Monday, February 13, 2006

The lonely euchre player

Euchre QOD: “You have less power with a partner”

Euchre Haiku:

You wait quietly
Praying the option is yours
Go alone, you win.

Euchre Palaver
“Going Alone” – This is a situation in which one member of the partnership orders up trump and says “alone”. That player’s partner puts her hand down and is relegated to watching the action and sweeping the tricks. She is allowed to sweep so she feels like she’s part of the game. Getting all the tricks on a loner will net your team 4 points. Getting 3 or 4 tricks results in 1 point and getting euchred results in 2 points for opponents.

Savvy Strategies – When to go alone
Ever since I won a play-off match we were down 6-9 in by going alone with the Right and Three off aces, I realized the power of the euchre loner.

Going alone is one of the most important plays in euchre. Getting all the tricks without your partner will net you 4 points which is 40% of the score needed to win the game. Therefore, a loner should be attempted anytime you have a reasonable chance of making it (or at least of not getting euchred). That is unless your team has scored 8 points. In these cases (with rare exceptions) you should not go alone unless you have 5 sure tricks. This is because the chances of your team getting all the tricks are better when your partner is with you than when she is not. And since 2 points will win you the game, 4 points is just overkill.

0. Never go alone if your team has scored 8 points.

From a card point standpoint the following rules are applicable.

1. Go alone whenever you have 24 card points or more. When your hand is this strong, the chances of being euchred are less than 10%. The chances of getting all 5 by yourself are only half that of what it would be if you brought your partner along. So from a mathematical sense, this strategy is sound.

2. Forget card points and go alone whenever you have 4 trump. Computer simulations show that the chances of getting euchred are quite low and the chances of getting all the tricks (even with K,Q,10,9 trump hand) are reasonable.

Loner tries have the additional benefit of messing with your opponent’s minds. It becomes frustrating when someone orders loner after loner. It also stretches your opponent’s bidding tendencies making euchring them a greater possibility. I love the loner! You should be using it more.

League Update
League night again. Despite last week’s victory, my partner and I stayed in 10th place. I estimate that we really only need one more match victory to get into the playoffs. However, I would certainly like to win the rest of our matches. There is no reason any of our opponents should beat us in a 5 game match. In the play-offs we only play best of 3 and luck plays a much greater factor.

1 comment:

ectonomo said...

By 24 card points, you mean before making the necessary adjustments for sitting in 2nd or 4th seat, is that correct? Because I've been trying it with 14 points in 2nd seat or 19 points in 4th (before adding in the necessary adjustments) and getting euchred 2/3 of the time.