Euchre


Basic Rules:

Objective: Each partnership tries to win the most tricks.

Players: Four-hand partnership with partners sitting opposite of each other.

Cards: A pack of 32 cards created by discarding all twos through sixes from a regular deck of 52. (Variation: Use a pack of 24 cards created by discarding all twos through eights from a regular deck of 52.)

The highest trump is the jack, called the right bower. The second-highest is the other jack of the same color, called the left bower. For example, if diamonds are trump, the JD is the right bower and the JH is the left bower. The rest of the trump suit ranks A (third-best), K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7. For nontrump suits, the rank is: A (high), K, Q, J (if not left bower), 10, 9, 8, 7.

Deal: Each player is dealt five cards in batches of 3-2 or 2-3. (The dealer must adhere to whichever plan he starts with.) The next card in the pack is turned face up on the table as the turn-up.

Making: The turn-up proposes the trump suit for that deal, but it only becomes trump is one of the players accepts it. Starting with the player on the dealer's left, each player in turn may pass or may accept the suit of the turn-up. An opponent of the dealer accepts by saying, "I order it up." The dealer's partner accepts by saying. "I assist." The dealer accepts by saying, "I take it up."

If all four players pass, the turn-up is turned face down. The dealer passes by saying, "I turn it down." Then each player in turn has a second chance to pass or name a trump suit. The suit named must be different than the suit of the turn-up. This process does not have to make it all the way around the table to each player, it stops as soon as trump is made by someone.

Whoever chose the trump suit by either accepting the turn-up or declaring the suit in the second round, becomes the maker. The maker has the right to say, "I play alone," and his partner discards his hand and stays out of play. Either opponent of a lone maker may say, "I defend alone," and his partner stays out of the hand.

Play: If the turn-up is accepted, the dealer has the right to use it as part of his hand, exchanging it for a card in his hand. Opening lead is made by the player to the left of the dealer. If there is a lone maker, the player to the lone maker's left has the first lead.

The hands are plyed out in five tricks. A player must follow suit if able; if unable to follow suit, he may play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump played to it, or by the highest card of the suit led if no trump are present. The winner of the trick leads the next trick.

Scoring: Only the team winning three or more tricks scores. Winning all five tricks is called march. When the making team fails to win the majority, they have been euchred.

The making side scores 1 point for three or four tricks or 2 points for march. A maker playing alone scores 1 point for three or four tricks or 4 points for march.

Opponents of the maker score 2 points for a euchre. When there is a lone defender, euchre scores 2 points and march scores 4 points. Usually, each team keeps track of their points won by using two low cards, such as a six and a four, by exposing a dot for each point won.

Game: The team to first reach a total of 10 points wins a game. For a shorter game, play is to 7 or 5 points.

Misdeal: The same dealer redeals if a card is exposed or if the pack is found to be incorrect.

False Declaration: If a player uses the wrong term in accepting the turn-up, there is no penalty, his accepting is still valid. In the second round, if a player names the suit of the rejected turn-up, his call is void and his team may not make the trump.

Declaration out of turn: If a player declares out of turn, except in saying "Pass," his call is void and his team may not make the trump.

Wrong number of cards: If before the first trick is gathered, if any hand is found to have the wrong number of cards, there is a new deal by the same dealer. If the error is found later, play continues and the offending team cannot score for that deal.

Lead out of turn: If a player leads out of turn and the trick is gathered, it stands as regular. Otherwise the bad lead becomes an exposed card and other cards played to it may be retracted without penalty. At the next proper turn of the offending side to lead, the opponent to his right may name the suit to be led. This penalty does not apply to a lone player, but he may be required to retract a lead out of turn.

Exposed Card: If a player (not playing alone) exposes a card from his hand except in proper play, he must leave it face up on the table and must play it at his first legal chance.

Illegal Information: If a player looks at a quitted trick or gives illegal information to his partner, then the next time the offending team has the lead, the opponent to the right of the leader may name the suit to be led.

Revoke: Failure to follow suit when able to is a revoke. A player may correct his revoke before a trick is gathered. Otherwise it stands as an established revoke, meaning the opponents of the offender may score 2 points or may deduct 2 points from the revoking team (deduct 4 points if the offending team was a lone player).


Three-Handed Euchre:

(aka: Cutthroat)

Each player is for himself. The trump maker plays alone against the other two, who temporarily become partners. The maker scores 1 point for winning three or four tricks, and 3 points for march. If he is euchred each opponent scores 2 points. The rules for irregularities are applied as in the basic rules above, but due allowance is made for the difference between the maker, as a lone hand, and the opponents, as a partnership.


Two-Handed Euchre:

Same as in the basic rules above, using the 24 card deck.

Railroad Euchre:

There some various rules that can be added to the basic rules above to help speed up the game.

Joker: The joker is added to the pack and is ranked as the highest trump. If the turn-up is the joker, it proposes hearts for trump.

Calling for best: A lone player is entitled to discard one card face down and call for his partner's best card as a replacement. The partner must make his own choice of best card without help from the lone player. When a player "assists" and plays alone, the dealer is entitled to give him the turn-up.

Laps: If a team reaches a total score of more than required to win the game, the excess points are can be carried forward into the next game.

Slams: A game counts double if the losing side has scored no points.


Call-Ace Euchre:

Players: Four, five or six may play, but each is for himself.

Cards and Deal: Are the same as in the basic rules above.

Making: Trump is made by ordering up, taking up, or naming a suit in the second round, as in regular Euchre. The maker then calls out any suit (which may or may not be trump) and the holder of the best card dealt in that suit becomes his partner. At the start of play, the maker will not know who his partner is. The other player's cannot be sure if they are the maker's partner either, unless they hold the ace of the suit called. The other's must say nothing to reveal the fact that they are or might be the maker's partner. The identity of the maker's partner is not revealed until the played cards make it obvious.

The maker has the option of calling alone. He also might turn out to be a lone player if he himself holds the highest card of the suit he called.

Scoring: If a maker proves to have a partner, scoring is as in regular Euchre. When the maker plays alone, he wins from or loses to each of the other players. The only difference from four-handed Euchre is that for five or six players, a march scores 3 points. Each member of each team receives the full amount for making or for euchre.


Hasenpfeffer:

Players: Four play in two partnerships.

Cards: The pack consists of 25 cards, created by discarding all twos through eights and adding in the joker. Cards rank as in the basic rules with the joker always being the highest trump.

Deal: Each player is dealt six cards, three at a time. The last card becomes the widow and is placed face down on the table.

Bidding: The player to the dealer's left bids first, and each player has one chance to bid. Bids are a number from one to six. The high bidder picks up the widow, names trump, and discards one card face down. The high bidder also leads to the first trick and play follows that of standard Euchre.

Scoring: If the bidding team wins at least as many tricks as the bid, it scores 1 point for each trick it wins. If it falls short of the bid, it is set back (the amount of the bid is deducted from its score). A team my have a negative score, called being in the hole. A game is +10 points.

Note: If all four players pass, the player holding the joker must show it and play a bid of three.


Double Hasenpfeffer:

Players: Four or six, in two partnerships.

Cards: A 48-card Pinochle pack is used, ranking as in the basic rules, with no joker. All the cards are dealt.

Bidding: Each player has one bid, as in Hasenpfeffer, but the lowest bid is for half of the possible tricks. If the first three players pass, the dealer must bid at least the minimum. The high bidder can elect to play alone. If he does, he may discard two cards and have them replaced with two cards from his partner's hand. His partner is then out of play for that hand, but they still score as partners.

Game: A game is 62 points. A dealer who bid the minimum can only be set back half his bid. A lone player scores or loses double.


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