Euchre QOD: “Keep the horse off the rider”
Keeping score with care
Put the six at the bottom
The four goes on top
“Horse” – The 6 card used for scorekeeping
“Rider” – The 4 card used for scorekeeping
Keeping score in euchre has some standard traditions that many people follow. Follow these guidelines to seem like a euchre pro.
1. A six card and four card are used to keep score. Euchre is a game played to 10 points so 6 and 4 work well. Nobody uses two 5s or 7 & 3, or 8 & 2. Nine and Ace couldn’t work because you need them to play.
2. Start with the six (face up) on the table and the four (face down) covering it. This is the standard start to the game. It’s an old euchre adage that you should never put the six on the four as it’s bad luck. They say keep the horse off the rider. I’m not much of a believer in luck so I put the 6 on the 4 all the time.
3. Move the face down four card to expose the “pips” on the six as your score increases. The order in which you do this is a matter of personal preference. Some people expose one side at a time others expose from top to bottom. I like top to bottom myself.
4. When you get to 6 points, put the four card face up on the six card and expose only two pips on the six. This gives you 6 points and keeps the horse off the rider.
5. When you are in the barn, separate and turn both cards over. This is the universal sign that you have nine points and are ready to win. No one, except rubber chicken loving players from Chicago exposes five pips on the 6 and four pips on the four to signal “in the barn”.
That’s it except to say some also consider it bad luck to sit between the markers. That is when you keep score, you don’t want the opponents score cards on your left when your score cards are on the right. You get “squeezed” and folks from Ohio consider it bad luck. Which leads to a fun ploy…put the scorecards next to your opponent to try to squeeze them. Seasoned euchre players will notice and move their scorecards.
Euchre on the Web
Joe Andrews is one of the more popular writers about card games and card game strategies. Some say he’s a shill for the United States Playing Card Company but I like his stuff. Here’s what he has to say about the history of euchre.
Incidentally, the Bee 92 cards from the USPCC are my favorite.