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Euchre

Euchre

Overview
Euchre or eucre, is a trick-taking
Trick-taking game
A trick-taking game is a card game or tile-based game in which play centers on a series of finite rounds or units of play, called tricks. The object of such games then may be closely tied to the number of tricks taken, as in plain-trick games such as Whist, Contract Bridge, Napoleon, Rowboat, and...

 card game
Card game
A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...

 most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing card
Playing card
A playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games...

s. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker
Joker (playing card)
Joker is a special type of playing card found in most modern decks, or else a type of tile in some Mahjong game sets.-Name:It is believed that the term "Joker" comes from a mispronunciation of Jucker, the German/Alsatian name for the game Euchre. The card was originally introduced in about 1860 for...

 into modern packs; this was invented around 1860 to act as a top trump or best bower (from the German word Bauer, "farmer", denoting also the jack
Jack (playing card)
A Jack, also Knave, is a playing card with a picture of a man on it. The usual rank of a jack, within its suit, is as if it were an 11 ....

). It is believed to be closely related to the French game Écarté
Écarté
Écarté is a two-player card game originating from France, the word literally meaning "discarded". It is a trick-taking game, similar to whist, but with a special and eponymous discarding phase. It is closely related to Euchre, a card game played mainly in the United States...

 that was popularized in the United States by the Cornish
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

 and Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch refers to immigrants and their descendants from southwestern Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries...

, and to the seventeenth-century game of bad repute Loo
Lanterloo
Lanterloo, also known as Loo, is a 17th-century trick taking game of the Trump family of which many varieties are recorded. It belongs to a line of card games whose members include Nap, Euchre, Rams, Mao, Hombre, and Spoil Five...

.
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Encyclopedia
Euchre or eucre, is a trick-taking
Trick-taking game
A trick-taking game is a card game or tile-based game in which play centers on a series of finite rounds or units of play, called tricks. The object of such games then may be closely tied to the number of tricks taken, as in plain-trick games such as Whist, Contract Bridge, Napoleon, Rowboat, and...

 card game
Card game
A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...

 most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing card
Playing card
A playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games...

s. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker
Joker (playing card)
Joker is a special type of playing card found in most modern decks, or else a type of tile in some Mahjong game sets.-Name:It is believed that the term "Joker" comes from a mispronunciation of Jucker, the German/Alsatian name for the game Euchre. The card was originally introduced in about 1860 for...

 into modern packs; this was invented around 1860 to act as a top trump or best bower (from the German word Bauer, "farmer", denoting also the jack
Jack (playing card)
A Jack, also Knave, is a playing card with a picture of a man on it. The usual rank of a jack, within its suit, is as if it were an 11 ....

). It is believed to be closely related to the French game Écarté
Écarté
Écarté is a two-player card game originating from France, the word literally meaning "discarded". It is a trick-taking game, similar to whist, but with a special and eponymous discarding phase. It is closely related to Euchre, a card game played mainly in the United States...

 that was popularized in the United States by the Cornish
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

 and Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch refers to immigrants and their descendants from southwestern Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries...

, and to the seventeenth-century game of bad repute Loo
Lanterloo
Lanterloo, also known as Loo, is a 17th-century trick taking game of the Trump family of which many varieties are recorded. It belongs to a line of card games whose members include Nap, Euchre, Rams, Mao, Hombre, and Spoil Five...

. It may be sometimes referred to as Knock Euchre to distinguish it from Bid Euchre
Bid Euchre
Bid Euchre, is the name given to a group of card games played in North America based on the popular game Euchre. It introduces an element of bidding in which the trump suit is decided by which player can bid to take the most tricks...

.

Origins


Euchre appears to have been introduced into the United States by the early German settlers of the state of Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, and from that state gradually to have been disseminated throughout the nation. It has been more recently theorized that the game and its name derive from an eighteenth-century Alsatian
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 card game named Juckerspiel, a derivative of Triomphe
Tarot
The tarot |trionfi]] and later as tarocchi, tarock, and others) is a pack of cards , used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot...

. Also, it may have been introduced by immigrants from Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, England, where it still remains a popular game. It is also played the neighbouring county of Devon, where one theory is that it was introduced by French or American prisoners of war imprisoned in Dartmoor prison during the early 19th century.

No mention of Euchre is made in the treatise by Samuel Weller Singer
Samuel Weller Singer
Samuel Weller Singer was an author and scholar on the work of William Shakespeare. He is also now remembered as a pioneer historian of card games.-Life:...

, entitled Researches into the History of Playing Cards, 4to., London, 1816; nor in any of the English editions of Hoyle's Games; nor in Captain Crawley's Handy Book of Games for Gentlemen, 12mo., London, 1860. No notice of the game is to be found in the long and learned array of articles on the various games of cards in the Album des Jeux, 12mo., Paris, 1847, a careful collection of modern games of cards by M. Van-Tenac, and its name is legion in the extended Dictionnaire des Jeux of the Encyclopedic Methodique.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 the only teaching of the game, except a few paragraphs in the late American editions of Hoyle's Games, and of Bonn's New Hand-Book of Games, is contained in The Game of Euchre; with its Laws, 32rno., Philadelphia, 1850, pp. 32, attributed to a late learned jurist.

