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Euchre

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Euchre Rules

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 the 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 (although he may not name the suit everyone just passed on), or say pass. If the first three players pass on this round as well then the dealer is forced to name a trump. This is the "Stick the dealer" rule, which we added here on April 29th 2020, after a lot of requests! And no, we won't change it back 🙂.

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

The player who orders up trumps, or names trump, is allowed to play alone. If a player chooses this his partner will put down his cards and not participate in the rest of that round. Playing alone can help you to score more points, more about that in the Scoring section below. Note: In previous versions of this game I used to allow every player to go alone. I've since changed that to only allow the player that names or orders up trumps to go alone, as that seems to be more in line with what people are used to doing.

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:

  1. Jack of Hearts (Right Bower)
  2. Jack of Diamonds (Left Bower)
  3. Ace of Hearts
  4. King of Hearts
  5. Queen of Hearts
  6. 10 of Hearts
  7. 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". A team that wins 3 or more tricks wins the hand and gets points, the losing team gets no points. Teams can also gain more points if the player who called trump goes alone. The scoring table is as follows:

Result Makers Defenders
Makers win 3 or 4 tricks. 1 0
Makers win 5 tricks. 2 0
Maker goes alone and wins 3 or 4 tricks. 1 0
Maker goes alone and wins 5 tricks. 4 0
Defenders win 3 or more tricks. 0 2

UPDATE 2016-10-05: Previous versions of the game allowed any player to go alone. After endless emails and endless confusion about the scoring I've decided to change it to what most people want, which is that the player who calls trumps is the only one who can go alone.

Winning

A team wins once it has gotten 10 points. We used to have it that you had to win by at least two points, but we've removed that rule now.

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About Euchre

Author image

This online version of the classic card game Euchre was made by me. My name is Einar Egilsson and over there on the left is my current Facebook profile picture!

Euchre is the 13th game I've made. I've never actually played it in real life, but I've gotten quite a few requests for it from people who like Whist and Spades, so I decided to learn it from Wikipedia and create it. It's been fun to create, similar to some of the other games I've made but with a few twists, like playing alone and having a non-standard deck. I hope you enjoy it :)

The game is made using html+JavaScript+css with jQuery used for the animations. All the graphics used for the game I found at OpenClipArt, a great site with free graphics. The excellent playing card images were made by Nicu Buculei, and the player images were made by Gerald G.

Any comments, questions, ideas for other games or anything else can be sent to admin@cardgames.io.

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This is version 2712 of Euchre.

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