My partner plays without me
I exist to sweep
“Shooting” – This is another term for “going alone” which is an attempt made by a player to win all 5 tricks without help from partner. If successful in winning all 5 tricks, 4 points are awarded. If less than 5 tricks are won, standard euchre scoring rules apply.
“No-brainer” – Also known as a “lay down loner”, this is a hand where the cards are so strong that no one else will win a trick (e.g. having a 5 trump hand with the Right and Left bowers).
“Sweeper” – The player that picks up the winning tricks for their side. In some partnerships one person sweeps all the tricks whenever their team wins and the other partner keeps score.
I was playing euchre Friday night at a party when the following situation came up. My partner called a loner and it was the opponent to her left that was responsible to start the game. Here was the rest of the situation…
1. Hearts ordered up alone by dealer.
2. Score is 5-2 ordering team ahead.
3. First opponent has singletons King of Clubs and Ace of Spades.
4. I was the team sweeper.
My opponent leads the Ace of Spades, second opponent follows suit and my partner trumps it. For the next three tricks, she draws out the rest of the trump. On the fifth trick she plays the Queen of Diamonds which loses to the second opponent’s Ace of Diamonds.
At this point, the second opponent scolds her partner insisting he should not have started with his Ace. She says that he should have held the Ace 'til the end. So what do you think, should he? We’ll talk about the answer tomorrow.
Euchre on the Web
Here’s a listing of some interesting variants on the standard euchre game. Some of the ones that I find intriguing…
- Reverse: It’s the opposite of euchre where you try to lose tricks. If you get dealt lots of “farmer’s hands” this game’s for you.
- Sudden Death: The “black mariah” of euchre. If the Queen of Spades gets turned as the up-card, the game is over and the highest score at that point wins.
- Naughty Nines: If a nine is flipped over, dealer is forced to pick it up and go alone.
If you have any other interesting variants, please leave them in the comments. Euchre is a great game but a little variety can certainly spice up a 10 hour session.
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