The game has declined in popularity since the 19th century, when it was widely regarded as the national card game, but it retains a strong following in some regions like the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

, especially Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 and Western New York
Western New York
Western New York is the westernmost region of the state of New York. It includes the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls, the surrounding suburbs, as well as the outlying rural areas of the Great Lakes lowlands, the Genesee Valley, and the Southern Tier. Some historians, scholars and others...

. In recent years, it has regained some popularity in the Eastern United States
Eastern United States
The Eastern United States, the American East, or simply the East is traditionally defined as the states east of the Mississippi River. The first two tiers of states west of the Mississippi have traditionally been considered part of the West, but can be included in the East today; usually in...

 in the form of Bacon
Bacon (card game)
Bacon, sometimes called American Euchre, is a trick-taking card game which resembles a simplified version of Euchre. It differs from Euchre in that it uses a full 52-card Anglo-American deck, has a slightly modified scoring system and trump selection system, uses a normalized card ordering to make...

. It is played differently from region to region and even within regions. In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the game is still very popular in Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 all have large followings of the game.

Dealing


Conventional euchre is a four-player trump game, wherein the players are paired to form two partnerships. Partners face each other from across the table so that the play of the cards in conventional clockwise order alternates between the two partnerships.

Conventional euchre uses a deck of 24 standard playing card
Playing card
A playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games...

s consisting of A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9 of each of the four suits
Suit (cards)
In playing cards, a suit is one of several categories into which the cards of a deck are divided. Most often, each card bears one of several symbols showing to which suit it belongs; the suit may alternatively or in addition be indicated by the color printed on the card...

. A standard 52-card deck can be used, omitting the cards from 2 to 8, or a Pinochle
Pinochle
Pinochle or Binocle is a trick-taking game typically for two to four players and played with a 48 card deck. Derived from the card game bezique, players score points by trick-taking and also by forming combinations of cards into melds. It is thus considered part of a "trick-and-meld" category...

 deck may be divided in half to form two euchre decks. In some countries, the common 32-card piquet
Piquet
Piquet is an early 16th-century trick-taking card game for two players.- History :Piquet has long been regarded as one of the all-time great card games still being played. It was first mentioned on a written reference dating to 1535, in Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais...

 or skat deck is used, which includes the 7s and 8s.

To determine the first deal, many players use a first Jack deals or first black Jack deals rule. Using the euchre deck, one player will distribute the cards, one at a time, face up in front of each player. The player dealt the first (black) jack becomes the dealer for the first hand. In subsequent hands, the deal is rotated clockwise. Out of courtesy, a cut
Cut (cards)
After a deck of cards is shuffled by the dealer, it is often given to a player other than the one who performed the shuffle for a procedure called a cut.- Procedure :...

 should be offered by the dealer to the player on the dealer's right after shuffling and immediately before dealing. In some regions, a cut may be required but in other regions it is a dealer option. Typically, in cut optional regions, a cut may be requested by the other team if the request is made before the lay of the first cards.

Each player is dealt five cards (or seven if using the 32-card deck) in clockwise order, in groups of two or three cards each. The dealer may alternate, first giving two cards to the player to his left, three cards to his partner, two cards to the player on his right and three cards to himself. The dealer then repeats, this time giving three cards to the player on his left, two cards to his partner and so on, to give each player the requisite five cards. This method of dealing is the most common, however, any sequence is legal as long as the dealer goes around the table twice.

The remaining four cards are called the kitty, but are sometimes referred to as the kit, the widow, the blind, the dead hand, the grave, buried, or the shit pile and are placed face down in front of the dealer toward the center on the table. The top card of the kitty, sometimes referred to as the deck head, or the up card is then turned face up, and bidding begins. The dealer asks each of the other players in turn if they would like the suit of the top card to be trump, which they indicate saying "pick it up" and the top card becomes part of the dealer's hand, who then discards face down to return his hand to five cards. If no one orders up the top card, each player is given the opportunity in turn to call a different suit as trump. If no trump is selected, it is a misdeal, and the deal is passed clockwise unless it was agreed upon to play stick the dealer, an option that involves forcing the dealer to choose a trump (see the Bidding section in Euchre variations
Euchre variations
This article deals with variations on game rules and game terminology. For variations on game playing, see Euchre game variations.Euchre is a 19th century trick-taking card game with many popular variations on how to play the game and changes in the rules...

).

When a suit is named trump, any card of that suit outranks any card of a non-trump suit. The highest ranking card in traditional euchre is the Jack of the selected suit (right bower or right), then the other Jack of the same color (left bower). In descending order thereafter it is A, K, Q, 10, and 9.

In non-trump suits (except for the next suit), the jacks are not special, and the cards of those suits rank from high to low as A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9.

Example:

Assume a hand is dealt and that spades are named as trump. In this event, the trump cards are as follows, from highest ranking to lowest:
Jack
Jack (playing card)
A Jack, also Knave, is a playing card with a picture of a man on it. The usual rank of a jack, within its suit, is as if it were an 11 ....

 of spades (right bower)
Jack of clubs (left bower)
Ace of spades
Ace of Spades
At least in English-speaking countries, the ace of spades is traditionally seen as the highest card in the deck of playing cards, although the actual value of the card varies from game to game...


