Euchre is a trick-taking card game for four players in two partnerships. The objective is to win the majority of the tricks in each round. There is also a bidding phase.
This game has its roots in Europe, but it gained popularity in North America in the 19th century and remains a popular game there today. Euchre is also played in other English-speaking countries.
Euchre is played with a standard deck of 24 french-suited playing cards, typically with only the 9s, 10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces. Shuffle the cards and deal five cards to each player. The remaining cards become the kitty.
The top card from the kitty is revealed, and bidding for the trump suit begins: In clockwise order, each player can either choose to “order up” the turned-up card, making it the trump suit, or “pass.” If the first player passes, the next player can choose to order up the turned-up card or pass. The bidding continues until either a player orders up the trump suit or all four players pass.
If no one orders up the top card and the dealer also chooses not to pick it up, each player may call a different suit as trump in clockwise order. If no trump is selected, the hand is discarded, and the deal is passed clockwise.
The cards rank highest to lowest in Euchre as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine. But in the trump suit, the Jack becomes the strongest card of the game.
The player to the dealer’s left leads the first trick by playing any card. The other players must follow suit if they can, and if they cannot, they must play a card from the trump suit. The highest trump card or the highest card of the led suit wins the trick. The winner of the trick leads the next one.
After all five tricks have been played, the team that won the majority of the tricks scores one point. If the game is tied, no points are awarded. The game continues with the next round until one team scores five points, which wins the game. The number of points needed to win the game may vary, with some regions playing to 10 or seven points.
Since Euchre is a popular card game played in many regions around the world, each region may have its own unique set of rules. Some common variations of Euchre rules regard the bidding, ranking of cards, and potential solo games, for example.
If you enjoy trick-taking in teams, check out our games at the Whist Palace and Pinochle Palace! You might also be interested in Doppelkopf and Sheepshead (games available in English and German; websites available only in German).