How to Play Euchre
How to Play Euchre
Euchre is a fast paced “trump” game that takes just a second to learn. Trump games are popular all over the world, and since Euchre only requires four players, it is an easy game to play with little set-up.
Euchre, pronounced YOO-kerr, is the game that gave our modern deck of playing cards the Joker. In the traditional American version of Euchre, the wild cards are suited Jacks, and not Joker cards. But in the game as it was originally played, Jokers were wild.
You win a game of Euchre by being the first team to score 10 points.
A Euchre deck is made up of 24 cards — all four nines, tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces. This simplifies game play, making up just six different ranks in four different suits. Modern games of Euchre use a standard poker deck with the Jokers and twos through eights removed.
Cards are dealt two or three at a time to all players. The deal moves from left to right until all four players have five cards. This leaves four cards undealt.
The top card of the undealt four cards is shown face-up as a “proposed trump.” The actual trump is decided during bidding.
If the first bidder wants to make the proposed trump the actual trump, he says “Pick it up” to the dealer. The dealer then must pick up this card and get rid of a card from his hand. The other option is to say “pass” and the trump decision must then be made by the next player. Any time a player says “Pick it up”, the bidding is over and the game begins.
The team who declares the trump suit has to win at least the majority of tricks to “score”. The majority of tricks means winning at least three.
The team that makes the trump are known as the “makers.” If the makers don’t earn three tricks at least, they’ll lose their bid and score for the other team. Being set is known as being “Euchred”.
Non-trump suits are ranked normally–Aces high then King, Queen, Jack, on down to nine which is the lowest rank. Often the strongest card is the trump-suited Jack, known “Left Bower.” The second highest trump card is the Jack of the same color but a different suit — he’s called the “Left Bower”.
Teams can score two points by winning all five tricks. Winning all five tricks is called a “march”. Euchring a team, meaning you cause them not to meet their bid, scores two points as well. Since it is much easier to set your opponent than it is to go on the march, Euchre is easier to win with good defense than with good offense.
You should consider going “alone” as often as you can in an attempt to score the most points possible in Euchre. Going alone is difficult–it involves playing against both opponents with your hand without the help of your partner–but it is worth four points if you win all five tricks.
Euchre is an easy bidding game that you can learn in a single hand. Euchre is a card game based on defensive strategy, and can teach basic bidding and trick winning strategy. Luck has a hand in the game, as the deal plays a big role in how you play, but a little luck combined with a little strategy makes for fun card gaming.