Sunday, April 15, 2007

Euchre on vacation

The Euchre Universe is on vacation (caribbean cruise) and won't be able to update until April 23. Meanwhile, we'll be honing our skills by introducing and pounding these east coast dandies in our favorite card game...euchre.

He's now off working to become the world's most famous cosmetic chemist.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Introducing New Euchre Software that can help you play better

The Euchre Universe is happy to announce the release of an exciting new piece of software. This program can significantly improve your euchre play. Go check out Fred Benjamin's Euchre Challenge and download a free trial version.

Having been one of the beta testers, I can attest that this software features some of the most challenging euchre bots that you'll encounter. Be careful because they don't always play in ways that are expected.

Of special note is the Euchre Simulator that allows you to input various euchre hands and have the computer automatically play out the hands. It keeps track of the results and lets you determine what the best strategies are of any given hand.

Be sure to get the companion euchre strategy book along with the software. We'll be doing a more thorough review of the book but it is full of excellent euchre knowledge.

And if you have thoughts about how to make the software better, feel free to post your opinion here or at Yahoo! Euchre Science.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Want to improve your Euchre play - stop playing and start watching

You read the Euchre Universe, follow the discussions at Euchre Science, play online and live games, and even participate in a euchre club. But if you're not watching the performance of other euchre players, you are missing a golden opportunity to improve your game.

According to a recent paper in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers found that...
"when a person watches someone else perform a task with the intention of later replicating the observed performance, motor areas of the brain are activated in a fashion similar to that which accompanies actual movement."
This means you can actually CHANGE YOUR BRAIN by watching other people play euchre. So, if you want to become a better euchre player, put those good ol' euchre playing cards down and go watch some people play euchre.

But the important part is that you can't just watch the games passively. You've got to watch the live or online euchre games with the intention of copying the plays that good players are making. Passive observation is almost worthless for euchre game improvement.

Watch with intention.

If you can't find a live game with a great player worth watching, go check out the many online games that allow spectators. You can find them on Yahoo, Hardwood Euchre, or Pogo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Yahoo Euchre Science - A place for you euchre questions

While all things euchre can be found on the Euchre Universe, there are pockets of useful information at other spots on the web. We've mentioned other places like, Natty Bumpo's site, and Euchre-There is no other Card Game. Today, I wanted to direct you to a great source of euchre talk created and moderated by Gerry Blue creator of the Euchre Laboratory.

Euchre Discussions

If you really want to find out what a bunch of euchre "experts" think about a particular euchre situation, go to Yahoo's Euchre Science group. Sure you have to sign up but it's painless and they won't send you a bunch of spam.

But when you're here, you'll find wide ranging opinions on all kinds of subjects like

Ordering Next
When to Order
Euchre Rules
Euchre Equipment
Euchre History
Online Euchre
Even Euchre Grammar

Really anything else about euchre you can ask here and you'll get someone's opinion. Before you ask, check through the 5 or 6 year's worth of archives. There's a huge amount of information here and you can learn a lot. Some of it is garbage but you'll find a few gems here and there.

So, if you've read through the entire Euchre Universe and you just want to get other people's perspective, check out Euchre Science today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A euchre computer programming quiz

Harvy Lapp of Euchrelinks tipped the Euchre Universe off to this interesting euchre computer quiz. If you are interested in computer programming this one might be right up your alley. It's in a computer language that I don't know but maybe you'll know it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

6 Reasons Why Euchre is Better Than Poker

Sure we here at the Euchre Universe do things other than play euchre. We juggle, play table tennis and even sometimes throw a little cash around the poker table. But as every serious euchre player knows, Euchre is Better Than Poker! For those of you who don't know, hair are 6 reasons.

1. Poker is mostly boring. In the wildly popular poker game Texas Hold 'em there are only 1326 hands to start. Of those there are only 169 that are distinctly different. In euchre, there are 42,504 hands and you have to play the cards you get. Anything can happen. In poker, you'll spend most of your time throwing your hands away and watching everyone else take your money.

2. Without money, poker is senseless. Playing high-stakes euchre is great fun and certainly adds excitement to the game. But money is not a crucial part of the game. It's a game of intellect. It's your brain against your opponent's. Poker is a financial transaction. You might as well be a stock broker. Playing poker without money is like voting for a Republican in Chicago. There's no point.

