- In Euchre, bidding involves one round where each player may order up the dealer in priority of 1st hand through 4th
hand. The first player to order up becomes declarer,
bidding is stopped for the hand and play begins. If no player orders up, the upcard is turned face-down, a second round of
bidding allows each player in the same priority to name a suit as trump. The first player to name a suit becomes declarer and bidding is stopped for the hand. During this
second round of bidding, the suit of the upcard may not be named. For the
purposes of bidding, if the upcard is a Jack, it belongs to its
real suit, and does not function as a bower. That is to say, the Jack is not a bower until a trump suit has been determined.
- The word bower is from the German bauer, meaning farmer, (I have no idea what the
significance is.) The two bowers are the two highest ranked
trump for the hand. The right bower is the highest;
it is the Jack from the trump suit. The left bower is the second highest;
it is the Jack from the suit of the same colour as
the trump suit. The left bower does not belong to its real suit for the purposes of
following suit or suit rank.
- There are 3 cards in the kitty which are not shown and are not in play for
each hand. These cards are referred to as buried.
- The colour of the suit in question. Clubs and Spades are black. Diamonds and
Hearts are red. Black is the opposite of red and vice versa.
- The declarer is responsible for the contract. In Euchre, the contract is
always 3 tricks which means that the declaring partnership must win at least 3 tricks
for the hand.
- The player who has dealt the hand. The dealer is always 4th hand for the first trick of the hand unless
playing a local variation of Euchre where specific rules apply when going alone.
- The available set of cards for play. In Euchre, there are normally 24 cards, the 9, 10, Jack,
Queen, King and Ace from each suit. Some variations of Euchre can involve an
additional joker, or 32 cards, or 2 decks of 24 cards plus 3 jokers.
- The player who has determined the final contract during bidding. In Euchre, this can be achieved through ordering up
the dealer, or by bidding a trump
- Defending a Contract
- The partnership which is not the declaring partnership defends. The goal of the defenders is to Euchre the declarer's contract.
- When a player cannot follow suit, any card played which cannot
possibly win the trick is considered a discard. This term is
synonymous with slough.
- Drawing Trump
- Because players must follow suit, if 1st Hand leads a trump card, each other player must also play a trump card if they have one. This serves to eliminate trump
cards from the opposing partnership so that they may not use them to win a trick at a later time during the hand.
- The situation where the declarer fails to meet his contract. The term is synomymous with being set.
- A finesse is a maneouvre in any trump game in which the highest ranking card is not played in the hope that no higher ranking cards may be played during the trick . In Euchre, due to
it's brevity, it is rare to finesse unless a trump card is being played. As an
example, imagine that the 9 of trump has been led and that 2nd hand has played the 10 of trump. If, as 3rd
hand you hold both the right bower and the Ace of trump,
you might decide to play the Ace in the hope the 4th hand does not hold the left bower. This maneouvre is referred to as finessing the Ace against the left bower. Although incorrect, it is colloquially acceptable to refer to this
maneouvre as having finessed the left bower. Since the dealer may have picked up the upcard during bidding and you have seen that card, it may be possible to
determine with some reliability whether a finesse is likely to work. Experienced players may
also determine the location of some cards based on their opponents' play.
- Following Suit
- Once 1st hand leads the the first card of the
trick, each other player must play a card of the same suit,
if possible, otherwise that player may select any card.
- A game in Euchre involves playing a sequence of hands until the score reaches
10. British variations of Euchre end at a score of 11. A short game of Euchre can be played until 6
points. The scoring model ensures that at least 2 hands would have to be played,
and then only the best circumstances would make it end in two hands.
- Going Alone
- In Euchre, the declarer may decide to play without his partner. In such a case, winning all of the tricks of the
hand rewards the partnership with 4 points instead of
just 2. Without the declarer's partner, it is
usually more difficult to achieve this. In Canadian Euchre, 2nd hand -- the dealer's partner -- must go alone if ordering up. This is of minimal consequence, since it is rarely helpful for
2nd hand to order up without having a hand strong enough
to go alone anyway.
- A hand in any card game refers to the card holdings of a player. However, in a trump game a hand also refers to the play of tricks until
no cards are held by any of the players. At the end of the hand, points are awarded to the declarer's partnership if it met the contract or to the defenders if the contract was Euchred.
- 1st Hand, 2nd Hand, 3rd Hand, 4th Hand
- In all trump games, the designation of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th hand indicates the
order in which players will be playing their cards for the trick. 1st hand leads the trick, and 4th hand is the last to play. Because 1st
hand leads, he gets to determine the suit which must be followed. Because 4th hand plays last he has the benefit of knowing the highest
card in play. In Euchre, for the opening lead of each hand,
2nd hand is opposite the dealer. 3rd hand is always opposite
1st hand. Players are positioned clockwise around the table. Many people incorrectly
assume that the dealer is the 1st hand because in bridge the
dealer bids first and for bidding
is considered 1st hand. This is for bridge, not Euchre. In Euchre, 1st hand is
left of the dealer for the opening lead of each
hand, and there should be no confusion on this issue.