King
King (playing card)
The king is a playing card with a picture of a king on it. The usual rank of a king is as if it were a 13; that is, above the queen. In some games, the king is the highest-ranked card; in others, the ace is higher...

 of spades
Queen
Queen (playing card)
The Queen is a playing card with a picture of a queen on it. The usual rank of a queen is as if it were 12 ....

 of spades
10 of spades
9 of spades

For the purpose of play, the jack of clubs becomes a spade during the playing of this hand. This expands the trump suit to the seven cards named above and reduces the suit of the same color (sometimes referred to as the next suit) by one card (the jack is loaned to the trump suit). The same principles are observed for whatever suit is named trump. Remembering this temporary transfer of the next suit's jack is one of the principal difficulties newcomers have with the game of euchre (See Cheating: Renege, below).

Once the above hand is finished, the jack of clubs ceases to be a spade and becomes a club again unless spades are again named as trump during the playing of the subsequent hand.

Objective and scoring


In euchre, naming trump is sometimes referred to as making, calling, or declaring trump. When naming a suit, a player asserts that his or her partnership intends to win the majority of tricks in the hand (3 of 5 with a 24-card deck, 4 of 7 with 32 cards). A single point is scored when the bid succeeds, and two points are scored if the team that declared trump takes all five tricks. A failure of the calling partnership to win three tricks is referred to as being euchred (also called getting set or getting bumped, again depending on geographical location) and is penalized by giving the opposing partnership two points.
A caller with exceptionally good cards can go alone, or take a loner hand, in which case he or she seeks to win all five tricks without a partner. The partner of a caller in a 'go alone' hand does not play, and if all five tricks are won by the caller the winning team scores four points. If only three or four of the tricks are taken while going alone, then only one point is scored. If euchred while playing alone, the opposing team still only receives two points. (In some places, a euchred lone player is worth 3 points.) There is a recognised option to defend alone, i.e. to attempt to euchre the player going alone by a single player - while difficult, successfully done this is an 8 point hand and will virtually guarantee a win.

The primary rule to remember when playing euchre is that one is never required to trump, but one is required to follow suit if possible to do so: if diamonds are led, a player with diamonds is required to play a diamond. This differs from games such as pinochle
Pinochle
Pinochle or Binocle is a trick-taking game typically for two to four players and played with a 48 card deck. Derived from the card game bezique, players score points by trick-taking and also by forming combinations of cards into melds. It is thus considered part of a "trick-and-meld" category...

.

Calling Round (Naming trump)


Once the cards are dealt and the top card in the kitty is turned over, the upturned card's suit is offered as trump to the players in clockwise order beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. If a player wishes the proposed suit to be named trump, he orders up the dealer and the dealer must add that card to his hand. If all other players pass, the dealer can opt to pick up the card, declaring trump. If the dealer is ordered up or picks up the card, he must discard a card face down in order to return his hand to the appropriate number of cards.

If each player passes in this round, the top card is turned face down and that suit may no longer be chosen as trump. Trump selection proceeds clockwise beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. The dealer is not ordered up in this round. If no suit is chosen in this round, the cards are reshuffled and the deal passes to the player on the dealer's left.

The team that selects trump is known as the makers for the remainder of the hand. The opposing team is known as the "defenders" for the remainder of the hand. The makers must take at least three of the five tricks in the hand in order to avoid being euchred.

Winning tricks


The player to the dealer's left begins play by leading a card. (In some variations, if any player is going alone, the player to that person's left will lead.)

Play continues in clockwise order; each player must follow suit if they have a card of the suit led. The left bower is considered a member of the trump suit and not a member of its native suit.

The player who played the highest trump wins the trick. If no trump were played, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. Players who play neither the suit led nor trump cannot win the trick. The player that won the trick collects the played cards from the table and then leads the next trick.

After all five tricks have been played, the hand is scored. The player to the left of the previous dealer then deals the next hand, and the deal moves clockwise around the table until one partnership scores 10 points and wins the game.

Trump can be called as long as the player has one of the trump suit in their hands, this includes only having the left/or the right bower/both Jacks of said suit.

Going alone (Going solo)


If the player bidding (making trump) has an exceptionally good hand, the player making trump has the option of playing without his or her partner. If the bidder playing alone wins all five tricks in the hand, the team scores four points.

"Going alone","Going Solo", "going all for one," or "playing alone hand" is initiated at the time the bidder orders the upturned card on the kitty to the dealer (on the first round of bidding) or names a suit (during the second round of bidding). The bidder signifies his desire to play alone by stating "alone" or (for example) "clubs alone" or "clubs solo" after bidding. If the dealer selects the top card, he may also declare a loner hand by sliding his discard to her partner. The bidder must make this call before play begins. During a loner, the bidder's partner discards his or her cards, and does not participate in play of the hand.

Another regional variation, especially popular in Canada, and therefore sometimes referred to as 'Canadian Rules', is that if the partner of the dealer orders him/her up (forcing the dealer to pick up the turned card) during the initial bidding, then the dealer is automatically forced out, and the dealer's partner plays a lone hand. This variation is also popular in Croydon, Australia and is referred to as 'bonchre'. It is considered to be fair, since otherwise the makers (specifically the partner of the dealer) would have an unfair degree of knowledge about the distribution of the cards, as well (in the case of the dealer) knowing which card to discard (see voiding).