3. Euchre is a team effort. In a poker game, your success is celebrated by you. Winning creates a sense of desolate isolation. Your opponents despise you unless you lose. In euchre, victory is celebrated with a companion. It's a game of sharing, the joys, the pain, the fun. And besides, you get to blame someone else if you lose.

4. Euchre is intellect, poker is emotion. Euchre is won by the players with the most smarts. Poker is won by the guy who's luckiest. Last weekend I lost a poker hand to a guy who held a 5-2 off-suit against my A-Q suited. A 2 hit on the river. Go figure. Skill in poker is a myth.

5. You can't get arrested for playing euchre. You ever hear of a euchre game getting busted by the cops? It doesn't happen. That's why euchre is dominated by scientists, poets and philosophers. Poker is played by criminals.

6. The characters are more interesting in the euchre world. Not even close here. I'd put our Natty Bumpo against their Phil Hellmuth any day.

Play poker if you must. It's a fine enough game. But when you are ready to use your brain, start playing euchre. It's really the best game in town.

And if you want to do something really crazy learn how to color pubic hair

Update: Harvy Lapp and Natty Bumpo weigh in on their feelings about Euchre and Poker. This is what happens when the most famous cosmetic chemist writes about euchre.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The ultimate euchre equation

Euchre is a finite game. That is to say there are a limited number of situations that one will face. In fact, there are only 42,504 unique euchre hands possible. (combination of 24 things taken 5 at a time).

Because of this, euchre is a game that can succumb to the rigors of mathematics and game theory. The point system for evaluating your euchre hand that we use here in the Euchre Universe relies on the finite nature of the game to work.

It is interesting to note that any strategy you use in euchre can be described by one equation, The Ultimate Euchre Equation. If someone can figure out all the factors in this equation than the perfect euchre strategy can be created. The perfect strategy would be the one that results in the highest value for the equation.

Here is the The Ultimate Euchre Equation.

Expectation = 4 x p1 + 2 x p2 + 2 x p3 + 1 x p4 - 4 x p5 - 2 x p6 - 2 x p7 - 1 x p8

p1 = Probability of scoring a loner
p2 = Probability of marching
p3 = Probability of euchering opponents
p4 = Probability of making your point
p5 = Probability of opponents scoring a loner
p6 = Probability of opponents marching
p7 = Probability of opponents euchreing you
p8 = Probability of opponents making their point

Figuring out the values for all the different probabilities and which strategy leads to the highest value of the Ultimate Euchre Equation is one of the main topics of this blog.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Random euchre ramblings on the web

A list of interesting euchre sites for the curious.

1. Striptease euchre. It seems to be some club of euchre players that like to strip? Does nakedness go with euchre? And would the people who pass be called "knockers"?

2. Sir Psycho Sexy Euchre. What? When did euchre get so sex-crazed?

3. Dangerous Logic - He's got a few interesting euchre questions. Check out the latest one.

4. How to cheat at euchre - A section taken from the excellent book Expert at the Card Table. This shows you exactly how you can stack the deck.

5. Hoyle's card rules from 1914 - See how euchre has been played in the past.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Is a red shirt killing your euchre game?

Euchre Quote

There's nothing wrong with being well red

Euchre Haiku

When picking a shirt
To wear for a euchre match
Stay away from red

Euchre Gambits

Some time ago I started wearing red shirts whenever I went into some competition. This was based on a science story that suggested competitive athletes wearing red uniforms had a slight advantage over people wearing other colors. I'd wear red to kickball, while joggling and every other time there would be some competition.

It made sense that the same study would apply to euchre. Unfortunately, I didn't see much improvement in my euchre results. I'm not really sure if I saw improvement in other sports but euchre was most disappointing.

Then I heard about this study about how the color red effects test results. Typically, I don't put much stock in what psychologists have to say. It's not like real science. However, when you hear something that makes sense and is consistent with experience, you stop and take notice.

According to this research the color red has a negative impact on people taking tests. They theorize that people associate red with mistakes and failures (remember the color pen teachers use to mark papers?). This association in turn makes them do worse on the test.

So, maybe wearing a red shirt during a euchre competition isn't the best strategy. From now on, I'm hanging up my unofficial "Greatest American Hero" euchre competition shirt. Perhaps, I'll switch to my favorite color yellow. No more red for this member of the Euchre Universe.

