Friday, March 31, 2006

The weak lady and her pips

Euchre QOD: “Euchre favors the bid

Euchre Haiku:
Queens and tens and nines
Nights with these cards are brutal
Unless they are trump

Euchre Palaver
“Puppy paws” – Cutesy name for Clubs
“Shovels” – Cutesy name for Spades
“Bubbles” – Cutesy name for Hearts
“Diamantez” – Cutesy name for Diamonds

Savvy Strategies
Ordering weak.

How many times does this happen to you? You are the dealer and you flip over a Queen (say Queen of Clubs). You look at your own hand and see the 10 of Clubs and the 9 of Clubs. Everybody passes and it’s up to you. Do you order or pass?

Sometimes you should & sometimes you shouldn’t. How’s that for definitiveness!?

No, don’t do it when…
1. Your opponents have 8 points. While the odds of you making it are slightly better than 50/50, the odds of you being set are still pretty high (>40%). And if you get euchred here, the game is over. Your best bet is to pass and hope it turns out ok.

2. Your other cards are green Bowers. If you have two bowers in the green suit it’s best to wait for a chance to order up those.

3. You have more card points with a different suit as trump. The more card points you have in a suit, the better your chances of making it. You should pass and hope to get to call your better suit, or hope your partner calls it!

Yes of course you pick it up when…
1. Your opponents have 9 points. As we saw Wednesday you are a 2 to 1 underdog to win the game anyway. Having 3 trump no matter what your other cards are is still a better than 50/50 chance to win.
2. Your opponents have 6 points and the player on your right is an aggressive loner caller. This is a semi-defensive strategy where you hope to make your point but you also want to prevent a loner call by your opponents in a different suit. We covered this idea when we discussed donation.

3. One of your other cards is an Ace. Three trump with an Ace! You have to pick that up.

4. You would be 2 suited. If you can discard such that you are 2 suited go ahead and pick it up. You can likely ruff the first trick, then lead back low in your off-suit to promote your higher card. This is still a weak hand but you’ve got to be able to count on your partner for 1 trick!

5. You are playing the “Screw the Dealer” rule. Well, unless you have a couple of red Jacks your hand isn’t going to get much better than 3 trump. You better order it up and hope you can score it.

Admittedly, the hand with the lowest three trump is weak, but it’s not so weak that you shouldn’t pick it up. Euchre favors the bidder.

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