Euchre QOD: “Lead ‘em if ya got ‘em”
Begin with your trump
If you have ordered it up
Less so on defense
“Shaking the bushes” – To lead trump in an attempt to pull the trump out of the opponents hand.
In the 10 Commandments of euchre it is suggested that you should lead trump when you’ve ordered it up but NOT lead trump when you are on defense. These rules seem a little too narrow for my taste. Whether you “shake the bushes” is really dependant on what your cards are and who ordered it up. If you follow the point system for determining whether to order a few rules come into effect.
Since seat 1 is the lead player for the first trick of the round, here are 7 rules you should follow when deciding what to lead.
On offense in Seat 1:
1. If you have 4 trumps, lead trump. But if you have 4 trump you should be going alone and if you are going alone, You should always lead trump!
2. If you have 3 trumps but don't have the right, don't lead trump. You should lead your off-suit loser. This gives your partner a chance to either win your loser with the Ace in the suit or ruff it.
3. If you have 2 trumps, don't shake the bushes. In this case, you'll want to lead your off-suit loser card too. Lose early to win late. Note: this assumes you ordered it up.
4. If your partner ordered it up, lead trump. An order by your partner means they have a monster point hand. They want the trump to come out, so you should just lead it.
5. If the player on your left ordered it up lead trump. They generally order it up on a weak trump hand so there is a chance to set them. Also, there is a chance they will have to decide whether to play a low trump instead of the right and it could give your partner's Left (if they have it) a chance to win.
6. But don't lead trump if you have the Left. The opponents likely have the right and your left would just be wasted.
7. Don't lead trump if the upcard was a bower. Even if the person in seat 2 ordered it up. There is no advantage to leading trump.
Follow these "rules" and you will really frustrate your opponents and online partners but you will also be playing winning euchre!
I'm off on vacation to sunny Arizona for the next 4 days so I might have a hard time updating the blog. I'll try but there will be much baseball to watch and euchre to play.