Euchre Basics

Euchre is a classic trick-taking card game that is played with a 24 card deck consisting of 9’s, 10’s, Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces.  You can also play “bid euchre” or 6 handed euchre with the 7 spot up.  After a shuffle and “cut”, the dealer distributes 5 cards face down to each of the players.  The top card from the remaining (four) undealt cards is turned face up while the other three cards are left face down on the table.  This is the “proposed” trump for that hand;  however, a round of bidding must ensue.

RANK OF CARDS:

The highest card in any trump suit  is the Jack (right Bower) of that suit. The next highest card is the other Jack (left Bower) of the same color. For example, if Spades are trump, then the Jack of Spades is the top ranking card, and the Jack of Clubs is second ranking card.  The remaining trump cards are ranked: Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9.  The  “off  suit” cards are ranked in order from the Ace down to the nine.   A trump card is higher than any non-trump card.

Note:  The suit of the left Bower (often called “next”) is now reduced to five cards, the trump suit consists of seven cards and the off- suits consist of six cards.

CALLING TRUMP

The hand is played clockwise with the person to the left of the dealer going first. The person to the left of the dealer (“eldest hand”) has first bid and has the option to:
1) “order up” the top card to the dealer;
2) Order the card to the dealer and to “go alone” without a partner;
3) Pass to the next person (the partner of the dealer).

This bidding proceeds around the table. Second or Third seat have the same options as the eldest hand.  Three passes to the dealer gives him the option of accepting the top card as trump, or turning it down by passing.
IF the dealer turns down the card, the person to his left open the second round of bidding and can call any suit he wants to be trump (except the suit that was turned down).
He has the option to:
1) call a suit
2) call a suit and go alone
3) pass to the next person.
If the bid is passed around to the dealer, he can call, go alone or discard the hand. If the dealer passes on this second round of bidding, the hand is thrown in, and the player to the left becomes the dealer and deals a new hand.

PLAYING

After a suit has been named or called, the person to the left of the dealer leads a card.

SCORING

Scoring:  In order to gain points when you or your partner have called a hand,  you must take 3 of the 5 tricks for that hand.  If you win 3 tricks you score 1 point.  If you win 5 tricks, you get 2 points. If you are successful with the declaration of a  “Loner” (playing a hand without your partner) and take  all 5 tricks you score 4 points.  IF you and your partner don’t get 3 of the 5 tricks when you have called or declared trump, you are “euchred”.  Your opponents get 2 points for the euchre.

The standard game is 10 points;  it can be shortened, or increased to 13 points.

Variations:  Euchre can be played with three or five persons; or with a Joker; the reader is advised to research this accordingly.

Penalties:  If a player revokes, (does not follow suit when possible), his side is penalized two points, and the opponents score two points.  A revoke against a Loner scores four points for the declaring side, and a two point penalty against the offenders.  The players may wish to waive these penalties if the game is casual and for “fun”!

by Joe Andrews, Author of “The Complete Win At Euchre”
Copyright Newt’s Games and Playing Cards