Euchre is a peculiar card game

There is a chance that you may not have heard of Euchre as it is not amongst the most popular card games you will find online but it is a game with a rich and interesting history. Euchre is a trick-taking game that is usually played out with four people joining up into two teams with a deck of 24 cards. As you can see, this is far removed from the standard style of card games that can be found making it a game that many card players turn to for respite or when they fancy playing something different.

As you would probably expect from a card game that has been around for an extremely long time, there are a number of theories and ideas behind the origins of Euchre. With regards to the United States, there are a few suggestions as to where the game originate but there is a definite acceptance that the game hailed in Europe.

Europeans brought the game to America

One possible place of origin in America for the game is Michigan, with the game being brought over by German settlers before being disseminated across the country. However, another alternative theory claims that it was brought to America by immigrants from the English regions of Cornwall or Devon. All of these happened in the 19th century with many people saying that the game has decreased in popularity ever since. There is no doubt that many card games are more popular than Euchre but the advent of online gaming has brought about a resurgence in many games and Euchre is one of them.

If you want to win at Euchre, you need to know how to be able to play the game. Many card games have simple rules to follow and there is ability for players to pick up and play without much schooling or tutoring. This is not quite the case with Euchre and it is important for players to know the conventions of the game. At its simplest Euchre is a four player game of trump, with players being paired up to form two partnerships. The partners should be facing each other across the table so that the run of play flows in a clockwise order and will alternate between the separate partnerships.

The standard game of Euchre will use a deck that only has 24 cards in it, containing the four suits of:

  • Ace
  • King
  • Queen
  • Jack
  • 10s
  • 9s

The game can begin in a number of ways but many variations of the game work on the basis of the first player to pick up a Jack deals or the first black Jack gets to deal. The dealer will deal out the cards, one at a time which will be presented face up to each player. After the dealer is decided upon, the role of the dealer should be rotated on a clockwise basis.

Euchre is another 5 card game

Every player will be dealt 5 cards in a group of two or three cards at each time with the order being decided by the dealer. One every player has their 5 cards, there will be four cards left over and there are numerous names for these cards, including:

  • The Kitty
  • The Kit
  • The Widow
  • The Blind
  • The Dead Hand
  • The Grave
  • The Buried

These four cards are laid out face down in the middle of the table but then the top card is overturned and then bidding begins. The dealer goes around the table asking players if they wish for the suit of the overturned card to become the trump and if they do, the player should respond by saying “pick it up”. This card then becomes part of the hand of the dealer who then needs to discard a face to resume his position of holding five cards. If none of the players selects the top card, every player is handed the chance to name a different suit to be used as the trump.

If no trump is chosen, the game is recognised as a misdeal and the game moved onto the next movement. If a trump is chosen, a card in that suit automatically outranks a card of a suit that is not a trump. With respect to traditional Euchre, the Jack if the highest card and then the ranking runs Ace, King, Queen, 10 and 9. However, in any suit that is not the trump, the Jack is not regarded as being special and the seniority of these cards runs in the traditional Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 and 9 route.

Points mean winning in Euchre

A point is scored in Euchre when a team is able to win the majority of tricks in a hand, which will be 3 out of the 4. If a team is able to declare trump with all five of their tricks, they receive 3 points. If the team that called trumps is unable to win three of their tricks, which is described as being Euchred, their opponents receive two points. Even though Euchre is a team game with emphasis on partnership play, it is possible for a player to go it alone. If the player believes that they have an exceptional hand, they can go alone and attempt to win all five of their tricks without the assistance of a partner. The partner sits it out and if the caller is successful in managing to win all five tricks, they receive four points.  There is also the option to defend alone which sees one player from the partnership attempted to overcome the calling team. This is a very difficult task but the prize for doing it successfully leads to 8 points being awarded to that team. The traditional scoring methods see the first team to reach 10 points being declared the winner.

Euchre is a highly popular game when played in pairs but it can also be played on computer with the remaining places being taken by players or the computer. Even though Euchre is not the first choice of many online gamers, it has developed a niche following and many casino players while away a good deal of time while playing this game.