The classic cardgame Euchre.
Play in a team and try to take the most tricks with your partner!
These are the rules used for this version of Euchre. I realize there are many variations possible, so this might not be the exact way you're used to playing. There is no bidding in this version, so it's Knock Euchre, not Bid Euchre.
*** Overview ***
Euchre is a trick taking game with a trump, played by four players in teams of two. The basic play is similar to Whist, i.e. each player plays one card, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick, unless someone has played a card of the trump suit. An important difference from Whist is that one of the teams names the trump and must then win the majority of the tricks in that hand. The game is played over several rounds until one team has gotten 10 points.
*** Dealing ***
Euchre uses a non standard deck of 24 cards. It's made up of the 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of each suit. Some variations also use the Joker, but this version does not. The initial dealer is chosen randomly, in the next round the player to the dealer's left is the new dealer and so on. Five cards are dealt to each player in two rounds of dealing. Once all players have their cards, the top card of the deck is turned face up, so it's ready for the next part of the game, which is...
*** Naming Trump (Calling Round) ***
After the cards are dealt they players must pick what will be the trump suit. At this point there is one face up card on the table, the suit of that card is the potential trump suit. Going clockwise around the table, starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player can either say "Pass", meaning they don't want the suit to become trump, or they can say "Order it up" in which case the suit of the card becomes trump and the calling round ends immediately. The face up card on the table goes to the dealer which takes it and discards one of the cards from his hand and then the game is ready to begin. The team that picked the trump are known as the "Makers" and the other team are known as the "Defenders".
If all players pass on the trump card then there's another round of naming trumps, where a player may simply name which suit he wants to be trump, or say pass. If all players pass on this round as well then the deal is ruined and a new hard is dealt.
In some variations of Euchre the dealer's partner can't name trump and play with a partner, he must play alone. We don't use that rule in this version though.
*** Going alone ***
After naming trumps, every player has the opportunity of saying that he wants to play alone, instead of with his partner. If a player does this his partner will put down his cards and not participate in the rest of that round. It is allowed for a player in both teams to do this in the same round, in which case there will only be two active players playing in the round. Playing alone can help you to score more points, more about that in the Scoring section below.
*** Ranking of trump cards ***
The trump ranking in Euchre is quite different from most other trump taking games. The trump suit ranks higher than the other suits, but within the trump suit the Jack (known as the Right Bower) is the highest card. Then, in a weird twist, the Jack in the other suit that's the same color as the trump is the next best trump card. E.g. if spades are trump then the Jack of clubs would be the next best card, known as the Left Bower). After that the rest of the trump cards follow in order from high to low, Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9. The Left Bower is considered for all purposes as a member of the trump suit. Just to make it clearer, if trump suit was Hearts, the ranking of trump cards would be:
- Jack of Hearts (Right Bower)
- Jack of Diamonds (Left Bower)
- Ace of Hearts
- King of Hearts
- Queen of Hearts
- 10 of Hearts
- 9 of Hearts
*** Playing ***
Play is like in most trick taking games. A player leads with a suit, other players must follow suit if they have it, but are otherwise free to play any card if they have nothing in the lead suit. Cards are ranked from high to low, trump beats lead suit, lead suit beats other suits. The person who takes a trick leads in the next trick.
*** Scoring ***
Now remember that the team that picked trumps are the "Makers" and the other team is the "Defenders". The Makers must win 3 or more tricks to get any points. Both teams can also gain more points if a player in the team goes alone. The scoring table is as follows:
Makers win 3 or 4 tricks: Makers get 1 point.
Makers win 5 tricks: Makers get 2 points.
Maker goes alone and wins 3 or 4 tricks: Makers get 1 point.
Maker goes alone and wins 5 tricks: Makers get 4 points.
Defenders win 3 or more tricks: Defenders get 2 points.
Defender goes alone and wins 3 or more tricks: Defendres get 4 points.
*** Winning ***
A team wins once it has gotten 10 points and is at least two points above the other team. So, if a team would get 10 and the other team had 9 the game would continue until the score was 11-9 (or 12-10 etc).