Euchre Rules

Euchre is a trick-taking card game, part of the Whist family. Its origins can be traced all the way back to the 19th century. According to many historical sources, Euchre was once considered the USA national card game. Nowadays, the game is not as popular as it was, although it still has a large following in several locations.

Variations of the game are also played in Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia.

The objective is to be the first team that reaches 10 points.

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1. Euchre cards and players

Usually, Euchre is played by 4 players that are grouped into two separate teams. They use 24 cards deck – from 9s (lowest) to Aces (highest). The card rankings for the trump suit are a little bit different. The Jack of the trump suit is the card with the highest rank and is known as the right bower. The second most powerful card is the Jack of the same color as the trumps – left bower.

If Spades are trumps, the cards will rank as follows:

  • Jack of Spades (right bower)
  • Jack of Clubs (left bower)
  • Ace of Spades
  • King of Spades
  • Queen of Spades, and so on.

The left bower becomes a part of the trumps.

Some variations add a joker to the card deck (British Euchre). The joker is referred to as the best bower and is always the highest-ranked trump. Learn more about Euchre terminology and the most asked questions in Euchre.

euchre cards trump suit

2. Dealing and bidding

To start the game, each player gets 5 cards. The remaining 4 cards are placed in front of the dealer with the top one turned face-up. This card can possibly determine the trump suit. If a player ends up with an incorrect number of cards – either more or fewer than 5 – it results in a declaration of a misdeal.

Players bid in a clockwise direction. Each has two options: they can accept the card suit as trump or pass. If a player says ”Pick it up”, they choose the suit. The dealer takes the turned card and discards another of their choosing. But if all players pass, there is another round of bidding.

During the second round of bidding, players can name any other suit as trump. When a player does it, their team will be called the Makers. The other team is known as the Defenders.

There is a Euchre variation called Stick the dealer. If everyone decides to pass, the dealer must name a trump. This is a way for the game to progress faster.

To score points, the Makers must win at least 3 tricks.

euchre making trump and bidding

3. Going alone

The player who has chosen the trump suit can decide to go alone. Playing without your partner is a possible Euchre strategy. It can be beneficial to the final score. A player who is going alone will score more points if they manage to win all 5 tricks. But you should be very confident in your cards to play without your partner.

When a player is playing alone, the person to the left of that player leads the first trick.

When playing the Canadian loner variation, the dealer’s partner must go alone if they have named the trump. There is also a Euchre variation where anyone can choose to play alone, and it doesn’t have to be the Maker.

Going alone is a risky strategy and a player needs to know the game well to be successful. Read about the most common mistakes in Euchre to avoid some problematic outcomes in the game.

euchre going alone and playing without a partner

4. How to play Euchre

There are 5 tricks on the line every round of play. Players take turns, and each of them puts one card on the table. Here is how the gameplay usually goes:

  • The starting player leads the first trick. The player on the left of the dealer plays the first card. The suit of this card sets the “lead suit.” The other players must follow suit if possible, otherwise, they could play a trump.
  • Play a card of the same suit if you can. To win each trick, a player should play a card with a higher rank than any other card. If a teammate has already played a high-ranking card in a trump or the lead suit, then you can play a lower-ranked card, since the team is already in a winning position. Never forget, Euchre is a partnership game.
  • Win the trick for your team. The player with the highest card takes possession of all the cards played in the trick and places them face-down in a pile. They will be counted once all cards are played.
  • Repeat until you run out of cards in your hand. The player who won the last trick starts the next. The round ends after five turns when the players have exhausted all their cards. Try to memorize which cards were played in each trick. This can help you win the game.

5. Scoring

Here is how the scoring works:

  • If the Makers win 3 or 4 tricks, they receive 1 point.
  • If the Makers win all 5 tricks, they get 2 points.
  • If a Maker decides to go alone and wins all tricks, the team scores 4 points. If that Maker wins 3 or 4 tricks, their team gets only 1 point.
  • If the Makers win less than 3 tricks, they are euchred, and the Defenders score 2 points.

The first team to reach 10 points is the winner.

Of course, each game is different and you might end up needing a more in-depth look at the Euchre scoring.

6. Euchre Cheat Sheet

Do you want to know how to count the cards in a way that guarantees your team’s victory? Here is a printable Euchre cheat sheet with the most important information about the game. Click on the image for full size.

euchre cheat sheet

7. Euchre rules for 2 people

Two-handed Euchre is a variation with two players. In this version, each player is dealt a hand of five cards and the remaining cards are placed in the center of the table. The game follows the same basic rules as traditional euchre, with players taking turns leading and following suit.

However, there are a few key differences in strategy and gameplay when playing with only two people. For example, more cards are played, and players need to pay closer attention to the cards. Read this for more details on the two-person Euchre rules.

8. Euchre rules for 3 people

It is possible to play Euchre with only 3 people. The rules are almost the same as the classic Euchre, with a few differences.

There is one “dummy” player spot on the table. The cards are dealt to each player, including the dummy. The player who names the trump suit goes alone – this is the Maker. The other 2 players play as a team – the Defenders.

The Maker can use the dummy hand and choose the best 5 cards to play with. The usual scoring rules apply, except if the Maker wins all tricks. Then the reward is 3 points.

Three-handed Euchre full rules

9. Euchre rules for 6 people

When 6 people play Euchre, they are divided into 3 teams of 2 players. The 7s and 8s of all 4 suits are added to the card deck, so 32 cards are used in total. It is also possible to include jokers. If the game is played with jokers, they are the highest-valued cards.

When the Makers are euchred, both Defenders teams will score 2 points. Otherwise, classic rules apply.

Six-handed Euchre full rules

Copyright 2024 All rights reserved

This product is intended for people over 18 years of age for entertainment purposes. This game includes in-app purchases. Practice or success in social casino gambling does not imply future winnings in real money gambling and gambling in general. for iOS for Android

Copyright 2024 All rights reserved

This product is intended for people over 18 years of age for entertainment purposes. This game includes in-app purchases. Practice or success in social casino gambling does not imply future winnings in real money gambling and gambling in general.