Saturday, September 30, 2006

More Nude Euchre

Leave it to one of the Euchre Universe affiliates to find another place where you can get naked and play euchre. Check out the activities on July 15. I hope they put something down on the chairs before they sit.

I wonder how this would go over with the Urban Tribe. I know the chicken would fit right in.

Options for hosting a live euchre tournament

A couple of days ago someone asked how you might run a euchre tournament for 20 people. We here at the Euchre Universe gave it a little thought and figured it would make a good post to suggest ways you might do this. Here’s what we came up with.

Option 1 Random Blind Draw Single Elimination. In this type of tournament you put everyone's name in a hat and draw for partners. If you have 20 people at your tournament, that will leave you with 10 teams. Then follow a bracket system like this one and randomly assign people to a team number. Play the first round as a "best of 3" and then play the next 2 rounds as a "best of 5" tournament.

If you'd like to do a double elimination version try one of the other brackets at the site. For more or less players, you’ll need to create different bracket systems.

Option 2 Cut-throat option.
In this type of tournament you are on your own and the object is to amass as many points as you can. Each person is randomly assigned a number. Then tables are made up of randomly assigned people. You play euchre for 2 rounds and keep track of the scores. The temporary partnerships each get the number of points that they receive as a team. After 2 rounds of dealing, everyone moves to different tables and gets paired up with new people. The object is to score as many points as possible. The winner is the person who has the highest score after a set amount of table rotations. For 20 people, you could probably do 4 or 5 rotations in an hour. This means you'd rotate about 9 times in a 2 hour tournament. There is no end to the games so people could theoretically score more than 10 points in a given rotation.

Here’s a euchre site that explains this option in more detail. I particularly like the “duck” and the “euchre bingo” ideas. And the idea of having a “ghost” player in the event of an uneven number of players is a pretty good one too. And at the Semi-Official Euchre site they have scorecards for this type of play.

Either system works well. Option 1 is better for the "pure" euchre players because it stays truer to the game. In the cut-throat version sometimes your partner might try to get your team euchred just to ruin your chances of winning.

But Option 2 is better for people who would rather take responsibility for whether they win or lose.

That’s what we’ve got for now. Good luck.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Euchre for the blind

One of the great things about euchre is that you apparently don’t even have to be able to see your cards to play the thing. Our good friends over at tipped us off to this site from the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired. For a mere $10 you get play euchre with the blind and their friends. I wonder if they have a lot of kibitzing.

It’s really great because you even get ice cream and cash prizes. Unfortunately, it was conducted last weekend and I was unable to attend due to a conflict with my marathon joggling attempts in Toronto. But next year, I’m putting this one on my calendar. I hope you don't need a blind friend, I don't know any.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Two bower play revisited

Alright, today is actually the day that the euchre league starts. Yes, I know I said it was last week but that was just wishful thinking. Speaking of wishful thinking, there is a scenario in the point system that needs some further analysis. Specifically, how should you handle the two bower hand? That will be the subject of today’s savvy strategies.

Savvy Strategies:
When you are dealt the 2 bowers you have 17 points according to the point system of ordering. In reality however, you actually have 20 points. This is because you have both the highest and second highest cards in the deck, meaning that you have a guaranteed 2 tricks. The point system is based on the probability that a card will win a trick. With the top bower you have a probability of 100% of winning a trick. To make things easier, we lop off a zero and make the point score equal to 10. The reason the left bower has a point value of 7 is because there is only a 70% chance that it will win a trick. But when you have the Right and the Left, the Left now has a 100% chance of winning and should have a point value of 10 also.

Anyway, how does this all affect your ordering strategy? Let’s assume you have the two bowers and no other trump. Additionally, you have no off-suit cards higher than a queen.

Two jacks are nice to have as long as that suit is trump. If not, they are just two off-suit losers. Ordering up from any seat is a winning play but in some cases there is an even better strategy.

Seat 1: In this position you shouldn’t order. You have an excellent opportunity to euchre your opponents and if everyone passes you can order in the next suit and have essentially the same hand. The bonus is that you are not giving the opponents a guaranteed trump. This is how you should play this hand no matter what the score.

Seat 2: Generally, you should order up in this position. With 2 winners and another trump in your partner’s hand, your side is going to win much more often than not. You don’t want to pass because unless the opponents are playing the “next” strategy, you likely won’t get the opportunity to order again.

