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.

No comments: