Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Euchre strategy - Defending Against a Bower Upcard
Euchre QOD: “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d get none at all”
A card that can win
Comforting when on defense
Frustrates the offense
“Stopper” – A card in a suit that is guaranteed to take a trick when played properly. For example, the Right bower or a guarded Left bower.
As we saw in this previous post, while turning up a Jack as the dealing team is one of the greatest moments in a euchre game, it’s one of the worst things to see if you’re the team on defense. But as we suggested the other day, there are different things you should do to ensure the highest probability of winning the game. Here are a few tips.
If you are in the first seat (left of the dealer)…
1. If the dealing team has 5 points or less, pass. Ordering up a bower to your opponents ensures they will win at least 1 trick making a sweep by your team impossible. You would almost have to have the next 3 highest ranking cards just to make sure you win 3 tricks. And even if you have those cards, you miss the opportunity to euchre an overly aggressive opponent. Unless you are playing really passive players, you should generally pass no matter what cards you have.
2. If your team is “in the barn” and you have a really strong hand, order it up. I know I just said don’t order it up but if you have a good chance of making it and you have scored 9 points already. Go ahead and go for it. The fact that you only need one point to win the game makes it worth ordering with hands that have 3 sure winners.
3. If the dealing team has 6 or 7 points, order it up if you do not have a stopper. This is a donation strategy and prevents the dealing team from winning the game outright with a loner. You don’t want to order if you have a stopper because this guarantees that they won’t be able to score 4 points and win the game.
4. If the dealing team has 8 points, order it up only if you have a sure winning hand. For example, you have four or five trump headed by the Left. This tip should be used sparingly however as you may want to just pass and hope that your opponent gets too aggressive and orders it up on next to nothing. This will allow you to score 2 points by euchring them instead of just 1 point.
If you are in the third seat (right of the dealer)…
5. Are you playing? Pass, pass, pass unless... Your partner is the one who should be making the decisions. If you are playing with a partner who will never donate then you should order it up when the opponents have 6 or 7 points and you don’t have a guaranteed stopper. You could also order it up if your team is “in the barn” and you have 3 nearly sure winners. But mostly, you should be passing.
That’s it for the Jack up-card ordering strategies. If you have any thoughts, leave a comment.
Euchre on the Web
If you are hosting a euchre tournament this site has a handy bracket maker and the best part is that it is free to join. You’ve got to register of course, but it is relatively easy to use. Check it out. It also works well if you are hosting a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament. Now those are cool!