Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Euchre Strategy - How to play a euchre hand

Euchre QOD: “There’s no atheism in euchre!”

Euchre Haiku:
When your foes have six
And they order it alone
Will a euchre hand

Euchre Palaver
“Euchre hand” – A hand that has at least one winning trick no matter what suit is declared trump. An example would be a hand with 4 jacks. With this hand, you can’t help but win trick.

Savvy Strategies
Unlike a game like Bridge, Euchre has a small enough number of unique hands that it is possible to be dealt every hand in your lifetime. Think about it this way.

There are 42,504 possible euchre hands.
The average euchre game goes 10 hands.

So, if you played one game of euchre a day, you should expect to see every possible hand in just over 11 years. Play 3 games a day and you’ll see every hand in about 4 years.

But it won’t feel like it takes this long because many hands are practically the same. If you hand a farmer’s hand would it really feel different if your two 10s were the diamonds & clubs versus hearts & spades? No. Thus the number of unique “feeling” hands is much lower than 42,000.

With the frequency of unique feeling hands in mind, you can bet that sometime during a marathon session of euchre you are going to be dealt a euchre hand. These are a type of hand that has a guaranteed winner no matter what suit is called trump. It is an excellent hand when you are on defense but not as strong on offense.

Euchre Hand Examples.
1. Any hand with four jacks. With this hand you’ve got 2 winners no matter what suit is ordered. But 2 winners is not enough and to make, you will need some help from your partner.
2. Any hand with three jacks and an ace in the suit in which you don’t have a jack. Here you can’t help but win a trick.

3. Any hand with three jacks and a King, Queen combination in the other suit. Again, a winner no matter what suit is called.

The nice thing about a euchre hand is that it will prevent a march. The bad thing about it is that it is not usually strong enough to order trump, but as we’ve seen that will depend on the seat & score. Here are some ordering tips.

Euchre Hand Strategies.
1. In seat 1, pass in the first round. Order “Next” in the second. This play was described in the two jack ordering entry from last week.

2. In seat 2, pass in both first and second rounds. You have a good chance at euchring your opponents or being of great assistance to your partner.

3. In seat 3, pass in the first round, order it up in the second. With 3 Jacks, you’ve got two winners in at least 1 trump suit. You might as well take a gamble.

4. In seat 4, pass in the first round, order it up in the second. Again, you’ve got at least two winners. Count on your partner for 1 and you’ll score at least 1 point for your side. Euchre is not a game for the timid.

Follow these tips for handling a euchre hand and you’ll be euchring more opponents than you ever have.

Euchre Traveler
Traveling abroad this summer? Well, if you want to go to a place with real life euchre be sure to go to visit Cornwall, located in the south west corner of England. According to the wikipedia, there are numerous leagues throughout the county.


Harvey "the Rabbit" Lapp said...

Personally, I am a euchre buddhist, I believe that you must follow the path to enlightenment (and ten points) yourself, but, to each his own.
As for Cornwall, I'd love to visit there one day. From what I've heard from a euchre league operator out there, they play to 21 points with a Benny (joker). If you are dealing and turn up the Benny, you must call trump without looking at your hand. Of course you get to keep the highest card in the deck for yourself. It sounds quite interesting to me.

Perry said...

That does sound interesting. I especially like the blind ordering. When we play a game called Oh Hell (a great game) we allow for blind bidding. It makes the game really challenging.