I receive several emails a week and most all of them are asking me to settle an argument about the rules. Not everybody can agree 100% on Euchre rules because almost 100% of the people who play have never read them! I work at a distribution center that employees several hundred people. A lot of them play Euchre. And all of them play incorrectly. Yes that's right. Every single person I know that plays the game plays the way they was taught; either by Mom and Dad, brothers or sisters or some friends. Unfortunately, these people have all learned the exact same way; being taught by friends or family. The problem with this is that not only do they play by "memory" but there are also different ways of playing geographically. People who play in Michigan most likely play different from those people from Indiana, Ohio etc... Nobody argues about the rules in Monopoly. If there is a disagreement you simply get out the rules and settle things once and for all. But when it comes to Euchre, you just can't whip out the Euchre rules. When a person (usually a beginner) wants to pick up a jack but doesn't have that suit in his hand and tries to argue the fact that he should be able to pick that jack up, he is unfairly outnumbered by three (or more) people who knows that you must have that suit to pick up that card. How do they know? Ahhhhhhh yes I almost forgot. Everybody plays that way so it has to be right! Well folks, I'm sorry but that is not the correct way to play the game. It is my humble opinion that Euchre in it's most purest form is so simple that people can't stand it and are drawn to add rules to it, much like a moth is drawn to a flame.The official rules of Euchre have long been tossed aside for more "fair, common sense" rules. Here is one major example. Then I'll shut my mouth and you can get right to the official rules. Remember though, whether you hear it from me or from Hoyle, it's all the same.
Example #1. Ordering up Trump. The rules state that you can't order up trump without that suit in your hand. Ummm, excuse me? Where did THIS rule come from? Mom? Dad? An aunt? Uncle? Their parents? Perhaps a friend. This "rule" is a sick joke. Hoyle says that the determining factor in declaring trump is if you think you are strong enough to make a point. Period. "Joe" turns up a J of Hearts. It gets to you (Joe's partner) and you have two black aces and the J of diamonds and no hearts. Your not allowed to order Joe up because the "left" isn't the left yet! Huh?! Seems to me that you have required what the rules state. I would think that one of my Aces would be good for a trick, I know my left is and I know that the right that I ordered into my partners hand is certainly good for a trick. BUT! I don't get to play this hand because of "whose" rules? You may find a new fangled rule book that states this as a "rule". If you do, I'd certainly like to see it :) Question is, is this "rule" used by skillful Euchre players who know how to play the game or sissies who don't really like getting their butts kicked in a real game of Euchre? Whilst we're on this note. I'd also like to know why you don't like it when a dealer picks up a card without having that suit in his/her hand? Let me get this straight. We're playing for $10.00 a game, $2 per Euchre. It's my deal. You have no problem with me picking up a card because I have several in my hand and feel that I can make my point(s) and get that much closer to taking YOUR $10, but if I wanted to pick it up on a "hunch" with none of that particular suit in my hand and was seriously flirting with a Euchre, losing $2 to you and helping you get that much closer to the end of the game and MY $10 you have a problem with those odds? Whew, you're not the type to go to Vegas now are you?
Long a popular game, Euchre is best suited to four-handed play, with
two teams of partners. A 32-card pack, running from Aces down to Sevens
is utilized in this game, which is played as follows.
The pack is shuffled and five cards are dealt to each player. One suit is declared to be trump; and its Jack becomes the Right Bower or highest card of the suit. Next is the Jack of the same color, or Left Bower; then the trumps run A,K,Q,10,9,8,7. Thus Hearts as trump would rank as follows.
J J A K Q 10 987
Play normally begins with the player on the dealer's left, who leads a card. The others follow suit in rotation, until all four have played, making a trick. If unable to follow suit, a player may play any card he wants. The highest card of the suit led wins the trick; but trumps take all others.
Whoever wins the first trick leads to the next; this continues until all tricks are taken. The object of each team is to take three tricks; and in some cases all five. This depends upon the manner in which the trump is made or chosen, according to the following rules.
Immediately after the deal, the dealer turns the next card face up on the pack. Whatever its suit, each player now has the privilege of making that suit trump, beginning with the player on the dealer's left. If he thinks his hand is strong enough for his partner and himself to win three tricks, he announces, "I order it up," which means that the dealer picks up the trump card from the pack and discards another from his hand, face down.
If the first player does not like his hand, he says, "I pass," and the choice goes to the second player. If he wants the turned up card to represent trump, he announces, "I assist," because the dealer is his partner. The result is the same. The turned up cards becomes trump; the dealer picks it up and discards another.
The second player can pass if he wants to; the third player then has the same options of ordering it up or passing. The latter choice leaves it up to the dealer, who can say, "I take it up" and so on, if he thinks his hand is good enough. Otherwise, he can say, "I turn it down." In that case, he slides the turned up card under the pack and its suit is no longer a possible choice of trump.
The first player then may make another suit trump, but if his hand is weak, he can say, "I pass the making." If he passes, it goes on to the second player, then the third, and finally the dealer. If nobody cares to make a new trump, the hands are thrown in and the cards are passed along to the next dealer.
Once the turned up trump has been accepted, the play begins, as described. If the team that decided on the trump takes 3 or 4 tricks, it scores one point. Taking all five is a march and scores two points. If they take less than three tricks they are euchred and the opposing team scores two points.
During the preliminary of accepting or making the trump, each player may also announce, "I play alone." This means he has a strong hand and does not need his partner's help. So his partner lays his hand face down and play proceeds. If the man on the dealer's left has laid down his hand, the dealer's partner makes the first lead.
When playing alone, a player scores four points if he takes all five tricks; if he takes 3 or 4, he scores one point; if he takes less than three, he is euchred and the opposing team scores the usual two points.
The first team making five points wins the game.
NOTE: There was no mention of not being able to call or pick up trump because of not having that particular suit in hand. The above rules are so simple. So plain. It leaves the game wide open for all sorts of strategies and skill.