Nigel Adkins’ Tigers impressed overall against a Derby outfit who saw their four-match winning streak halted.
The hosts made a quickfire start to the game when, following a precise Matej Vydra cross, David Nugent cracked in an early effort which Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor did well to keep out.
At the other end, Hull’s Polish winger Kamil Grosicki flashed a strike narrowly wide of the post from just outside the box.
The Tigers ought to have struck after eight minutes when Grosicki pulled the ball back neatly into the path of Jon Toral, but the Spaniard placed a diving header disappointingly wide.
Former Hull defender Curtis Davies then went close for Derby, heading over the crossbar after he dashed in to meet Chris Baird’s cross.
The Rams continued to press as half-time approached and Bradley Johnson saw a well-struck shot blocked, while Andreas Weimann lashed an effort too high following a neatly-worked free-kick routine.
Hull needed to up their tempo and they finally made some inroads when Nouha Dicko carved out a space in the Derby box, only to see his goal-bound strike blocked by Baird.
Shortly before the break the Rams came mighty close to a breakthrough.
Baird crossed in smartly for Weimann, but his point-blank header was superbly beaten away by the alert McGregor.
A bumper crowd in excess of 18,000 saw the hosts go close in the opening stages of the second period as Grosicki’s shot was bravely blocked on its way towards goal.
Toral also threatened as he lifted a strike just over the crossbar and Dicko came close to making a breath-taking breakthrough for Hull, but his audacious attempt from a back-heel drifted harmlessly wide.
Toral and Dicko then combined superbly for the Tigers, with the latter driving a shot off-target with the Derby defence back-pedalling.
The hosts were on top, and Grosicki forced an excellent save from Scott Carson after being played in by Jackson Irvine.
Jarred Bowen’s free-kick was then met by Michael Hector at the far post, but the central defender could not direct his header on target.
Back came the Rams, and ex-Tiger Tom Huddlestone smashed in a shot which only just cleared the crossbar.
The best late chance fell to Nugent, who was thwarted by a terrific stop from McGregor.
Hull City: McGregor, Tomori, Dawson, Hector, Aina, Stewart, Larsson, Toral (Bowen 63), Irvine, Grosicki (Henriksen 90), Dicko (Diomande 85). Subs Not Used: Marshall, Batty, Clark, Clackstone.
Derby County: Carson, Baird, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth, Huddlestone, Ledley (Russell 82), Weimann, Vydra (Thorne 65), Johnson (Lawrence 57), Nugent. Subs Not Used: Martin, Wisdom, Winnall, Mitchell.
Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland).