The 52 Card Games project is my first 52 Weeks project. I love card games, and I love learning new games and playing the games I love. For this project, I’m documenting a new card game each Friday. In case you’ve missed any of the first eleven games, check out all of the previous 52 CARD GAMES.
Euchre. . . I hardly know ‘er! Hope you enjoy this week’s classic:
Any player can deal the first round and then the dealer should rotate clockwise. The player to the left cuts the cards or allows the cards to be dealt without being cut (shown by knocking the cards).
The dealer deals 2 cards to the first player, 3 cards to the 2nd player, 2 cards to the 3rd player, and 3 cards to themselves. Then they deal 3 cards to the first player, 2 cards to the 2nd player, 3 cards to the 3rd player, and 2 cards to the 4th player. Essentially the five cards are dealt to each player over the course of two rounds, alternating two and three cards to every other player and then 3 to 2 cards the 2nd round so that at the end each player has 5 cards.
After the cards are dealt, the dealer turns the next card face up. The suit of that card will help to determine the trump suit. The remaining four cards aren’t used.
Euchre is a trick taking game. The goal is for the team to win at least three of the five tricks, and the team can win an extra bonus point if they win all five tricks.
Selecting the trump suit and identifying the “makers.” Starting to the dealer’s left, the first player has the option of accepting the up-card as the trump suit or passing. The “makers” team is the one that selects the trump, which means they are committing to try to win at least three tricks.
The selection process goes as follows:
- The player to dealer’s left may either pass or say “I order it up”
- If the first player passes, the dealer’s partner may either pass or say “”I order it up”
- If the first two players pass, the player to dealer’s right may either pass or say “I order it up”
- If all three other players pass, the dealer may either take up the up-card, saying “I take it up”, or pass by saying “over” and turning the up-card face-down.
If the player to the dealer’s left or his or her partner or the dealer’s partner “order it up” or if dealer decides “to take it up,” the suit of the up-card becomes trump; the dealer adds the up-card to his or her hand and discards a card face-down.
If all four players pass, the up-card is turned face-down, and there is a second round in which players have the option to make any suit trump, other than the suit of the up-card. Again the player to dealer’s left speaks first and may either pass again or name a suit. If the first player passes the second may name a suit or pass, and so on. The dealer cannot pass a 2nd time and must name a suit.
Note that the trump making process ends as soon as someone accepts or makes trump (rather than passing). That player’s side are the makers and the other side are the defenders.
After the trump suit has been chosen but before the first play, any player may announce that they are playing alone. The partner of a lone player puts her or his cards face-down and takes no part in the play.
Either a member of the makers side or a defender may play alone. It is even possible that a maker and a defender choose to play alone, in which case there will be only two active players.
If all four players are playing, the player to the dealer’s left starts the first trick. If one player is playing alone, the person to that player’s left starts the first trick. If two players are playing alone, the defender starts the first trick.
A player can play any card to start the trick, and each player after them in clockwise order must play a card of the same suit as the first card if they have one. A player who cannot follow suit may play any card.
Whichever player plays the highest card of the suit wins the trick (unless a trump was played, and in that case the highest trump card wins). The winner of each trick starts the next trick.
If all four players are playing, then the round is scored as follows:
- If the makers win 3 or 4 tricks, they score one point.
- If the makers win all 5 tricks, they score two points.
- If the makers take fewer than three tricks, they are euchred, and the defenders score two points.
If a member of the makers’ team is playing alone and wins all 5 tricks, the team scores 4 points instead of 2 – otherwise the scores are as above.
If a member of the defenders’ team is playing alone and succeeds in winning at least 3 tricks, thereby euchring the makers, the defenders score 4 points instead of 2 – otherwise the scores are as above.
Ending the Game
The game is played to 10 points, so the first team to reach 10 or more points wins the game. Each team typically keeps score by using two spare 5s or a 6 and a 4. The cards are arranged on the table so that the number of pips showing signifies the team’s current score.
Have you ever played Euchre?
Play on, players. Have a lovely weekend!