Depending on regional rules, the lead on the first trick will either remain with the player to the left of the dealer, or switch to the player to the left of the bidder.

The odds of success of a loner bid depend on the lay of the cards and the inactive cards held by the bidder's partner. Nine cards out of twenty-four do not participate in play, making the hand less predictable than otherwise. A hand consisting of the top five cards of the trump suit is mathematically unbeatable from any position; this is sometimes referred to as a lay-down, as a player with such a hand may often simply lay all five cards on the table at once.

The rules of an individual game may state that a player who sweeps, or wins all 5 tricks while going alone/solo gets 4 points, 2 for sweeping and 2 for going alone.

One of the opponents of the lone bidder may say "I defend alone," and his partner must stay out. The lone defender will play alone. Scoring is similar in such a case to a loner hand. Any set or euchre by a single defender going alone is worth 4 points to the defending partnership, or 3 in some regions.

Scoring

Scoring in Euchre Points
Bidding partnership (makers) wins 3 or 4 tricks 1
Bidding partnership (makers) wins 5 tricks 2
Bidder goes alone and wins 3 or 4 tricks 1
Bidder goes alone and wins 5 tricks 4
Bidder goes alone before seeing hand and wins 3 or 4 tricks 1
Bidder goes alone before seeing hand, wins 5 tricks (blind loner) 8
Defenders win 3 or 4 tricks 2
Defenders win 5 tricks 4
Lone defender wins 3 or more tricks 1
Lone defender (vs. lone bidder) wins 3 or more tricks 4
regional variation


The first team to score 10 (sometimes 5, 7, 11, or 15) points wins the game (sometimes called a round). Some players choose to play win by two where there is no winner until a team has more than 10 points and 2 points more than the other team (e.g. 11-9). While score can be kept by using a tally sheet, most euchre players traditionally use the pair of 5 cards for one member of each partnership to keep score. In Western New York
Western New York
Western New York is the westernmost region of the state of New York. It includes the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls, the surrounding suburbs, as well as the outlying rural areas of the Great Lakes lowlands, the Genesee Valley, and the Southern Tier. Some historians, scholars and others...

 and parts of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, it is traditional to use 2 and 3 cards, crossing them to show scores higher than 5. Some euchre players, especially in Indiana and Ohio, use a 6 and a 4. In Australia and New Zealand, where playing to 11 points is common, 5 and 6 cards are used. In all cases, one card is used to cover the other so as to expose the number of pips
Pips
Pips are small but easily countable items. The term is used to describe the dots on dominoes, dice, denote suits, and is the name for the small seeds of some fruits. It could be used as a synonym for dot in most situations, for example morse code....

 corresponding to the team's score.
  • An alternative scoring system removes the point system entirely.


Instead of points, only euchres are counted. These are when the defenders fail to earn a single trick, or when the makers fail to get three tricks (or two tricks if trump was forced). A match can be the first to 3 or 5 euchres. This simplicity can enhance the enjoyment of play. The all-or-nothing element of this system may enhance the game's drama.

Score Keeping


Scores are kept by each team by using two cards—the four card and six card of any suit, with one team choosing a red suit and the other a black suit. Scoring begins using the four card (face up), covered by the six card (face down). Upon winning one, two or four points, the six card (face down) is moved to reveal the appropriate number of suit symbols on the four card (face up). After four points, the four card is placed face down to cover the six card, but revealing five or six suit symbols, depending on the score of that team. After six points are scored, the four card is placed face up over the six card, revealing the total score. If the score moves from four points to six points, the coveted "four/six flip" is announced by the team's score keeper, where the four card is placed faced down and the six card is placed face up.

Scores can also be kept by using the two card and the three card from any suit. Scoring begins with the top symbol of the two card showing "one", the other symbol covered in column form by the face-down three card. "Two" points are denoted by the two card being placed on top to the face-down three card. Flip the cards over to show "three" points. "Four" points is displayed by exposing only the top symbol of the two card and all three symbols of the three card, again in column form. "Crossing" the two cards always denotes five points, either as both cards are crossed face-down for "five", or as the face-down three covers and crosses the face-up two, showing just the top symbol; "five + one" to make "six". "Seven" is denoted by placing the two card face-up over the crossed, face-down three card. Flip the cards, maintaining the cross, for "eight". "Nine" is shown by both cards being face-up and crossed; four symbols showing plus five for the cross.

Sprouting


In score keeping, sometimes a portion of the spades, diamonds, hearts or clubs symbols on the score cards are revealed, in addition to the symbols fully revealed to indicate the score. These partially revealed symbols, which are not included in the total score, are called "sprouts." The purpose of revealing "sprouts" is superstitious and believed to give good fortune to the scoring team. In some regions, such as the Midwestern US, "sprouting" is tolerated. In other regions, such as the South (Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi), "Sprouting" is considered poor taste and not allowed.

Betting


Betting in euchre can be done on a per trick basis. An additional bet may be based on a per bump basis. What constitutes a bump can be determined on a house rules. In general a bump occurs when the calling team fails to attain three tricks but for betting purposes a bump can also be assigned by: failure to sweep a lone hand, committing table talk
Table talk (cards)
In certain card games, table talk is communication by a player with another player with the cards in their hand, contrary to the rules of the game...

