careful.
How to spoil your opponents plan
There are some basic things you should do after you see that someone is trying to Shoot the Moon:
Keep track of Hearts to help you with seeing any good spots to take a trick from him (you should be doing that anyway).
Keep your highest Hearts in hopes that you might take one Heart trick from him. Also keep all your other highest cards.
These are the basics, but it can get more complex. You have to really keep track of the game to identify good spots to spoil his plan. So, if you see that he is lead Hearts, but there are not enough of them in the game to constitute his entire hand, then maybe it’s a better idea to get rid of them (especially, if they are really low) and keep any high cards of suits that haven’t been played a lot.
Also, when you find out he’s Shooting for the Moon, make sure that you try to cooperate with other players as much as possible. For example, if you have poor chances to spoil his plans, try to identify, if any other players are actively trying to do something about it and help them.
That’s all. Have fun playing!