Seat 3: Pass. If your partner is playing the “next” strategy you are golden. If not, you could be in trouble.

Seat 4: Pick it up and go alone (unless you have 8 points). If you have two bowers in your hand and you’re getting another trump, you’ve got 3 winners. If luck is on your side you might march and possibly win the game right there.

Good luck.

Euchre Obitz:
The world of euchre just got a little smaller. Here’s a sweet tribute to a euchre player.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

As if you needed another reason to play euchre

Euchre Lifestyle
If you ever decide to visit a nudist colony, you’ll be happy to know that you can still enjoy a Wednesday or Friday night game of euchre. The next time you’re in …. Check out the Cyprus Cove nudist resort and spa. Located just 40 minutes out side of Orlando.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Euchre for all seasons

Euchre QOD: “You can fool some of the people some of the time and usually that’s enough

Euchre Haiku:
A new season starts
Perfect play is possible
But will still need luck

Euchre Update:
Tonight starts the next euchre league. We’ve been out of it for the whole summer but my partner and I are back. Since our last match I’ve learned a few things about euchre and hope to convince my partner to employ some of the winning strategies. For example, she’s never been much of a “next” caller. I’d like to see her start playing that way. I haven’t been much of one either, but as we saw in this previous post on ordering next, that is the best way to go. I’ll keep you posted as to how we do.

Euchre Universe:
And remember next weekend is the big World Series of Euchre! Unfortunately, this editor will not be able to attend as I am traveling to St. Louis for work and I have my big marathon joggling event the next weekend. That's a lot of traveling. But we may have a report from one of our key affiliates who is going to try his hand at the event. Good luck Harv!

Euchre on the Web:
As a follow-up to the post of the Top Ten Euchre Tells, I found this cool article at Euchre Links. It contains some online euchre tells that weren’t considered. Check it out. It’s even funny.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

4 more euchre gambits for fun and profit

Euchre is a funny game. You can play your cards perfect and still lose 30% of the time. Well, it doesn't have to be that way. By taking extra advantage of the opportunities your opponents afford you, you can push your edge just a little higher. And while some of these ploys and gambits might feel a little unethical, this is euchre for chrissake. A game that has acceptable cheating written into its rule book. Ever hear of steal the deal?

Here are four more euchre gambits to get your winning percentage a little higher. Note, most of these are effective in live games. We'll put together an online version soon.

1. Pay attention to your opponent's cards. Early on in the Euchre Universe we discussed the topic of spying your opponents cards. Back then we couldn't decide whether it was right or wrong. Well, now we don't see any problem with it. If you are next to some bafoon who can't keep his cards out of site of his opponents then he should expect that an opponent will use the information against him. Sure you could be polite and tell him to "vest his cards", but don't bother. Casually spy his cards and adjust your play accordingly.

2. Distracting conversation. My partner is great but she just cannot play cards and listen to a conversation at the same time. This is true of all but the best euchre players. When they are listening to a story it's extremely hard to play excellent cards. So, when you're playing your next euchre game throw out some distracting conversation. The key is to find a topic your opponents will be passionate about, then express a contrary opinion. Politics is an excellent choice. Religion, the existence of God, abortion, gay marriage, Iraq war, all great choices. Figure out which one will really spark your foe, find out what they think and then give them the opposing opinion. Nothing kills card playing like emotional upheaval.

3. Book worm ploy. The key to a good gambit is to affect the way your opponents feel. This one is designed to make them feel a little bit inferior. While playing the game casually use euchre terms that your opponents may or may not know. Check out the euchre glossary for a great starting list. But if your opponents know all the terms you bring up, start making up some of your own. Use these new terms as if anyone who plays euchre should know. When someone questions a term, give them a condesending look and tell them what it means. Then say something like, "I'm surprised you don't know that, everyone who plays euchre knows that." They'll be so busy trying to convince themselves that you don't know what you're talking about they won't notice you stealing the deal.

4. The mathematical gambit. People who play euchre with me often will hear the probabilities of everything. "There was only a 6% chance that queen would win that trick." "You know the odds of us winning is 70%?" "The chances that I'd get dealt 5 trump is 1 in 2100." After a game or so they get to calling me Mr Wizard. This lulls them into an expectation of losing. It's like playing poker against a pro. You never feel bad when you lose because you expect it. Speak of probabilities and odds and you too can make your opponents expect to lose.