, or by being caught reneging. Getting euchred on a lone hand may constitute two bumps. Bumps can be tracked with chits such as pennies piled next to the score cards. In a euchre game where bets are placed the table may agree on "a buck a trick and a buck a bump" for instance. Bets are settled at the end of each game.
It is also a common betting practice to bet by points - e.g. "a buck a point." At the end of the game (which depends on the variation; some games end at the first team to reach 10 or 12 points, etc.), the losing team owes the winning team the difference in points based on the monetary value set per point.

Skunking


If one team beats the other without the losing team winning any rounds (10-0), the winning team is said to have skunked the other team.

Stealing-the-deal


When you steal the deal the other team automatically gets two points in some regions, in others it is simply allowed and does not constitute cheating. To steal the deal, the partner of the previous dealer collects the cards, shuffles and deals as normal. If the opponent team does not notice that they have been skipped before dealing is finished (usually defined as when the card being called on for trump is flipped over) then game play proceeds as normal. If the opponent team notices, they must say something which indicates this, and the deal is returned to the player who would normally deal next in the rotation. Normally there is no penalty for attempting to steal the deal, successful or not.

Cross-Boarding


Unscrupulous partners are known to increase their chances of winning tricks by cooperative communication which is not allowed in play. Outright verbal cross-boarding is commonly known as "table talk
Table talk (cards)
In certain card games, table talk is communication by a player with another player with the cards in their hand, contrary to the rules of the game...

" or "kibbitzing." This can take the form of:
  • Innocuous code words to tell what cards are in the player's own hand or to query what cards are in the partner's hand or what trump to declare. E.g. "You look so LOVELY tonight." Translation: I have a lot of hearts in my hand. Call hearts as trump.
  • Secret gestures. Some examples: loud cough means partner should pass; scratching the right side of your face tells your partner you have the right bower (similar for left side); placing your cards face down during bidding is an invitation for your partner to go alone; discussing golf
    Golf
    Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

     indicates that clubs should be called; twisting your ring or ring finger usually means your partner should call diamonds.

If crossboarding is called, depending on local rules, points may be given to the team calling out the infraction, or the hand may be simply disqualified and re-dealt by the next player in order. The player accused of cheating may or may not be given a chance to refute the charge.
Some variations allow (or at least accept the inevitability of) the following form of non-verbal communication: A player may gratuitously hesitate before passing to signal to his partner that his cards are helpful to the offered trump, but are not sufficient to guarantee a win. This adds an additional element of strategy in that players may bluff hesitation to discourage the opponent from calling the offered trump. In some regions, overt table talk is allowed as both teams have equal opportunity to benefit from the information.

Inspecting the kitty


Under no circumstances may any player look at the cards in the kitty, also known as the "down pile." The hand is immediately declared dead and the other team is awarded 2 points. However, in some regions, playing "bottoms/farmers/kitty" is allowed. When trump is being called, a player can ask for "bottoms/farmers/kitty." The player must show that three of the cards in his hand are 9s or 10s, and he then trades his dealt cards for the 3 downturned kitty cards. He also forfeits any right to call trump. Playing bottoms/farmers/kitty is announced at the beginning of the game, along with "stick the dealer." Another variation popular in Michigan is "Ace no face" where a player may take the bottoms when they have a single ace and no face cards.

Renege


If a player does not follow suit when he is able to (usually by playing a trump card instead), it is considered a renege, and the opposing team is rewarded two points if it is caught in later tricks of the same hand. A variation on calling out a renege is that if more than one card of the reneged suit is played afterward, the infraction may only be called on the first instance; if it is not called until the second instance it does not count. A cheating or strategic player often reneges purposely in order to win a trick if they think the opposing team will not catch the renege. However reneges can also be unintentional, where a player misreads some of his/her cards, most commonly by misinterpreting the left bower as being of its native suit, but are still callable by opponents as reneging. If a player reneges when the opposing player is going alone, that team may be awarded 4 points instead of 2, depending upon region. In those areas, purposely reneging when the opposing player is going alone to prevent them from getting the full 4 points is explicitly allowed but considered somewhat underhanded, akin to stealing the deal.

Variations in play

For more detail and many more variations, see Euchre game variations
Euchre game variations
This article deals with variations in game playing. For a description on variations in game rules and terminology, see Euchre variations.Euchre has many variations in game playing. Some of them are designed for two, three, five or even six hands...

.


Euchre is a game with a large number of variant versions and alternate rules. They include versions for two to six players, as well as changes in cards used, bidding, play, and scoring.

Many of these variations are specific to a particular region. In the US, one popular variation is Stick the Dealer (also called Screw the Dealer), where the dealer is forced to call trump if no suit is chosen after the second round of bidding. Another popular variation is Farmer's Hand, or No Ace No Face No Trump where a player with a bad hand can force a re-deal or exchange his low cards for the kitty. In Australia and New Zealand, playing to 11 rather than 10 points is common. In southwestern England and Guernsey, variations with a joker as highest trump are played. In southern Ontario after the dealer turns up the top card on the kitty if the first player to the left passes and the dealer's partner would like to order up the dealer, the dealer's partner must play alone.

