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Have a Heart! Hold a Cards-for-Charity Girls Night In

With winter in full force, don’t let the idea of six more weeks of snowy cold give you the blues! Warm some hearts today by planning a charitable card party for your girlfriends. Sharing fun times and memories with the ones closest to your heart is a great way to stir up one’s soul in the still of winter. Girlfriend Celebrations has planned a unique way for you to show appreciation to friends who are loved, provide inspiration for charitable giving, and celebrate the life you cherish with your girlfriends. In honor of February’s American Heart month or March’s American Red Cross month, why not host a unique charitable hearts party for your next girl’s night in and spread some love.

Setting and setup

A few things to be taken into consideration are the size of space (since you will need a playing table for every four people) and who on your guest list will actually be interested in playing. You need an even number of people to play a progressive card game.  If you have a small setting for your party, you might prefer just a trio of friends and yourself. If you have more friends interested in playing, you could have seven friends and you to equal an even eight people or two-table card party.  The most you want to have is three tables of four or twelve girlfriends total. The ideal party would have the correct amount of people so that everyone can play.  Otherwise, if you have too many people someone (usually the hostess with the mostest) will have to ghost in and out of the game when others want to take a break or if you don’t have enough people, girlfriends will have to pair up and take turns playing (not fun if you enjoy playing cards!).

When it comes to decorating, red hearts here and there will add a pop of color.  Red paper plates and napkins can be an inexpensive addition to your theme.  If you have children, let them cut out hearts with red cardstock paper to tape on the windows or doors; their little hearts will swell with excitement to help out with the party. Pretty heart garland can be found at a local party store to drape across the windows. Just remember frugalistas, after February 14th there will be an abundance of red/heart clearance items that will be perfect for your party.

Be sure to set up enough tables well before the party.  If you don’t have enough tables, ask around. I’m sure any of your friends would love to bring a set to help you out.  Put a number (1, and/or 2, and/or 3) on each of the tables so that your guests won’t have to guess where they rotate to next.  Place a few pens or pencils on each table so that your guest will have something to write their score with.  Complete each table with a standard deck of cards.

Purchase ahead of time (two and three table progressive) Bridge Tally Cards.  They will come in a package of 12 with two tables on back and three tables on front.  We suggest the two and three table progressive cards because no matter how well you plan, you won’t be stuck if you have too many or too few people to play. You can purchase Bridge Tally Cards at any party store, drug store or place that carries bridge supplies.  Or try online here.

Number the tally cards 1 through 12 , or 1 through however many players you will have (4, 8, or 12).  As you give the cards to players, explain to them the number you’ve written on their card is their player number and will tell them which table to go to for each round and with which other players they will be playing with.

If some of the people attending have not played the card game Hearts before, it may be a good idea to write down the basics on a poster board or chalkboard for all to see. If you’re still confused, check out this dandy video demo.

Here’s an example of some basic instructions:

Hearts Progressive Card Game
Object:  to get the least amount of points.

  • Dealer deals entire deck, one card at a time.
  • After each deal, each player must select 3 cards to pass to person across from them.
  • Two of Clubs begins game.
  • Everyone must follow suit if they can, if not can play any card.
  • A point care cannot be thrown on first round.
  • Hearts can only be played after they’ve been broken-someone has discarded a heart on a previous trick.
  • Trick is won by highest card of suit led.
  • Winner of trick plays next card.

Queen of Spades = 13 points, Each Heart = 1 point

Shoot the moon: If a player takes all 13 Hearts plus the Queen of Spades, all other players get 26 points.

Since this is a table progressive game the cards will be dealt only once before each player moves on to the next table. We suggest having a marked spot at each table for the dealer. No one should deal more than twice during the entire game.


There are a plenty of card-themed invitations or blank cards that can be purchased.  If you’re making your own invitation you could say, “Please join me to break a few hearts,” along with the details.

Sometimes, you are apt to get a better response if you call your girlfriends to get a feel for how hearts-knowledgeable they are. You can ask them if they know how to play hearts, if they enjoy playing cards, if they are interested in learning and get an idea of whether you think they will be coming or not.  Your ultimate goal is to have the correct amount of people so that everyone can play.  Otherwise, someone (usually you) will have to ghost in and out of the game when others want to take a break.


Ask each guest to give a nominal amount before the game, it is a tournament afterall. Give the proceeds to your favorite charity. Need ideas? February is American Heart Month and March is American Red Cross month. I’m sure there are plenty of girlfriends who would play “Hearts for Haiti”. (Just be sure to forewarn your friends in the invitation whether by phone or mail).

Food and Drink

Keep it simple.  Your guests will have to juggle food and cards so minimize any messiness.  Wine and cheese with some heart shaped brownies make a nice trio.  For some healthy fare, try grapes and apples with Brie cheese.


If you need an activity to use as an icebreaker or time filler while you’re waiting for people, try this Heart Breaker Game.

  • On index cards, write out the names of famous heartbreakers and tape to each guest’s back.
  • Each guest can only ask yes/no questions to other players and tries to figure out who their heartbreaker is.

Some famous heartbreaker ideas:

John Mayer
Richard Gere
Mick Jagger
Harrison Ford
Tom Cruise
Jack Nicholson
Tom Petty
Lance Armstrong
Prince William
Dennis Rodman
Bill Clinton
Jon Bon Jovi

Party Favors:

Since this card game is a tournament, giving a winners gift and losers gift is acceptable. For the winner, you could give anything with a heart on it. Chocolates always make a yummy prize or even a favorite bottle of wine.  For the loser, give a pretty deck of cards for her to practice with for next time.

It’s always gratifying to get together with those who make our lives special but it can be so rewarding to get together for charity to make a difference in a someone else’s life. Plan your party today and empower your girlfriends to give a little of themselves and a little from their pocketbook, your hearts will be fulfilled in a multitude of ways. Don’t forget to check back with Girlfriend Celebrations for the latest girls night ideas.

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