Thursday, April 13, 2006

Euchre Strategies - Saving your point alone

Euchre QOD: “A point on the board is worth four in your prayers.”

Euchre Haiku:
You’re going for four
But one killer trump remains
Lead off, save a point

Euchre Palaver
“Shake the bushes” – this is a strategy where you lead trump. It usually refers to the first trick. If your team made trump then leading it is usually a good play. If you are the defending team, leading trump is only a good play if the person to your left ordered it up.

Savvy Strategies
In yesterday’s entry the following scenario was presented.

The score is 0 – 0. You are sitting in the first seat and are dealt the following hand.

The turned up card is the 9 of clubs. You tell your partner to stay home opting (as you should) to go alone.

First Trick:
You properly lead with the Right Bower. The player on your left plays the 10 of clubs and the player on your right plays the 9 of clubs.

Second Trick:
You next play the Left Bower. The player on your left plays the 10 of hearts and the other player plays the Queen of clubs.

So, what should you play at the Third Trick? If you answered Ace of Hearts you are correct! The Ace lead ensures that you will not be euchred and that you still may make your bid. The only way the Ace can be beat is if your opponent has the final remaining trump and plays it. Then you have the remaining trump which ensures that you win at least 3 tricks. If the Ace of hearts wins, then lead the King of Clubs. If the opponents have the Ace of trump, they play it but you still got your 3 tricks for the point. If they don’t, your Queen of Hearts lead could march and a well-deserved 4 points will go your team’s way.

Some may have thought that leading the King of Clubs might be the way to go because that reduces the chance that the opponents will be able to hold 2 hearts. But that opens up the possibility of a euchre. Suppose the dealer had 3 trump headed by the Ace of Clubs. You lead the King, it gets beat by the Ace and you have no way of scoring your Heart tricks. The safest and smartest play is the Ace of Hearts.

One point ahead is always better than two behind.

Euchre Lit
“We called for a deck of cards and sat down at a table and played euchre for an hour, in which time Louis treated once, and I treated once, to beer--the cheapest drink, ten cents for two.” John Barleycorn by London, Jack

Euchre Excursions
If you happen to be in Las Vegas next Thursday, April 20, 2006, check out Moon Doggies for a live euchre tournament. $15 and no partner needed!!


Kevin said...

Good tip. Subtle, but important.

Is there a score that would change your strategy? If you were losing 9-6, would you play it safe to make it 9-7 (and consequently your deal next hand), or try for the march as a last-ditch effort?

Kevin said...

I take that're still much better off playing the ace. You'll guarantee the point and have a better chance of marching.

Perry said...

Yeah. If you play the Ace and it loses, you weren't going to march even if you led the trump. The Ace makes certain that you make the point. The only way the Ace lead could reduce your chance of a sweep is if someone holds 2 hearts (say the King and a Jack). You lead the ace and they hold onto the King. If you had led trump, maybe they play the Jack and you take the King when you lead the ace thereby promoting the Queen and sweeping.

Harvey "the Rabbit" Lapp said...

No doubt and MEGA-dittos to Perry 44 on the strategy. If the Ace of trump is burried, the only way the march is NOT on is if one of the opponents has two hearts including the King which he must save until the queen is led. The point of the strategy however is just to NOT be euchred.
Oh, the euchre tournament is April 20th here in Vegas by the way (not the 13th). I do appreciate the mention however. Those interested can always check out for upcoming tourneys.