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Players: 4, as 2 teams, partners sit across each other with opposing team member sitting in between.
Euchre game uses a reduced deck of 24 cards: the Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, Tens and Nines of all suits. In the British preset, the Two of Spades is also used.
Dealer deals five cards to each player. The four remaining cards are known as the ‘kitty’ and are placed in a pile face down on the table.
One players is assigned the role of dealer. The dealer turns the top card of the kitty face up this is called the “up-card”. Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, players get the opportunity to decide to make the suit of the up-card the trump suit for the round.
The dealer’s opponents can pass or ‘order it up’ - ‘ordering it up’ means accepting the up-card’s suit as the trump suit. The dealer then takes the up-card into their hand and discards a card from their hand face down onto the bottom of the kitty.
The dealer’s partner’s options depend on whether the British or American preset is being used. He may pass or ‘take it up’ in which case the suit of the up-card is accepted and the dealer takes the card into their hand, in return discarding a card from their hand into the kitty.
If all players pass, players have the opportunity to name a trump suit (except for the suit rejected in the first round), again starting from the dealer’s left. If all players pass at this point, the role of dealer passes to the next player, a new round begins and the process starts over again.
The highest trump card is the Jack of the trump suit (called the ‘right bower’). The next highest trump is the other Jack of the same colour (called the ‘left bower’). The rests of the trump suit come next.
Each player then gets the opportunity to choose to play ‘alone’ for the round. Their partner does not take part in the round.
Play proceeds for five tricks, following standard trick-taking rules.
At the end of the round, teams score points.
The making team scores:
The non-making team scores:
The first team to win a set number of points wins the game. The options are 8, 10, 11 or 15 points.
Alternatively the game can be set to last a number of rounds. The options are
Stick the Dealer
The dealer cannot pass on the second round of trump selection and must choose a suit. This is also known as screwing the dealer.
The Two of Spades is included in the deck and is the highest trump card in the game (the ‘best bower’).
Jacks are special in Euchre, depending on the called trump, the cards rank very differently that other trick games especially two of the jacks i.e. jack of clubs, jack of diamonds, jack of hearts, jack of spades will become highest cards of the called trump and needs to be played when suit led is trump just like you have to follow suit on other led suits. For non-trump suits, aces high still apply. After the cards are dealt, top card is turned and all players in turn get a chance to take the up card. Declaring trump suit happens after no one takes the up card. Trick play commences where player in turn will play one card at a time. More detailed strategy coming soon...
In a trick, each player plays a single card. One player is selected to start, then play proceeds clockwise around the table. If possible, players must play a card which is the same suit as the first card played - this is called ‘following suit’. If a player cannot follow suit, then they may play any card in their hand.
Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.
Cards Games Basics
A deck of cards consists of 52 cards, with 4 distinctive subgroups. Each of these subgroups is recognised by a symbol and are referred to as suits. They consist of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. Each suit contains 13 cards which, generally, are considered in this order, Ace (A), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jacks (J), Queen (Q) and King (K).
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