Incidentally, didn't wear a red shirt yesterday and my team won our euchre match 4-1. Maybe you shouldn't wear a red shirt either.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Euchre Book Review - The Complete Win At Euchre

Joe Andrews, tournament director and card strategy book guru was kind enough to forward a copy of his latest euchre book, The Complete Win At Euchre. We just finished reading it and have the following review.

Book: The Complete Win At Euchre
Author: Joseph Andrews
Rating: 4 out of 5 chickens

Overall euchre rating

This is a good book and should be part of everyone's euchre card strategy library. It is filled with basic rules, strategy tips, quizzes, euchre profiles and a list of interesting situational hands. With a bit better organization, more in-depth analysis and less superfluous information this could be an excellent book.

Since the day the Euchre Universe started, this book has been listed as a resource on the side bar. It's about time we got around to reading and reviewing it.

Euchre Book Layout

Of all the books reviewed thus far, this one feels the most like a "real" book. It's a standard trade-size paperback weighing in at 161 pages. It follows the general format of Andrew's other book Win at Spades with a section on the basic rules/terms, some playing strategies, a little history, some quizzes and illustrative hands. Overall, you won't feel too bad about dropping a few dollars on the book.

Euchre book content

But pretty covers aside, content is king in the world of euchre books, and here's where the book both shines and stumbles. The first section begins with some euchre history which is interesting. However, the next longer section is a history of playing cards and the US Playing Card Company. It seemed a bit strange to include this as it has almost nothing to do with euchre. Maybe it would work at the end of the book but not right at the beginning.

The next section, Basics, begins with a glossary of euchre terms. This is helpful despite the fact that a few common terms are missing like "bagging", "green" and "follow suit", while other obscure terms like "tenace" & "pone" are included. It is nice to have all the terms in one place so this is a plus.

For me, the location of this section seems out of place as glossaries are typically found at the end of books. But this is the third book on euchre strategy that starts with a glossary so maybe I'm out of touch. If you don't know the rules of the game, these terms won't be of much use.

The basic rules are listed next and the illustrations will really help beginners understand the strange suit-shift that the Left Bower engages in. Next is lists are euchre variations that take up more pages than the basic rules. This left me feeling a little confused and might have worked better if it was put at the end as an appendix. The inclusion of the Ten Commandments of Euchre was a nice touch. It really belongs in the "Technique" section but that's just nitpicking.

Next was the Technique section which was of most interest for me. The tips on bidding and leading are a little vague but the quizzes are fun. They will make you think and most answers are instructive. Unfortunately, this section makes up only 20 pages of the book making it feel less "complete" than the title suggests.

The next three sections "Views", "Information", & "Profiles in euchre" gives a wide range of euchre information. There's some useful information about protecting yourself against euchre cheats, written in conjunction with Harvy Lapp who has a more thorough treatise about euchre cheating on his website. The Information section is more like things you'd find in a book appendix. The "Profiles" were nice but felt a little like filler as they won't really help your euchre game much.

The finale of the book is a list of 24 classic euchre hands. Not sure how classic they are, but they're entertaining and instructive. And while some of the explanations are debatable, they make for an interesting read.

If you buy this book it should help improve your euchre game. But don't expect this to be the last euchre book to buy because despite the title "Complete Win at Euchre", there is a lot of details glossed over and just plain missing.

Click here for more information about Joe Andrews and Grand Prix Card tournaments.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Euchre Quiz even Poker Players could Pass

Hey Euchre Universe faithful. Check out this euchre quiz and see if you can score 25 of 25 points. Really, that should not be a problem. There were a couple of answers that don't seem perfectly correct but they are close enough. It's a great review of the basic rules and terminology.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

World Series of Euchre Announced

The 2007 World Series of Euchre will again be held in Lansing, Michigan this year. Tournament dates are September 14 - 16th. It is sponsored by GrandPrix Card Tournaments and the U.S. Playing Card company.

This year I hope to make it out there and see just how all the other players in the Euchre Universe stack up. From Harv's recap, last year's event sounded like a lot of fun. I'll just be sure not to try and sell anything.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Did you know euchre could be so brutal

Euchre League update


That's the only way to describe the events of last Monday's euchre league night performance. My partner and I lost 1 game to 4. And really, we were fortunate to win the game we won.

