Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Euchre statistics - How much of it is luck?

Euchre QOD: “Ya can’t beat luck”

Euchre Haiku:
Sometimes you’re brilliant
Sometimes you can do no right
Feel the rule of luck

Euchre Palaver
“Win a trick” – This is when you have played the highest ranking card of any of your opponents during a single turn. If no trump has been played, it is the highest card in the suit led that wins the trick. If trump is played, then it is the highest trump that wins.

Savvy Strategies
I recently read an article by card expert Joe Andrews who suggests that there exists in euchre a 33% rule. That is 33% of the time you will lose no matter what you do, 33% of the time you will win no matter what, and 33% of the time the team with the greater instinct and savvy will come out on top. These numbers seem reasonable and jive with my experience. So what does this mean for your euchre play?

1. Just because you lose a match doesn’t mean you played bad. There’s nothing you can do about luck. It should even out but there are some people in the world who are just luckier than everyone else. Pray that you don’t meet them at a euchre table.

2. Just because you won a match doesn’t mean you are good. You could do all the wrong things and still win one third of your games. Pat yourself on the back for being lucky. Then take a realistic view of your play. Are you really that good?

3. Skillful play will win more often in the long run. The good news is that there is an element of skill in euchre and by following the tips in the Euchre Universe and other places linked on the side, you can push your winning percentage higher and higher.

4. The best you could ever expect is to win 2/3 of every game or match. Even if you are the best euchre player in the house, you should expect to lose 1/3 of your games. And while a 67% winning percentage seems low consider all of the great baseball players who have made the Hall of Fame with batter averages (percentages) of 1/3 or less. The greatest euchre players are twice as good as the greatest hitters. Of course, we’ve never seen them play euchre.

What does the rest of the Euchre Universe think? Is a 67% win rate the highest you could ever expect?

Euchre on the Web
And for all you folks in the universe who are looking for something to get that special euchre player of yours, check out this fine euchre set over at The nice thing is that if your partner trumps your ace all night you can throw the wooden box at him!


Harvey "the Rabbit" Lapp said...

This is exactly the point that I tried to make about online players in my article; I've seen guys online whose record shows that they've played thousands of games and won like 90% of them or more. They cheated, plain and simple.

Perry said...

I have to agree. There is something really fishy going on if someone has a 90% win rate!

Auzztan said...

I'm at my peak win rate of 62.6% of games Won on hardest difficulty for iPhone app. 90% just means cheating pure and simple! I've never seen a 2/3 win rate over a thousand though and I'm aiming for it after 10ks

Marya said...

I was recently prompted to compute the distribution of win ratios for players at World of Card Games, and I've written a blog post about it. Most players, by far, have a win stat of between 40% and 50% in Euchre, with just a few coming in higher. That supports what you're saying!

Michael Nowak said...

Agreed. You will NEVER be above 67% with 1000+ games unless you are playing against novices. I play highly skilled euchre players of 20-60 years experience and over my last 3000 games; am at 58%. I think that's incredible. Anytime you can play those that are the best and win more than 50% over 1000+ games, then you are pretty good at your craft.

Unknown said...

I hover at 61% and consider myself a decent player, looking to get that extra 6% :-)

Ron Stiller said...

Yes so many people quit to avoid the defeat. But let it time them out so you have to boot them to continue. I Ustinov say I'm not a great player I'm only at 57% and my Trump call success is barely over 80%. Although I do deliberately lose some games if my partner annoys me. Also been euchre's many times by my partner failing to lead Trump when I make from third seat.