Euchre Info

for newbies and those seeking to study strategy

Basic Euchre Terminology + Strategy Info
for a printable (pdf) version of this document, click here.

Euchre is a card game in which each player is dealt 5 cards and the team making trump must take 3 tricks to win a hand.


"Must Reads" for New Euchre Players:  (brief, one page articles)

  1. Euchre - brief, one page article by Hoyle Gaming
  2. The 10 Commandments of Euchre
  3. Sample Euchre Strategies
  4. Euchre Rule Sheet

Euchre Scoring:

Team that declares trump:
  • wins 3-4 tricks            = 1 point
  • wins all 5 tricks          = 2 points
  • wins 2 tricks or less  = 2 points to the OTHER team (which is called a 'euchre')
Player that goes alone:
    • wins 3-4 tricks            = 1 point
    • wins all 5 tricks          = 4 points
    • wins 2 tricks or less  = 2 points to the OTHER team (which is called a 'euchre')
    Renege:
    • non-offending team   = 2 points
    • *on a loner, non-offending team = 4 points
    Defender that goes alone:  (this is an optional game rule.) click here. **see endnote #1.

    Basic Euchre Terminology:

    Euchre is a partnership game.

    Seats:  (position of each player.) The person sitting across from you is your partner.
    ______________________________________________________________________
                               2nd Seat
        1st Seat                                 3rd Seat
    (Eldest Hand)                              (Pone)               
                           Dealer (4th Seat)
    ______________________________________________________________________
    1st Seat is to the LEFT of the dealer and is his opponent. 1st Seat is also referred to as the "Eldest Hand."
    2nd Seat is across from the dealer and is his partner.
    3rd Seat is to the RIGHT of the dealer and is his opponent. 3rd Seat is also referred to as the "Pone."
    4th Seat (the dealer) is across from 2nd seat and is his partner.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    1) Bars - same thing as "bowers."
    2) Bowers - the highest cards in the suit. Same thing as "bars." 
      • Right Bower - The jack of the trump suit. The highest (and most powerful) card.
      • Left Bower - The jack of the suit of the SAME COLOR as the trump suit. The 2nd highest card.
      • Bower Example - if the RIGHT bower is the jack of diamonds, the LEFT bower is the jack of hearts. If the RIGHT bower is the jack of spades, the LEFT bower is the jack of clubs.
    3) Declare Trump - pick the trump suit.
    4) Defenders - the partnership that did not order up trump.
    5) Eldest Hand (or 1st seat) - opponent to the LEFT of the dealer.
    6) Euchre/Euchred - "if the makers take less than 3 tricks in a hand, they are euchred, and their opponents get 2 points." **see endnote #2.
    7) Hand - a hand consists of 5 tricks. ie:  when all the cards from one deal have been played.
    8) Kitty - the four cards left over after the deal.
    9) Maker(s) - the person/partnership that ordered up trump.
    10) Order up - declaring the trump suit.
    11) Pone (or 3rd seat) - opponent to the RIGHT of the dealer.
    12) Round - "is completed whenever each person has played one card." **see endnote #3. "Whenever a person wins a round, his/her team gets one trick." **see endnote #4.
    13) Round of Bidding - when the trump suit is declared. There can be two rounds of bidding. See "first round of bidding" and "second round of bidding."
    14) Stick the Dealer - a game option that forces the dealer to declare the trump suit if all other players pass in the 2nd round of bidding.
    15) Trick - The first player leads a card and then each player in turn lays one card down on the table. The four cards together are called a trick.
    16) Trump - suit that outranks all other suits in a deck of cards. Same thing as the "boss suit."
    17) Trumping - playing a trump card on a trick. Trumping is the same thing as "ruffing."
    18) Turn-card - same thing as the "up-card."
    19) Up-card (or Turn-card) - the top card from the kitty which has been turned face up. The up-card is offered as the trump suit in the 1st round of bidding. If the up-card is ordered up, it goes to the dealer and he discards one card.

    • First Round of Bidding - when the up-card is offered as the trump suit. The up-card is offered first to the player to the LEFT of the dealer - if he declines to order it up, the card is offered to the next player and so on. If the up-card is ordered up it goes to the dealer and he discards one card. If no one orders up the card the 2nd round of bidding begins.
    • Second Round of Bidding - begins when the up-card is declined as trump by everyone in the 1st round of bidding. Starting with the player to the LEFT of the dealer, players are asked to declare the trump suit. If the first player declines to declare the trump suit, the next player is asked to declare and so on. Any suit may be named trump except for the suit of the former up-card. The dealer does NOT discard a card in this round.

    Terminology for Strategy:

    One-suited - a hand consisting of ONE suit only.
    Two-suited - a hand consisting of TWO suits only.
    Three-suited - a hand consisting of THREE suits only.
    Four-suited - a hand consisting of ALL FOUR suits.

    Singleton - you are holding only ONE card in a particular suit.
    Doubleton - any TWO cards of the SAME suit in a hand.
    Tripleton - any THREE cards of the SAME suit in a hand.

