This first paragraph sums up the premise of 1v3 lowman game. I took this from http://mark.random-article.com/hearts/advanced.html
Hearts is dazzlingly fun when the three losers attempt to gang up on the guy in the lead. Hit-men coalitions of three players are not organized at the beginning of a game; They don't share secret handshakes or decoder rings. Rather, such coalitions are formed an un-formed on an ad hoc basis as scores rise and different players take turns being the winner. The formation of a three-man coalition is usually an unspoken agreement made by the three current losers, although it isn't unheard of for one of the losers (usually the guy who's trailing by the most points) to make an announcement in the form of "We've got to get Brian, guys."
Sometimes you don't get the cooperation of all three players in ganging up on the guy in the lead. If the second-in-place guy is only behind the winner by half a dozen points, he might be more content to just sit back and "draft" behind the winner, letting him take all the heat from the other losers. Right up until the last stages of the game, of course, at which point he'll pull a dramatic move where he drops the Queen on the current winner and move into first place. Then when it's too late, he'll drop points on one of the other losers, cause them to bust, and win the game himself.
If three against one odds doesn't sound very fair to you, it's probably because you're the guy in the lead.
Passes are extremely important in a lowman game.
The first hand sets the stage for who will be lowman.
Suppose you are sitting infront of low for the next tips
If you have been dealt the queen of spades, this card needs to be passed to the right hopefully with a backer, so that you can lead through low in another suit.
If lowman passes you a singleton queen, lead a high card in another suit, signalling to the other 2 players that you have the queen.
If you have the queen of spades, pass it across with one or two backers, so that you can lead through low in another suit. Where you sit, in front of low, is the hardest position to nail lowman if you keep the queen of spades.
Poor play is shown if the person across from me passes me a singleton queen of spades of Ace/King of spades. This pass would make it virtually impossible to nail lowman.
One needs to check points before passing. This is one of the few times (apart from when you are dealt a singleton queen that a singleton queen (if you have the queen) is a good pass depending on your cards and the pass from your right.
THE RIGHT PLAYER SHOULD KEEP THE ACE, KING AND QUEEN OF SPADES if he has them, to allow me to lead through low to him.
The three players going for low must have trust in each others play after the pass. They should watch signals as to where the queen is.
A few other tips.
If one player on the table has a very high score compared to the other 3, sometimes, depending on how close the other 3 are, it is wise to pass him a moon to level out the game and keep yourself in the running to win.
Close to the end of the game, if 2 or three players are close in points and anyone of them could win………all these tips are irrelevant, as you PLAY to win at this point.
I have only heard of Pnp in Hardwood. Although it is not a pass and play most like to make, it is necessary sometimes in a lowman game if played to get low.
This is a very short and concise example of some plays, but the essence of these examples might enlighten some as to the importance of the pass.
The deal can often times be frustrating when you can’t set up lowman with the cards dealt to you. This should be evident to the players at the table, and one goes on to the next hand with hope and a few bucks to the dealer.
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