With the introduction of cone beam (CB) scanners, cardiac volumetric computed tomography (CT) imaging has the potential to become a noninvasive imaging tool in clinical routine for the diagnosis of various heart diseases. Heart rate adaptive reconstruction schemes enable the reconstruction of high-resolution volumetric data sets of the heart. Artifacts, caused by strong heart rate variations, high heart rates and obesity, decrease the image quality and the diagnostic value of the images. The image quality suffers from streak artifacts if suboptimal scan and reconstruction parameters are chosen, demanding improved gating techniques. In this paper, an artifact analysis is carried out which addresses the artifacts due to the gating when using a three-dimensional CB cardiac reconstruction technique. An automatic and patient specific cardiac weighting technique is presented in order to improve the image quality. Based on the properties of the reconstruction algorithm, several assessment techniques are introduced which enable the quantitative determination of the cycle-to-cycle transition smoothness and phase homogeneity of the image reconstruction. Projection data of four patients were acquired using a 16-slice CBCT system in low pitch helical mode with parallel electrocardiogram recording. For each patient, image results are presented and discussed in combination with the assessment criteria.