Euchre Info

for newbies and those seeking to study strategy

Understanding the Bowers
for a printable pdf version of this document, click here.

*Key = knowing that the LEFT Bower functions as a member of the TRUMP suit, NOT his native suit.

Seats: (positions of each player.) The person sitting across from you is your partner.

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                   2nd Seat

1st Seat                        3rd Seat

                    Dealer

                  (4th Seat)

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Once the trump suit is picked:


  1. The Ace is no longer the highest card in the trump suit.
  2. The Jack of the trump suit (called the 'RIGHT Bower') is the highest card in the trump suit.
  3. The Jack of the OTHER suit of the SAME color (called the 'LEFT Bower') is the 2nd highest card in the trump suit.
  4. So the LEFT Bower functions as a member of the trump suit. The LEFT Bower is NO LONGER a member of his native suit.
  5. Bower Examples:
    1. If DIAMONDS are trump:  The RIGHT Bower is the Jack of Diamonds. The LEFT Bower is the Jack of HEARTS. So the Jack of HEARTS functions as a DIAMOND in this example.
    2. If HEARTS are trump:  The RIGHT Bower is the Jack of Hearts. The LEFT Bower is the Jack of DIAMONDS. So the Jack of DIAMONDS functions as a HEART in this example.
    3. If CLUBS are trump:  The RIGHT Bower is the Jack of Clubs. The LEFT Bower is the Jack of SPADES. So the Jack of SPADES functions as a CLUB in this example.
    4. If SPADES are trump:  The RIGHT Bower is the Jack of Spades. The LEFT Bower is the Jack of CLUBS. So the Jack of CLUBS functions as a SPADE in this example.
  6. Example #1:
    1. CLUBS are trump.
    2. CLUBS has 7 cards.
    3. The CLUB cards from HIGHEST to LOWEST:
      1. Jack of Clubs (RIGHT Bower)
      2. Jack of SPADES (LEFT Bower)
      3. Ace of Clubs
      4. King of Clubs
      5. Queen of Clubs
      6. 10 of Clubs
      7. 9 of Clubs
    4. *so there are 7 cards in the trump suit. The LEFT Bower functions as a member of the trump suit.
    5. this means there are 5 cards in the other suit of the same color (which is SPADES in this example.)
    6. *this other suit of the same color as trump is referred to as the "Next" suit.
    7. The other 2 suits (which are opposite in color to the trump suit) have 6 cards in them.
  7. Example #2: 
    1. CLUBS are trump.
    2. SPADES (the "Next" suit) has 5 cards.
    3. The SPADE cards from HIGHEST to LOWEST: 
      1. Ace
      2. King
      3. Queen
      4. 10
      5. 9
    4. *remember the Jack of SPADES moves to the trump suit (CLUBS) and functions as a CLUB.
  8. Example #3:
    1. CLUBS are trump.
    2. DIAMONDS and HEARTS have 6 cards each.
    3. The DIAMOND and HEART cards from HIGHEST to LOWEST:
      1. Ace
      2. King
      3. Queen
      4. Jack
      5. 10
      6. 9

Examples of how to play the Bowers:


  1. Example #4: 
    1. HEARTS are trump.
    2. You sit to the right of the dealer (in 3rd seat.)
    3. You hold:
      1. Jack of Diamonds (LEFT Bower)
      2. 10 of Hearts
      3. King of Clubs
      4. Queen of Clubs
      5. King of Spades
    4. 1st seat (your partner) leads the trick. He plays the Ace of Diamonds.
    5. 2nd seat plays the Queen of Diamonds.
    6. You must follow suit and play a Diamond if you have one.
    7. You do NOT hold a Diamond as your Jack of DIAMONDS functions as a HEART in this example.
    8. Do NOT play your Jack of DIAMONDS as this will result in you trumping your partner's Ace.
    9. Play your King of Spades. This creates a void in Spades so you may be able to trump when Spades is led.
  2. Example #5:
    1. HEARTS are trump.
    2. You are the dealer.
    3. You hold:
      1. Jack of Diamonds (LEFT) Bower
      2. King of Hearts
      3. Queen of Spades
      4. 10 of Spades
      5. 9 of Spades
    4. Your left hand opponent (1st seat) leads the first trick and plays a 10 of Diamonds.
    5. Everyone else follows suit with a Diamond.
    6. Your right hand opponent played the highest Diamond on the trick - he played the King of Diamonds.
    7. As the dealer you have last play on the trick.
    8. You do NOT hold a Diamond as your Jack of DIAMONDS functions as a HEART in this example.
    9. You decide to trump the trick.
    10. Trump with your smallest trump that will get the job done, which is the King of HEARTS.
  3. Example #6:
    1. HEARTS are trump.
    2. You sit to the right of the dealer (in 3rd seat.)
    3. You hold:
      1. Jack of Diamonds (LEFT Bower)
      2. Queen of Hearts
      3. King of Spades
      4. Queen of Clubs
      5. 9 of Clubs
    4. Your partner (1st seat) leads the first trick and plays the Jack of HEARTS (the RIGHT Bower.)
    5. 2nd seat follows suit with the Ace of Hearts.
    6. Play your Queen of Hearts. (The RIGHT Bower will win the trick as it is the highest trump card.) You want to play your SMALLEST trump on the trick, which is your Queen of Hearts in this example. *This way your LEFT Bower will be promoted to the "Boss Trump" (the highest unplayed trump card) after this round.
  4. Example #7:
    1. HEARTS are trump.
    2. You are the dealer.
    3. You hold:
      1. Jack of Hearts (RIGHT Bower)
      2. King of Hearts
      3. Ace of Diamonds
      4. Queen of Diamonds
      5. 10 of Diamonds
    4. 1st seat (your left hand opponent) leads the first trick and plays the Ace of Hearts.
    5. 2nd seat (your partner) shows void and plays the 9 of Clubs.
    6. 3rd seat (your right hand opponent) plays the Jack of DIAMONDS (LEFT Bower.)
    7. Play your Jack of HEARTS (RIGHT Bower.) The RIGHT Bower is the Highest trump card and will win the trick.