Euchre Card Game

Euchre Card Game is for two to six players, depending on which version you play. It was the national card game of the United States at one stage. The aim is to achieve five points by winning tricks.

Age: Adults and older children

No. of players: 2 to 6 (depending on the version)

Equipment: One standard deck of cards

Time: 15 minutes+

Aim: To be the first player or team to achieve a given number of points by winning tricks.

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Euchre Card Game (pronounced YOU-ker) is generally played by four players in two partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other. Partners need to listen to their partner's bidding so they do not overbid or choose another trump suit. They also need to watch the cards their partner plays so they do not trump or win a hand which their partner has already won. (See the Glossary if you are confused about any card game terms. The Glossary will open in a new window.)

There are also variations of Euchre Card Game for two to six players, generally without partnerships.

1. The deck is prepared by removing the joker(s), 6s, 5s, 4s, 3s, and 2s, leaving 32 cards (Aces high, 7s low). The cards which were removed are not used at all in the game; they are put to one side. The remaining cards are shuffled. Each player cuts the deck; lowest card becomes dealer. The dealer shuffles again. Each player receives three cards each, then two cards each (five cards in total). The top card of the remaining cards (the stock pile) is turned face up to indicate the trump suit.

2. Player One (to the dealer's left) can accept the trump suit (by saying, "I order it up") or they can refuse it (by saying, "I pass") in the hope of choosing a different trump suit in the next round of bidding. If Player One accepts, play begins (see Step 5); otherwise Player two (the dealer's partner) has the option of accepting or refusing the trump suit.

3. Player Two can accept (by saying, "I assist") or refusing ("I pass"). If they refuse, Player Three has the option ("I order it up", or "I pass"), followed by the dealer (Player Four). To accept, Player Four discards one of their cards and picks up the top (face up) card from the stock pile. To refuse, the dealer turns the top card over and puts it under the stock pile.

4. If all players have passed in Step 3, Player One can then nominate another suit as trumps. They cannot choose the same suit that has just been refused. If Player One passes, each of the other players in turn has the option of choosing a trump suit. If all four players pass again, the round is declared void and the hands are thrown in. Player One becomes the new dealer.

5. The order of the cards in the trump suitin Euchre Card Game is; Right Bower (the Jack of the trump suit), Left Bower (the Jack of the same colour as the trump suit), Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9, 8, 7. The player who chooses the trump suit is called the "maker" and may choose to play with their partner or to play alone. (If the maker plays alone, their partner lays their cards face down and does not play the hand.) The maker plays any card from their hand. The other players must follow suit (if possible) and place one card each on the maker's card. (This is called a trick.) The trick is won by the highest trump card (if any were played) or the highest card in the suit led by the maker.

6. The winner of the trick leads the first card of the next trick and so on, until all five tricks have been played.

7. If the maker and their partner win all five tricks it is called a "march". The partnership scores two points. If the maker plays alone, the partnership scores four points for a march. If they win three or four tricks, they score one point. If they win less than three tricks, they have been "euchred" and the opposing partnership scores two points. It is standard practise in Euchre Card Game to use a three and a four card to indicate the score, as shown below.

How to keep Score in Euchre

8. The game is won when one partnership scores five points, although some players prefer to achieve seven or ten points to win the game.


Variations on Euchre Card Game
(a) Railroad - Played as above except that one Joker is also added as a trump card (higher than the Right Bower). The deck has 33 cards.

(b) Two-Handed - Played as above but there are only 24 cards in the deck (remove 2s to 8s; no jokers). Obviously there are no partners.

(c) Three-Handed - Played as above except the maker always plays on their own against both other players. This is called Cut Throat (one player against the rest). The maker scores three points for a march; otherwise scoring is the same.

(d) Call-Ace - A version of Euchre Card Game for 4, 5 or 6 players, each playing for themselves. The maker, however, can decide to play alone or in a partnership by saying "I call the Ace of ..." and nominates a suit. If another player holds that Ace, they become the maker's partner but they say nothing until they play the Ace. It is also possible that the Ace may be in the stock pile so the maker plays alone. Scoring also depends on whether the maker plays alone or in a partnership.

    Alone:
      A march - scores as many points as there are players
      3 or 4 tricks - score one point
      Euchre - other players score two points each
    Partnership:
      A march - scores 2 points for 4 players; 3 points for 5-6 players
      3 or 4 tricks - score one point
      Euchre - other players score two points each

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