Two players (partner-less)


In this version there are no partners. Each player will end up with four hidden cards, keeping strategy very similar to the partnered-version.

The Deal:
Use a normal deck of 9-10-J-Q-K-A in all four suits. The dealer places a card face down in front of the other player, and then in front of the dealer, alternating until each player has a row of four face-down cards. The dealer then places a face-up card on top of each face-down card, so now each player has 8 cards. The dealer then deals four more cards to each player, which they pick up and hold in their hand.

The non-dealer looks at their 4 hand cards, 4 show cards, and the opponents 4 show cards, and bids the number of tricks they think they can take, with a minimum bid of 7. The dealer can bid higher or pass. The highest bidder sets the trump suit, and the non-dealer goes first.

Players can play any card from their hand, or any of their face-up cards. If a face-up card is played that had covered a face-down card, the face-down card is flipped over and becomes a face-up card, and becomes eligible for play on the next trick.

Strategy:
It is important to remember to keep as many cards in your hand as possible, trying to play the face-up cards whenever possible. When a player doesn't have any cards in their hand, it is very easy for the opponent to lead off-suit and win.It sometimes better to sacrifice a higher-value face-up card than to give up the cards in your hand. If you are out of trump, it is sometimes wise to again sacrifice a higher-value face-up card in hopes of turning up trump and taking the lead.

Scoring:
  • Points are only awarded or lost for the number of tricks bid.
  • One point is awarded for 7 tricks, 2 points for 8 tricks…up to 6 points for all 12 tricks. If a player bids 7 tricks, then takes all 12, they only get 1 point for the 7 tricks they bid.
  • If a player doesn’t get the tricks they bid, they lose the same number of points as they would have been awarded had they won.


First player to get 10 points wins the game.

Three Players (Cut-throat) (partner-less)


3 player or "cut-throat" Euchre is another game variant that involves a deck of 10 J Q K A of all four suits, omitting the 9 in each suit that is used in normal four person play. In this variant, all players start at 300 points and play down to zero, with the first player to reach zero winning the game. In some parts of Ohio, players may start at 500 points.

Each player is dealt 5 cards, with the dealer turning up the card to be considered for trump. If a player calls trump, the game becomes a 2-on-1 battle, with the caller playing against the two other players. The caller must take 3 or more tricks to win the call. If the other two players combine to take 3 or more tricks, this constitutes a Euchre.
  • Scoring: If a player calls trump and takes 3 or 4 tricks, that player loses 10 points (remember, in this variant, losing points is the goal). If a player calls trump and takes 2, 1 or no tricks, the other two players have Euchred the caller, and they both lose 20 points. If the caller takes all 5 tricks, they lose 50 points. The first person to lose all 300 of their points wins the game.

  • Strategy: Strategy in cut-throat Euchre is similar to strategy for going loner in standard 4 person play. Since the caller has no partner, the caller should be sure to either have a small to medium amount of the more powerful trump cards, or have a large amount of trump, preferably with only 2 suits. Playing without 9s in all suits inflates the value of all hands, so be mindful not to get too loose with calling trump. When playing against a caller, pay attention to what the other non-calling player is playing, and keep high value non trump cards of the suit that your "partner" is not playing to increase your chances of taking the 5th trick, which is almost always a non-trump trick.

Six players


Use a deck of three red suits and three black suits.
The players divide into three teams of two players. Teammates should be sitting directly across the table from each other (there should be two players between partners on either side).

There will be three bowers: one right and two left. In both suits of the same color as trump, the jack is a left bower; the first one played outranks the second. Otherwise the rank of cards is as in normal play.

Scoring:
  • If a team calls trump and wins the hand (with 3 or 4 tricks), they get 1 point.
  • If a team calls trump and ties another team (each with 2 tricks), then both teams get 1 point.
  • If a team calls trump and does not win the hand, the winner gets 2 points (if both other teams get two tricks they are both awarded 2 points).
  • If a team takes all 5 tricks they receive 2 points (whether or not they called trump).
  • If a person should choose to play the hand ALONE (without their partner), they can get four points by taking all 5 tricks.
  • If they go alone and take less than 5 tricks, standard scoring applies.


First team to get 10 points wins the game.

Six players - Alternative


Use two standard Euchre decks of A, K, Q, J, 10 and 9 with a total of 48 cards.
The players then divide into two teams of three players each. The teammates sit every other seat rotating around the table so teammates don't sit next to each other. The dealer deals out all of the cards, giving every player eight cards in their hand.

Most of the rules are the same as with regular Euchre, except how trump is made and how scoring is done. Both are more like bid Euchre. You bid how many tricks you can get going around the table once. The winning bidder picks the trump. The minimum bid is three, and the loners are Little and Big Shooters. With both you go alone, the only difference is in Little Shooter you get partner's best from both of your teammates. With both shooters, the player must get all tricks or they get set.
Another difference is if the same card is played, such as both rights bowers, the first one laid is the winner.

Scoring:
  • Teams get one point for every trick they get, whether they made trump, or not.
  • If a team doesn't make their bid, then they don't get any points and they lose as many points as their bid.
  • If a player calls a Little Shooter, and they get every trick then their team is awarded 12 points.
  • If a player calls a Big Shooter, and they get every trick, then their team is awarded 24 points.


