Euchre is a fast-paced, partnership, trick-taking game played with the Nine through Ace of each suit. Bidding determines trump and in the trump suit the Jack and off-Jack are the two highest ranked cards. The rank of cards in non-trump suits is standard Ace-high. Each hand consists of five tricks and a team must take at least three tricks to earn points. The team that gets to 10 points first wins the game.
Using a 24-card deck, the dealer deals five cards to each player. The dealer places the four undealt cards face down on the table in front of him/her and turns the top card face-up.
Starting with the player to the dealer’s left, a player may choose to pass or make trump the suit of the “up card,” optionally declaring to play the hand “alone,” that is, without his or her partner participating in the hand. The value of going “alone” is the higher score awarded if the bidder takes all five tricks (see Scoring, below). If playing “Alone must take 5,” the alone player must take all five tricks to get points (see Euchre House Rules Options, below).
If everyone passes in the first round of bidding, the “up card” is turned face down and another round of bidding ensues in which players may pass or make trump one of the suits other than the previously turned-up card. The “alone” option remains available.
If everyone passes in the second round, the deal moves to the left and a new hand is dealt. If playing “Stick the dealer,” the dealer cannot pass at the end of the second round (see Euchre House Rules Options, below).
Up Card Pickup and Discard
If trump was made during the first round of bidding, the dealer adds the “up card” to his or her hand and discards one card so they again have five cards. This fact influences whether or not to make trump during the first round.
After bidding and, if needed, the dealer discarding, the player to the dealer’s left leads. Any card may be led. Play continues clockwise by following the led suit, if possible, or playing any other card if not. When all four players have played, the trick is taken by the player who played the highest trump card, if any, or the player who played the highest card of the led suit otherwise.
Remember that in trump, the two highest ranked cards are the Jack of the trump suit and the Jack of the other suit of the same color (the off-Jack). For instance, if Spades is trump, ♠J is the highest ranked card, ♣J second-highest, and ♠A third-highest. Trickster Euchre automatically sorts the cards in your hand in this way.
After the five tricks are played the team who picked trump is awarded points based on the bid and number of tricks taken:
less than 3
3 or 4
If the team who picked trump fails to take at least 3 tricks, this is known as a Euchre and their opponents are awarded 2 points instead. The team that gets to 10 points first wins the game.
Euchre House Rules Options
The following options are available for Play, Practice, and Join games:
In automatch Play games, you may set the game over to 10 or 11. In Practice and Join games, you may set the game over score to anything between 5 and 25. Default is 10.
Sets the size and composition of the deck. “9–Ace” is a 24-card deck consisting of nine through Ace in each suit. “8–Ace” is a 28-card deck with eight through Ace in each suit. “7–Ace” is a 32-card deck with seven through Ace. Default is “9–Ace.”
“Yes” adds a Joker which becomes the high card of trump. “No” does not add a Joker. Trickster Euchre designates Jokers with a star (★). Default is “No.”
Stick the dealer:
“Yes” requires the dealer to bid at the end of the second round of bidding if everyone else has passed. “No” does not require the dealer to bid; if everyone passes, the deal advances and cards are redealt. Default is “No.”
“Yes” allows players holding at least three 9s or 10s to exchange them for three cards from the blind when it is their turn to bid. “No” requires players to play with the cards they were dealt. Default is “No.”
No Trump bid:
“Yes” adds a No Trump (NT) bid to the second round of bidding. “No” does not add such a bid. Default is “No.”
Dealer forces alone:
“Yes” forces the partner of the dealer to bid alone or pass during the first round of bidding (while the up card is face up). “No” does not impose this restriction. Default is “No.”
“Yes” offers a Defend Alone bid to each defender if an opponent goes alone. “No” does not offer this bid. Default is “No.”
Alone must take 5:
“Yes” requires an alone bidder to take all 5 tricks to make their bid; failing to take 5 results in a Euchre for the opponents. “No” rewards 1 point if 3 tricks are taken or 4 points if all 5 tricks are taken. Default is “No.”
Alone leads left:
“Yes” means that the opening lead will be from the defender to an alone bidder’s left. “No” means the player to the dealer’s left opens. Default is “No.”
Call for best:
“Yes” means one card is passed between an alone bidder and his or her partner. “No” does not add this pass. Default is “No.”
“Yes” awards 4 points to the defending team if they take all 5 tricks. “No” scores the usual 2 points for all Euchres. Default is “No.”
Limits (Practice and Join games only)
“Yes” to allow players to see bid and card play suggestions, depending on their personal setting. “No” prevents all players from seeing suggestions. Default is “Yes.”
Time to bid:
Specifies an optional time limit for a player to bid. “Off” means there are no time limits on bidding. “7s,” “15s,”, “30s” & “60s” sets a limit to bid of 7, 15, 30 or 60 seconds, respectively.
Time to play:
Specifies an optional time limit for a player to play a card. “Off” means there are no time limits on card play. “7s,” “15s,”, “30s” & “60s” sets a limit to play a card of 7, 15, 30 or 60 seconds, respectively.