- After dealing 5 cards to each player, 4 cards remain. These remaining cards are called the
kitty. The top card of the kitty is the upcard and is used during the ordering up phase of bidding. During any hand of Euchre, 3 cards are buried in the kitty, are never
disclosed and are not part of play. This has the consequence that some cards are immediately promoted before any cards have been played.
- The action of playing a card as 1st hand. The lead determines which
suit must be followed.
- No Ace, No Face, No Trump
- A rule used by some players that permits a defending player to order the
hand be skipped and new cards dealt. It is a situation in which the player
invoking the rule has only 9's and 10's, and none of them are of the trump suit.
- Ordering Up
- The action of having the dealer pick up the upcard.
When the upcard has been ordered up, the trump suit is the
real suit of the upcard. Which means that if the upcard was a Jack, it does not function as a bower until after
bidding is completed. The dealer now has an additional card and may discard any
one card, including the card that was just picked up. The discarded card is placed into the kitty face-down without displaying it to anyone.
- In Euchre, players play in teams of two called a partnership. The two players of each partnership
are partners and always sit opposite each other. Each partnership has its own score, and therefore they
share the same interest of getting more points.
- Rank promotion reflects the increased value of a card once higher ranked cards are no longer playable during a hand. As cards are
played, they are no longer playable. The 3 cards in the kitty which are not
disclosed are also not playable and therefore can make the effective rank of a card
indeterminate. The upcard or the card discarded by the dealer when he is ordered up are neither playable. However,
the dealer does know the card which he discards and therefore he gets an advantage
with the indeterminate nature of rank promotion because of the hidden cards in the
kitty. Once an Ace has been played in a previous trick, the
King is the highest remaining card for the hand provided it is still playable.
Additionally, if all but one card of a suit has been played, that card is promoted
to the highest ranked card remaining in that suit even if it is
- The designation of 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, or Ace. A Euchre deck only
contains 24 cards. The rank of cards in Euchre depends on whether the card belongs to the trump suit. The rank in the trump suit from lowest to highest is
9, 10, Queen, King, Ace, left bower, right bower. The rank of
the suit which is the same colour as the trump suit is 9, 10,
Queen, King, Ace. The Jack of this suit is the left bower and does not belong to
the suit for the hand. The suits of the opposite colour are ranked: 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace similar to most other card games.
- Setting a contract
- The term set comes from Bridge, which is a more complex trump game. In
bridge, the situation where the declarer fails to meet his contract. The term is synonymous with being Euchred.
- See discard.
- Stick the Dealer
- A rule used by some players that prohibits the dealer from passing on the
second round of bidding. Without this rule, when the dealer passes at this point, the hand is folded, and new cards
- The designation of clubs, diamonds, hearts, or spades on a card. Cards also have a
rank. In Euchre, the left bower, belongs to the trump suit for the hand and not to its own suit.
- Table Talk
- The situation where one player attempts to communicate information about his hand, what to lead, or what to . Such
communication, is not permitted.
- The word tenace comes from French, meaning tough. A tenace is not related to a ten and Ace
combination. A tenace is a sequence of valuable cards in the same suit which are
not adjacent in rank. For example, an Ace/Queen combination is a tenace. If the
Ace is played before the King, then the King may still remain for a subsequent trick. This makes the Queen a loser. It is might be beneficial to attempt a finesse with the Queen against the King if practical (a topic for major discussion.)
However, in Euchre, a hand is normally too short to attempt this. Another option is
to use some tactical maneouvre to be the 4th Hand in a trick
in which you hold a tenace. This allows you to play the Queen unless the King has already been played,
in which case after you play the Ace, the Queen has been promoted to the
highest ranking card in the suit.
- A trick in a trump game is the sequence of an individual card played by
each player starting from 1st hand and ending in 4th hand.
Each player must follow suit if possible. The highest card played wins the
trick unless a trump card has been played.
- Trump comes from the French word Trompe which loosely means to mislead, or cheat. A trump game is a
card game that involves a trump suit. The highest card played normally wins the trick except when there is a trump suit, and a card of that suit has been played, in which case the highest card in the trump suit wins the trick. In Euchre, before any card is played, a
trump suit is determined through bidding. A trump card is
simply a card belonging to the trump suit as determined for the current hand. The action of playing a trump card is referred to as trumping.
- The card from the kitty which has been turned up. The first round of
bidding involves each player deciding whether to order up
- Winning a Trick
- The highest ranked card played during a trick wins that trick, unless a card of the trump suit has been played, in which
case the highest ranked trump suited card wins.