To demonstrate how tough the games were consider the following.

Game 1. We were ahead 9-4. According to the Euchre Challenge calculator, we would win this game over 92% of the time. Well, we ended up losing. After I dealt and got us to 9-4, my left hand opponent calls herself up a loner and makes it. (9-8). My partner has a Queen of spades as the upcard while I hold 5 red cards. She turns it down, opponents call Next and score their point (9-9). Right hand opponent deals and turns up the Jack of Clubs. They make their point, we lose the game. Ouch.

Game 2: We were ahead 9-6. I have Ace, King of hearts, an Ace of Clubs and King, Nine of spades. The upcard is a Queen of hearts so I order. Left hand opponent leads Right bower, then Left. Then she leads the Ace of Spades to euchre us (9-8). Then on their deal, our opponents turn up another bower and proceed to march winning the game 9-10. Double ouch!

Game 3: We just couldn't overcome the two loners made by them. Final score 3-10.

Game 4: Frustration has peaked. After being down a few points we claw our way back to make it barn-barn (9-9). But it's their deal and the cards frown on us again. Lose 9-10.

Game 5: Now it's just laughable. We build up a pretty good lead until it's 7-4. On my deal, I look at 5 black cards and turn up Jack of hearts. In our league you can't order trump unless you have one. A forced turn down. Left hand opponent goes alone and makes it to take the lead 7-8. Then some luck. On her deal, they order. They will easily make their point until LHO realizes she didn't play the Left bower when trump was led. We catch her on the euchre and take the penalty points. (9-8) On my partner's deal, she turns up a bower and we finally win a game.

But the night was a brutal one. Our play wasn't stellar as there were a couple of times we could've euked the opponents if we played right. There was also another time when my partner could've gone alone but she thought we had 8 points instead of 6. Our strategy is to almost never go alone when you have 8 points.

So, what can you take away from this experience?

No matter how good you are, you're going to lose at euchre about 30% of the time.

To help cope, remember what we say here at the Euchre Universe. Playing well is more important than winning. At least that's what the rubber chicken keeps telling me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Euchre Strategy - Is your bower naked?

Euchre Quote

It's nice out, I think I'll leave it out

Euchre Haiku

Left bower in hand
It is worth a trick for sure
Unless it's naked

Euchre Strategy

Last week we were playing euchre and my partner went alone. She's a good partner and will try a loner whenever we are in the pasture.

With Hearts as trump and my partner dealing, the first chair leads the Queen of Clubs. The next opponent throws off the 10 of Spades. My partner puts up the King of Clubs and wins the trick. She next plays the Right and surprisingly both opponents follow. I wondered, "Why didn't our opponent trump the first club trick?"

When my partner led the next trump (Ace of Hearts) it became clear. The left hand opponent played her bower to win the trick. My partner went on to score the point, but it was an excellently played hand by the left hand opponent.

You see she could've won the club trick and maybe improved her chances for a euchre. But playing a trump on the first trick could also have led to a 4-point march. This is how.

Suppose my partner was short in clubs. When the left hand opponent plays a trump, my partner would certainly overtrump. She would then lead trump again stripping all the trumps out of our opponent's hands.

Only by holding back her guarded Left Bower can she ensure that her side will win at least one trick. And when someone is trying a loner from the pasture, you better make sure you can stop the sweep. If she would've played one of her trumps she would've left the her bower unprotected or "bare". When you have the second highest trump, you should never leave it bare.

Euchre League Update

Tonight, we try to keep our winning streak alive. We are currently in 23rd place with 2 match wins. You really need 4 or 5 match wins to make the playoffs.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

More euchre math to make you feel marvelous

The basis for any good strategy is mathematics and probability. It's also the basis for making yourself feel good about your play even when you are losing to inferior players. That's why we write about it a fair amount on the Euchre Universe.

Last week as my partner and I watched our opponents turn over bower after bower upcards it made me wonder...

What is the effect of the upcard on a given euchre hand?

So, I cranked up the excellent euchre simulator software (Euchre Challenge) and ran a few experiments. I did 400 hand simulations. The most interesting results are as follows.

