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EUCHRE

EUCHRE is a game always more popular in the New World than in the Old, and made famous by Bret Harte’s witty Plain Language from Truthful James.

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NUMBER OF PLAYERS

The standard game is suitable for from two to six players, but is best for four, two playing in partnership against the other two, as described first.

CARDS

The game is played with a 32 card or short pack, that is the standard pack from which the 6s and lower cards have been removed.  The cards rank in the order from Ace (high) to 7 (low) with the exception that the Jack of the trump suit(Right Bower) takes precedence over all other trump cards, and the Jack of the suit of the same color (Left Bower) ranks as the second highest trump.

There is some advantage in dealing.  The players, therefore, must draw cards to decide who shall deal.  The highest takes first deal, which, thereafter, passes round the table clockwise.

The dealer gives five cards to each player either in bundles of two then three, or three then two.  It does No-Trumps matter which, but the must be consistent throughout the game.  The rest of the pack is placed face downwards in the centre of the table, and the top card is turned face upwards.

THE PLAY

The turned card is the potential trump suit, and, beginning with the player on the left of the dealer, each poker player in turn has the option of either refusing or accepting it.

To accept it as the trump suit the opponents of the dealer say: ‘I order it up; the dealer’s partner says: ‘I assist’; and the dealer himself says nothing, but accepts by making his discard. 

To refuse the card as the trump suit, the opponents and partner of the dealer say: ‘I pass’; the dealer signifies refusal by taking the card from the top of the pack and placing it, face upwards, partly underneath the pack.

If all four players pass on the first round, there is a second round.  Beginning with the players in turn may now either pass, or name any suit he likes (other than that of the turned up card)  as trumps.

If all four players pass on the second round, the hand is abandoned the deal passes.
When the trump suit has been settled, the player who has named it (the maker) has the right to go it alone, but he must announce his intention to do so before a card  has been led. 

His partner places his cads face downwards on the poker table, and takes no active part in the hand.  The maker (he is the only one of the four who can go alone) plays his hand against the two opponents in partnership. 

If he wins the march (all five tricks ) he scores four points; if he wins three or four tricks he scores one point; if he is euchred (i.e. fails to win at least three tricks) the opponents score two points each.

Euchre is a trick-taking game.  The player on the left of the dealer (or the player on the left of the maker if he is going it alone) leads to the first trick.  Thereafter the player who wins a trick leads to the next.  A player must follow suit to the card led if he can, if No-Trumps he may either discard or trump.

If the partnership that made the trump suit wins the march it scores two points; if it wins three or four tricks it scores one point; if it is euchred the opposing side scores two points.  It is customary for each side to keep the score by using a 3 and a 4 (cars not needed in the game) as shown in the illustration.  The side that is first to score five points wins.

TWO-HANDED EUCHRE

The game for three players is played in the same way as the parent game except that the maker of the trump suit plays against the other two in partnership.  If the maker wins the march he scores three points; if he wins three or four tricks he scores one point; and if he is euchred each of his opponents scores two points.

CALL-ACE EUCHRE

This is a variation that may be played by four, five or six players, each playing for himself.  It is played in the same way as the parent game with the exception that the market has the option of either playing for himself or of calling for a partner by saying: ‘I Call on the Ace of ..’ and he names a suit. 

The player who holds the Ace of his suit then plays in partnership with the maker against the other players, but he does No-Trumps reveal himself.  It follows, therefore, that until the Ace is played, and it may No-Trumps be in the deal, everyone except the holder of the Ace (if it is in play) is left to guess where his interest lies.

The scoring is rather different from that of the other variations as fundamentally the game is all against all.  For winning the march a lone player scores one point for every player in the game; in a partnership hand the score is two points each if three or four players are in the game, and three points each if five or six players are in the game. 

For winning three or four tricks a lone player scores one point in a partnership hand both players score one point.  If a lone player or a partnership is euchred the other players score two points each.

 

 

 

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