Thursday, June 29, 2006

Euchre Strategy - Hand of the week 1 play

Euchre Quote: Sometimes cheaters win

Euchre Haiku:
Experts at euchre
Playing every hand perfect
And getting lucky

Savvy Strategies:
Hand of the week
Just to finish up on the hand of the week from Monday. Remember the hand was…

K (Hearts)
10 (Diamonds)
J (Clubs)
J 10 (Spades)

Upcard is…

Q (Diamonds)

The way you should play it depends on what happened during the ordering round and what seat you are sitting in.

Opponents order it up and they are dealing.
That would put you in either seat 1 or seat 3. In seat 1 you would have to decide what to lead. In this hand you have little chance of winning any trick. Your best hope is the King of hearts. Unfortunately, a non-trump King will only win a trick about 1 out of 10 games. And this King is the in the “next” suit which reduces the winning chances even more. Things are not looking promising for you to win a trick.

But of your five possible leads, the King of hearts is probably the best bet. There are really two reasons it is best. First, it might win a trick. Second, your partner might be short in that suit so she can ruff.

The other leading option is to lead the 10 of diamonds (a trump). I could support this option if the opponent in seat 2 ordered it up. A trump lead from you may force them to make a decision between playing the Right Bower or their Ace of trump. It may also strip the only trump out of the dealer’s hand. Of course, it could also strip your partner’s trump and screw up the whole defense so I’m going to stick with the recommendation to lead the King and hope for the best.

If the dealer orders it up, you should definitely lead the King of hearts or maybe the 10 of spades. All the things said about the King stand but the 10 of spade lead could possibly set up a win for the Jack of spade later in the round. It’s weak but possible.

Opponents order it up and you are dealing
In this case you are in either seat 2 or seat 4. Not much to do here except wait to see what’s played. With three singletons, you’re pretty much just going to be following suit.

Partner orders it up and they are dealing
If your partner orders it up and you’re in seat 1, lead that trump right away. She ordered from seat 3 so she must have a strong trump hand. She would like to see you pull trump so the opponents don’t win a cheap trick ruffing one of her off-suit aces.

Partner orders it up and you are dealing
Again, not much to do here except wait to see what’s played. With three singletons, you’re pretty much just going to be following suit.

So now you are an expert at playing this hand. If you become an expert at the remaining 42,503 hands you will be the greatest euchre player in the known universe, at least the Euchre Universe.

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