Danny Wilson's stoppage-time header denied St Johnstone all three points after a dramatic late fightback as three players were sent off in Perth.
Stevie May's hat-trick - which included two penalties - put Saints in command despite Steven Anderson's red card.
Dale Carrick had headed Hearts' first before May completed his treble.
But, after Sam Nicholson reduced arrears, Saints goalkeeper Alan Mannus and Hearts' Ryan Stevenson were sent off, and Wilson netted the equaliser.
Hearts remain marooned at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership without a win in 11 games, but they ended a run of three straight defeats with a spirited point to mark
Billy Brown's last game as assistant before he leaves
the cost-cutting administration-hit club.
The visitors started with a shoot-on-sight policy - not a bad one on such a slippery surface - and Stevenson sent an early long-range drive that would have threatened to burst the net had it not been straight at goalkeeper Mannus.
However, Saints were soon in the ascendency, inspired by the nimble feet of May and Nigel Hasselbaink, a pairing that will be giving Hearts' defenders nightmares for days to come.
The end of the match would prove to be eventful
May had a netbound shot blocked in front of goal and another diverted by a neat Murray Davidson back-heel that goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald smothered on the line.
The match became more tetchy when Jamie Hamill and Hasselbaink exchanged strong words over who should take a drop ball and it boiled over seconds later with Anderson's dismissal.
Gary McDonald's poor passback was cut out by Carrick and the midfielder was taken out by the St Johnstone defender.
The incident took place a full 30 yards from goal, but referee Brian Colvin ruled that it was a goalscoring opportunity and showed the red card.
With Gary Miller already on for Lee Croft, Saints manager Tommy Wright was forced to further re-organise his midfield when Davidson was stretchered off after landing awkwardly.
However, Saints continued to trouble the visiting defence and, when Kevin McHattie looked to hold Hasselbaink as the striker rolled him inside the penalty box, Colvin appeared to take his assistant's advice to award a penalty that was stuck away into the corner by May.
Saints stretched their lead after the break when May pounced on a fine Hasselbaink through ball and, although his first effort was blocked by goalkeeper MacDonald, the striker forced the ball over the line via deflections off Wilson and Dylan McGowan.
The visitors were rarely a threat despite their numerical advantage but were suddenly back in the game when a McHattie cross was nodded home by Carrick from close range at the back post.
Any thoughts of an unlikely comeback appeared to be ended minutes later following an even more controversial penalty kick.
May flicked the ball against McHattie from point-blank range and, after the officials ruled that it had come off the defender's arm and not his chest, the striker produced another clinical spot kick for his 19th goal of the season.
However, in a rousing finish, substitute Nicholson sliced the ball home from close range, after which Mannus and Stevenson were shown red cards following an angry goalmouth melee.
And when Wilson headed in a Jamie Hamill cross, it was Hearts who were celebrating to deny Saints a third straight home win.
- 01 Mannus Dismissed
- 02 Mackay
- 03 Scobbie
- 08 McDonald
- 06 Anderson Dismissed
- 05 Wright
- 07 Millar
- 18 Davidson (Wotherspoon - 37' Booked )
- 17 May
- 22 Croft (Miller - 24' )
- 11 Hasselbaink (Cregg - 70' )
- 04 Cregg
- 10 Wotherspoon
- 15 Banks
- 19 Miller
- 20 Brown
- 29 O'Halloran
- 31 Easton
Heart of Midlothian
- 01 MacDonald
- 16 McKay Booked
- 03 McHattie Booked
- 02 Hamill
- 04 Wilson
- 05 McGowan (Nicholson - 45' )
- 18 Carrick
- 20 Tapping Booked (Oliver - 69' )
- 12 Paterson
- 07 Stevenson Dismissed
- 17 Smith (King - 79' )
- 19 King
- 21 Hamilton
- 26 King
- 28 Nicholson
- 29 Oliver
- 30 McGhee
- 31 Beith
Ref: Brian Colvin