To win, a team has to get 32 points on a turn when they make trump.
If the team gets 32 points didn't make trump, then they need 34 points to win.

Going alone six man:
  • If a player goes alone, and they get every trick they are awarded 16 points.
  • If a player goes alone and does not get all 8, they lose eight points and the other team is awarded their tricks.
  • For example: going alone positive 16 if won, or 3 tricks for the opposing team and - 8 for going alone, a 11 point swing.

Eight players


The players divide into four teams of two players. Teammates should be sitting directly across the table from each other (there should be three people between partners on either side). There will be 4 bowers, 1 right and 3 left.

The rank of Trump goes as follows:
  • Bowers: (Jacks of same color as trump)
  • Right Bower (jack of trump)
  • 1st played (left Bower) jack
  • 2nd played (left Bower) jack
  • 3rd played (left Bower) jack
  • Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9.


Scoring:
  • If a team calls trump and wins the hand (with 2, 3 or 4 tricks), they get 1 point.
  • If a team calls trump and ties another team (each with 2 tricks), then both teams get 1 point.
  • If a team calls trump and does not win the hand, the winner gets 2 points (if 2 other teams get two tricks they are both awarded 2 points).
  • If a team takes all 5 tricks they receive 2 points (whether or not they called trump). If a person should choose to play the hand alone, they can get four points by taking 4 or 5 tricks.
  • If they go alone and take less than 4 tricks, standard scoring applies.


First team to get 10 points wins the game.

Terminology


Euchre terminology varies greatly from region to region, and is highly colloquial. Some examples include:
  • The Sherry: calling it with two trump: king or below. "One for your partner"

  • Ace-no-face: A hand with one Ace and the rest of the cards are 9s and 10s.

  • Bar: In some areas, particularly central Ohio the word "bar" is substituted for the word "bower". It is possibly a perversion of the word bower caused simply by people mishearing it.

  • Cut thin to win: Passing the deck after shuffling to the previous dealer to allow them to cut the deck in an attempt to prevent any stacking of the deck.

  • Closed Doors/In The Barn/All But: When a team is one point away from winning and flip both point cards down to show 9 points, often accompanied by using a hand gesture to milk the cows or putting the cards behind the ears.

  • Don't tickle it, Don't send a boy to do a man's job, Go high or go home or Act like you want it: A phrase indicating that a player should not use a low (easily over-trumped) trump card to trump a trick when that player has both a low and high trump in their hand.

  • Dead Set Legend: Winning all tricks on a five card deal while playing cut-throat Euchre.

  • Driver's Seat: Being in the "Driver's seat" refers to being the first player to the left of the dealer, therefore the player to begin the round.

  • Dud Four (Dudley Moore): Coming one card from getting a dead set legend in Cut-throat Euchre and then getting a bad hand and losing all 4 trick the next hand

  • Dutchman: Having both bowers and the Ace of trump in the same hand; this is a guarantee of winning at least three tricks. Also called a loner hand or lone wolf. The 9th commandment of euchre requires going alone on this hand if possible.

  • Euchre Bustle: A name used for a tournament of Euchre.

  • Euchre/Getting "Set": Occurs when the opposing team wins more tricks than the team who called the suit.

  • Farmer's Hand or Farm Hand: A hand consisting of only non-trump 9s and 10s, the worst possible hand (referring to the fact that the 9s & 10s resemble rows of crops). In some variations, calling a farmers hand allows that player to exchange three cards for the bottom three cards in the kitty or "down pile," which are the extra cards left when determining trump at the beginning of each hand, provided he/she shows their entire hand before doing so, and, in some variations, must forfeit rights to call trump.

  • Fishing Out: The player to lead can on the first hand play a high card (typically an Ace) of a different suit from the trump, gambling that the opposing team will have at least one card each from that suit. The player would therefore say 'lets see what we can fish out'. Also referred to as Finding the Outside, a pitching term borrowed from baseball
    Baseball
    Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

    .

  • Four-suited: A hand of cards containing cards of all four suits, with the cards typically having a low rank. A player might claim they were five-suited during a hand if they had only one low trump card, and a remaining hand of low off-suit cards.

  • Giving the Lead: Is when a player plays a low trump because their partner was the one who bid trump and should be able to win the trick. This gives their partner the lead off for the next hand.

  • Guarded Left or Protected Left: Having the left bower and another trump card in the player's hand; the left bower is protected because the player can sacrifice the lower trump card, if the right bower is lead, leaving the left as the highest remaining trump card (i.e. guaranteed to take its trick).

  • Hook: In some regions the term "hook" is used instead of bower, i.e. "right hook" and "left hook", due to the fact that the "J" on the Jack resembles a hook.

  • The Kingsley: Occurs when a player has a combination of five nines and tens in his or her hand.

  • Lay-Down: A hand that will automatically win all five tricks if played in the correct order; ex. a Dutchman plus, the king and queen of that suit,any other two trump cards, or one more trump card and an off-trump ace (when that player has the lead). Also called a Loner, or Lone Wolf, because a player with such a hand will typically opt to go alone. May also refer to any set of cards that are often played simultaneously when the player knows he will win all the tricks he lays for. This however may only be done within the same suit without giving up a slight advantage to the other players.

