Euchre QOD: Luck evens out in the long run…if you’re lucky.
Well, league night didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. My partner and I lost our match 2 games to 3. There was one game in which we were leading 4-0 and our opponents raddled off 10 points in a row. That’s when the cards were really cold. However, that’s euchre. You could be the greatest player in the world, but if your feeble foe gets 5 trump dealt to them, you aren’t going to win very often.
Despite last night’s loss, I’m convinced that the strategy we were following was sound. The key to winning euchre (besides being lucky) is knowing when to order it up. For this, I’ve developed a point system.
I used to play bridge and in that game there is a bidding phase only slightly similar to the one in euchre. In the bridge strategy books, someone created a point system to help figure out if you should bid or pass. Since it works for bridge, it makes sense that it could work for euchre.
Before I explain, here is the point system. If you remember the system and apply it, I guarantee that you will be giving yourself the best chance to win. Of course, you’ll still have to be lucky to win, but we can’t control luck.
Here it is…
*The strong off suit is the 2 suits that are not the same color as trump. For example, if Hearts were trump, the 2 black suits (clubs & spades) would be the strong off suits.
*The weak off suit is the one that is the same color as trump. This one has less cards in it (because the Jack is really a trump) which makes it “weaker”.
When do you order it up? - 21 points! or 16 points!
At first, follow these guidelines when ordering it up.
In the first round of bidding, order it up when you have 21 points or more.
In the second round of bidding (when everyone has passed once), order it up when you have 16 points or more. If you follow these guidelines, you will beat more than half of the euchre teams you play.
In later entries, I’ll explain how you adjust the points in your hand based on where you are sitting relative to the dealer. I’ll also explain what the points mean and how they were derived.
How to practice:
To practice the point system shuffle and deal out 5 cards face up. Determine how many points you have if the trump suit was Clubs. Do the same for Hearts, Spades and Diamonds. If you practice this a couple of times a day for one week, you’ll be able to use it quite easily.