The 24, 28 or 32 cards are ranked from Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9 except in trumps as the Jack serves as the “Right Bower” and the 2nd highest is the other Jack of the same color which serves as the “Left Bower”.
Each player receives 5 cards from the dealer in groups of 2 or 3, the cards that aren’t dealt are placed face down, and the top card is turned over to establish a preferred suit. A round of bidding is conducted to determine who will take the turned suit as a trump and win at least 3 of the 5 tricks that are played, for the point, and for the march if all 5 are possible. If the turned suit is accepted, the dealer can “rob” it. In other words, he or she can take the turned suit in exchange for an unwanted card. Another round of bidding is conducted if nobody accepts the turned suit, with the only difference here being that there is no robbing.
Tricks are played like in the games of Whist or Bridge. You must follow suit if you can, but you can play any card otherwise. If any trumps are played, the highest trump takes the trick. Otherwise, the highest of the led suit takes the trick. The winner of each trick leads to the next trick.
After all 5 tricks have been played, the hand is officially scored. Card dealing responsibilities moves around clockwise until one team scores 10 points to win the game.
If the player bidding has a great hand, the player “making trump” has the option of playing with or without his or her teammate. If the bidder playing alone wins all 5 tricks, his or her team scores 4 points. “Going alone” is initiated when the bidder orders the upturned card to the dealer or names a suit. The bidder announces his or her desire to play alone after the round of bidding. This must be done before play begins. During a “loner”, the bidder’s teammate discards his or her cards, and doesn’t participate in the play of the hand.
If a player doesn’t follow suit when he or she is able to (normally by playing a trump card instead), this is considered to be the acting of reneging and is cheating. The opposing team is awarded 2 points if this act is caught in later tricks of the same hand. Sometimes reneging can also be unintentional, however.
Influencing the play of your teammate in any way is considered cheating. Words, secret hand gestures or other cooperative forms in which a player can inform his or her teammate what is in his or her hand or what his or her teammate should play in a trick or call when choosing a trump are all illegal in Euchre. The hand is either replayed or the team addressing this infraction will be awarded 1 point as a result.
The main objective in Euchre is for one team to have 10 points, and in variants, have 2 more points than the other team.
Bidding partnership wins 3 or 4 tricks – 1 point
Bidding partnership wins 5 tricks – 2 points
Bidder goes alone and wins 3 or 4 tricks – 1 point
Bidder goes alone and wins 5 tricks – 4 points
Defenders win 3 or more tricks – 2 points
Defender goes alone and wins 3 or more tricks – 4 points
By Steven Vitte
No unauthorized reproduction.