  • Little Benny: Winning a suited or partially-suited trick with a relatively weak play (i.e. 9, 10, J, Q). Named after Ben "Beets" Yarbrough and his "little Benny", an oxymoron due to the fact that "little Benny" is actually enormous, like the effect of winning a trick with a weak card.

  • Milking the Cow: A celebratory gesture done when a team is in the barn (have 9 points) in which one partner interlocks his fingers with his thumbs pointing down while the other pretend the thumbs are udders and milk them. Can be considered bad sportsmanship.

  • No Face-No Ace-No trump: A hand composed solely of 9s and 10s and no trump. The player possessing such a hand is free to call a mis-deal.

  • Pass on Grass: A slang way to signify one is passing due to his or her cards, which are mediocre or worse (i.e. when you are dealt "grass," you pass).

  • Perfect Game: When a team wins 13-0. This can be done by winning a loner hand on a score of 9-0. Different from a shutout which refers to a score of 10-0 or 11-0. Some variants allow a higher spread, if the final hand was won defending alone against a player going alone (17-0), but defending alone is a regional variant, and is such a scenario is highly unlikely to ever occur. Also referred to as a "Subaru" especially when it occurs two games in a row - terminology used most often when betting by points, in which case the losing team must pay double the amount.

  • Pulling Trump: When the player left of the dealer plays the right on the first hand in an attempt to rid the other players of their trump cards; usually done when a player does not have both the right and left and therefore plays the right in the hopes of "fishing" the left out. Pulling trump is also used when a player has the left and ace but not the right. By playing either one that player is forcing whoever has the right to play it in order to win the trick; making whichever one the player kept the highest remaining trump card.

  • The Ray Charles: A winning loner hand where the person holding the hand has but to lay all the cards down at once in any order. Hence, the player might as well be blind. Almost always, the Ray Charles consists of the right, the left, the ace, the king, and the queen of trump.

  • The Ribbit: When a player attempts to go alone and gets Euchred.

  • Riding in with spurs on: Winning the game by either sweeping or euchring opponents; to win without being in the barn.

  • Screw the Dealer or Stroking the Dealer or Stick the Dick or Stick the Dealer: An optional rule that states that if trump is failed to be called it must be called by the dealer, who is last to act. Mainly used as a method to speed up the game, as it eliminates throw-in hands.

  • Stopper or Blocker: Winning one trick to stop the opposing team (who called the trump suit) from winning all five tricks.

  • Throw-in: When trump is failed to be called after two rounds around the table, a throw-in is declared. The dealing partnership forfeits the hand, and dealership is passed.

  • Trump the Partner: Refers to a situation where the last player plays the card that wins a trick that his partner would have otherwise won. Usually refers to a situation where the partner has an Ace that follows suit and the player plays a trump card, but playing a higher trump or non-trump than the partner's qualifies. It is generally accepted strategy to throw a low off-suit card rather than a trump when the partner is guaranteed to win the trick otherwise.

  • Turn down a bower, lose for an hour: A superstitious saying, commonly said when trying to intimidate a player that has turned down a bower as trump.

  • Two-suited: A hand of only cards of two suits, or a player with such. This allows the player to often avoid following suit, which can be very advantageous. A player calling trump on the up card will often discard a lone card of a particular suit, even an ace, in order to achieve this advantage. (Also known as dual-suited, double-suited, or short-suited). Also called a "void", but in reference to the suit one is MISSING. e.g. "I have a void in hearts." or "I discarded that king to get a void."

  • Up-cut: Playing a higher trump on a trick which was previously cut. (Also known as Over-trumping, Up-trumping or Re-cutting)

  • Caribou: Alternative name for Euchre discovered in Canada.

  • Holmes County or Lone Bone: Refers to a player who has been euchred while playing a loner hand. The players who euchre may say "You just got sent to Holmes County." Although unsure of when the term came into use, the term refers to a county in Ohio known for its Amish community. Since the Amish are famous for their old-fashioned work ethic, the joke behind the term is that the player should go to Holmes County to work, i.e. saying "you just got sent to Holmes County" is similar to saying "You need to work on how you play Euchre". Reportedly master euchre players who get "sent" to Holmes County three times in one weekend of play must personally visit Holmes County, OH to "atone" for his/her poor play.

  • Sandbag Hand, Euchre Hand, Laying in the Weeds or Squatting : Purposely passing when holding a very good hand (e.g. holding multiple jacks and aces in a variety of suits), with the expectation of euchring the opposition when they order up a suit; or purposely passing when holding a very good hand with the expectation of sticking the dealer(also known as Passing Dirty).

See also

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  • Boston
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    Boston is an 18th century trick-taking card game played throughout the Western world apart from Britain, forming an evolutionary link between Hombre and Solo Whist...

  • Clabber
    Clabber
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  • Dirty clubs
  • Euchre game variations
    Euchre game variations
    This article deals with variations in game playing. For a description on variations in game rules and terminology, see Euchre variations.Euchre has many variations in game playing. Some of them are designed for two, three, five or even six hands...

  • Hoss card game
    Hoss card game
    Hoss is a four-player card game derivative of Euchre well known in Amish and Mennonite communities. This 32-card 4 player game was introduced into the United States by way of early German settlers of the State of Pennsylvania and has been passed down from generation to generation by word of...

  • Haus

External links