    ___________________________________________________

    1. At the Bridge - when a team is 1 point away from winning the game. ie:  9 points in a 10 point game. Same thing as "in the barn."
    2. Block (or Blocking) - "when you order up trump to your opponents knowing there is little chance of making a point. The one and only reason to call a block is to stop an opponent from going alone and making 4 points." **see endnote #5.
    3. Blocker - keeping the opposing team (who called the trump suit) from winning all 5 tricks by winning one trick. Same thing as a "stopper."
    4. Boss Card - the highest UN-played card in any suit.
    5. Boss Suit - same thing as the trump suit.
    6. Boss Trump - the highest UN-played trump card.
    7. Going Alone (or Loner) - "opting to play without your partner on a particular hand." **see endnote #6.
    8. Green (or Green Suits) - "either of the two suits that are the opposite color of trump." **see endnote #7.
    9. Green Suit Bid - same thing as "Reverse Next."
    10. Guarded Ace - having the ace of the trump suit PLUS any 2 trumps smaller than the ace. The ace is protected because the player can sacrifice both lower trump cards (if the bowers are led), leaving the ace as the highest remaining trump card. (ie:  guaranteed to take it's trick.)
    11. Guarded Left (or Protected Left) - "having the LEFT bower AND another (smaller) trump card in the player's hand;  the LEFT bower is protected because the player can sacrifice the lower trump card, if the RIGHT bower is led, leaving the LEFT as the highest remaining trump card. (ie:  guaranteed to take it's trick.)" **see endnote #8.
    12. In the Barn - same thing as "at the bridge."
    13. Loner - same thing as "going alone."
    14. Next - the other suit of the SAME color as trump. ie:  If CLUBS are trump then the "next" suit is SPADES.
    15. Next (Bid) - is made in the 2nd round of bidding. A "next" bid is declaring the trump SUIT to be the SAME color as the former up-card that everyone declined to order up. ie:  If the former up-card was a HEART then the "next" bid would be DIAMONDS. It is recommended that a "next" bid be made from 1st seat or 3rd seat.
    16. Off Suit - same thing as a "side suit."
    17. Protected Left - same thing a "guarded left."
    18. Renege (or Revoke) - "when a player fails to play a card from the suit led even though they have one." **see endnote #9. "If a player reneges...the hand ends and the non-offending team gets two points. If the renege happens during a lone call, the non-offending team gets four points." **see endnote #10.
    19. Reverse Next - the same thing as a "green suit bid" - it is a bid made in the 2nd round of bidding. Reverse Next is a bid of a "green" suit (the suits OPPOSITE in color to the former up-card.) For example, if the former up-card was a HEART then a reverse next bid would be SPADES or CLUBS. It is recommended that a reverse next bid be made from 2nd seat or 4th seat (the dealer.)
    20. Revoke - the same thing as "renege."
    21. Ruffing - playing a trump card on a trick. Ruffing is the same thing as trumping a trick.
    22. Side Ace - any ace that is not in the trump suit.
    23. Side Suit - any suit that is not the trump suit.
    24. Sloughing - playing a card that is neither of the suit led nor trump, and therefore cannot win the trick.
    25. Stopper (or Stopper Hand) - same thing as a "blocker."
    26. Void - having no cards in a particular suit.

    Ready to Learn Some Euchre Strategy?

    1. "The 10 Commandments of Euchre" - Basic Rules of Thumb
    2. When to Bid - handy reference sheet - EuchreInfo.webs.com - large print edition "When to Bid"
    3. What Card Should I Discard? - EuchreInfo.webs.com
    4. **Basic Euchre Strategy - with Harvey "The Rabbit" Lapp
    5. Euchre Lessons - OhioEuchre.com
    6. Euchre Strategy - various authors
    7. The K-9 Kicker - Edwards & Lapp
    8. Passing Dirty - EuchreStrategy.info . *If the page doesn't load click here.
    9. Euchre Tips and Tricks - OhioEuchre.com

    References:

    1. Basic Euchre Strategy with Harvey "The Rabbit" Lapp
    2. Euchre ("Terminology" section)
    3. Euchre ("Terms" section)
    4. Euchre Strategy from EuchreLinks.com
    5. Euchre Strategy from EuchreStrategy.info . ("Glossary" tab and "Passing Dirty" - under "Advanced Strategy" tab.) *If the page doesn't load click here.
    6. Euchre Universe
    7. OhioEuchre.com ("Euchre Terminology" section)
    8. The K-9 Kicker
    9. The Semi-Official EUCHRE Home Page ("The Terminology" section)
    10. The 10 Commandments of Euchre

    endnotes:

    1. Euchre Rules - Card Game see "Scoring" section - last paragraph
    2. Euchre see "Terms" section - Euchre
    3. Semi-Official Euchre Rules - see "Terminology" section - Round
    4. Semi-Official Euchre Rules - see "Terminology" section - the paragraph after the definition of 'hand'.
    5. OhioEuchre.com see "BLOCKING: calling even when you may be euchred" - 2nd paragraph
    6. OhioEuchre.com see "Euchre Terminology" section - Going Alone (Loner)
    7. OhioEuchre.com see "Euchre Terminology" section - Green Suits
    8. Euchre see "Terminology" section - Guarded Left or Protected Left
    9. Euchre Universe see "Renege"
    10. OhioEuchre.com see "Renege"