Euchre is a card game that has been played for centuries and was one of the reasons why Jokers were added to card decks. This guide to understanding the Euchre rules will enable you to start playing too.
Whether it’s online, with friends, or at the casino, the fun starts now.
How Do You Play Euchre?
Euchre is a trick-taking card game usually played by four players, who are split into two teams of two. You can buy Euchre decks, or create a game by removing cards from a standard deck. For a deck of 32, the cards will run from 7 to Ace. The 7s can be removed to create a 28-card game while removing the 8s too will make a 24-card game.
A game is played over five tricks, and each team’s aim is to win at least three. Winning all five tricks is known as “a march” while a team that loses three after fixing ‘the trump’ are said to be ‘euchred’.
At the end of each set of five tricks, points will be determined as follows;
- 1 point for a partnership who made trump and wins at least 3 tricks,
- 2 points for a partnership who made trump and wins 5 tricks,
- 1 point for a lone hand that wins at least 3 tricks,
- 4 points for a lone hand that wins 5 tricks,
- 2 points for putting opponents in euchred.
The total points figure needed to win the match should be agreed upon before starting.
Card Game Rules
Euchre rules include several key features. The most important steps are detailed below:
After adjusting the deck to 32 cards (or the desired number), the players each draw a card. The two players with the highest-ranked cards become a team. The lowest-ranked dealer will become the first dealer. The order of dealers subsequently moves in a clockwise direction. They will then deal each player five cards, starting with a batch of three for each player, followed by a subsequent round of two cards per player.
The remaining cards are placed next to the dealer, who will turn one card over and place it in the middle of the table. Any player may then accept this as trump. This means whichever suit is shown will be the trump for this trick. When this happens, the dealer will switch it for a face-down card from their hand.
However, if all players pass, the player to the dealer’s left can choose the trump suit for this trick.
Once the trump suit has been established, the Jack of that suit will be the highest-ranking card of the game. The other Jack of the same colour (so diamonds if hearts are the trump) will become a trump card.
The person who plays the first card of each trick can play any card, which will then determine the lead suit. The person who plays the highest-ranked card of the leading suit wins the trick and subsequently starts the next trick. Cards are ranked Ace down.
When all cards are played and it is time for scoring, the ‘attacking’ team is the team that picked the trump while the ‘defending’ team is the other partnership. This does impact the scoring depending on how many tricks have been one by each team.
Different variations of the game
British Euchre uses a 24-card pack plus a single Joker. The Joker is the highest-ranked card, with the Jack of trump suit being second and other red/block Jack in third. Scoring for each hand remains the same, with the goal being 11 points in total.
2 Player Euchre
In two-player Euchre, each player is dealt a dummy hand on top of their normal hand. Each player must make their best hand using all the available cards. There is additionally a two-player variant called 11-card Euchre.
Also known as ‘cut throat’, Buck Euchre is a four-player, 24-card variant. It largely pays out the same, except winning all five tricks immediately wins the game. Other scoring changes include a subtraction of three points if the Maker wins three tricks.
Pepper uses 24 cards and the same ranking with the Jack of trump suit being the top card. Cards are dealt one at a time while players ‘bid’ for how many tricks they expect to win in a given hand. Above five is ‘little pepper’ while a ‘big pepper’ does this with double stakes.
Agram is a version that can be played by up to five players and uses 35 cards. The winner of the sixth and final trick of the round is the winner of the round. The number of rounds needed to win the overall game can be determined beforehand but is often 10 points.
Whichever Euchre rules you use, the trick-based card game is relatively easy to pick up. After a few hands have been played, you should feel comfortable playing for pleasure or profit.