On “Hearts” and life

MONDAY, 18 JUNE 2001

Microsoft Hearts in Windows 7

My strategy for the card game “Hearts” is on the face of it inconsistent with the goal of the game. It looks as if I am heading for self-destruction – just for the sake of entertaining myself while the other players are playing a serious game. By the time the others realise that I am winning a game in which they did not see me as a serious competitor it’s too late. Their attempts to save their positions are already doomed, and I’m on the way to a brilliant victory, achieved in an unorthodox manner.

However, it should be noted that I do not follow this unconventional strategy with each round. Once I see I am not going to win a specific round playing my way, I change my strategy. So, I am pragmatic enough not to defeat my real purpose for the sake of being different.

This approach to the game takes guts, and almost excessive levels of confidence. You also have to accept that you will lose from time to time, and that such results should be treated with as much grace as a victory.

At the end it can be said that a victory achieved in your own way and against the expectations of the other players is much more fulfilling than merely winning the game according to both the spoken and unspoken rules and conventions.

If, however, you lose time and again by following your own unorthodox methods, it is usually a good idea to reconsider your primary goal, as well as your methods. The illusion of self-destruction is after all – and this should never be forgotten – supposed to be only an illusion.