Euchre experimental findings

+The dealing team always has the advantage. Depending on the value of the upcard, they should expect to score points 67 – 80% of the time.

+It makes little difference if the upcard is 9, 10, or Q. Even K is only a tiny bit better.

+An Ace gives the dealing team about 5% more chance of scoring points.

+A bower is best scoring the dealing team positive points nearly 80% of the time.

Euchre statistics when a bower is the upcard

To give you an example of what you can expect when a bower is the upcard, here is what the simulator showed.

Frequency that dealer's team scores points = 78%

+Team makes their point = 52%

+Team sweeps = 3%

+Team makes a loner 11%

+Team euchres the opponents = 12%

Frequency that non-dealing team score points = 22%

+Team makes their point = 11%

+Team sweeps = 8%

+Team makes a loner 1%

+Team euchres the opponents = 2%

So, clearly it is good to be the dealer. And it shows you why the "steal the deal" gambit is so effective. If you'd like to see the raw data of the experiment you can click here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Euchre Trickery - Completing the cut

Euchre Quote

Make 'em respect ya.

Euchre Haiku

Take hold of the cards
Split and move half to the side
Complete to annoy

Euchre Gambitry

Here's a little euchre gambit that will drive card playing purists nuts. The next time you're offered a cut, make sure you complete the cut. That is, cut the deck as normal but then immediately take the bottom portion and put it on top of the cut half.

This bothers good card players because it is a breach of common card etiquette. Every good card player knows that you are not supposed to complete the cut. It's proper to cut the deck in half and let the dealer complete the cut. When you do it, you demonstrate a lack of sophistication. And you'll generally find that "good" euchre players hate playing against (or with) unsophisticated players almost as much as they hate losing.

And as we've seen in other euchre gambits, making your opponent hate playing with you is one of the best ways to win the game.

Euchre on the Internet

If you haven't made it over to Euchre Science in a while, check it out. It's one of the best places you'll find to discuss euchre theories.

Euchre strategy - a savvy discard

Euchre Quote

It sure smells like something happened

Euchre Haiku

How do you discard
Watch what your opponent does
And get yourself short

Euchre League Update

Last night in the euchre league we won 3 of 5 games scoring 44 points. As I have a strong affinity for the number 44, it made me all warm and fuzzy.

Our opponents were nice enough guys and despite the fact that they showed up a bit late, the match was enjoyable. It's funny how matches in which you win are more enjoyable than ones where you lose.

I did have the opportunity to take advantage of one of my left hand opponent's quirks. Whenever I dealt, I had a pretty good idea of what to get rid of. He almost always led the Next suit.

For example, if spades were trump, he would lead clubs. If it was hearts, he would lead diamonds. So, if I had a choice about what suit to discard, I would always short suit myself in the Next suit.

Lots of euchre players have this tendency. Or they'll have the exact opposite. Just watch what your left hand opponent leads and you'll know exactly the card to discard.

See this previous post on euchre discards for more tips.

Monday, January 29, 2007

One year of the euchre universe

While my posting as of late has been pretty weak, I did notice that the one year anniversary of the Euchre Universe has just passed. I have enjoyed writing this blog and intend to keep at it. All that can be written about euchre certainly hasn't been written yet.

This blog kicked off my entire blogging "career" which I hope to expand in the coming year. Beyond the Euchre Universe, I also write Just Your Average Joggler, Chicago Urban Tribe and there are a couple others I contribute to.

In the beginning, I was able to write about euchre every day. Oh if only I would've paced myself better. But with all the other blogs I write, my marathon training, and a full time job, it got harder and harder.

But this year, I've got more plans for the Euchre Universe. I'm going to...

1. Fix all the links on the side.
2. Re-vamp the blog layout
3. Put together a Euchre Universe book
4. Move to my own hosted server
5. Experiment with a Euchre Universe podcast

It's all quite ambitious but I enjoy euchre, blogging and writing. I've met some great people as a result of this blog and it's still a lot of fun.

Tonight, my partner and I take on our next opponents in the McGees Euchre league. We lost a close one last week and really need to get on the board tonight.

I'm still conducting my "Getting smarter" experiment and will have an update later in the week.

I'll leave you with this euchre haiku.

Euchre Haiku

Just over a year
Playing euchre and blogging
I have learned a lot

Monday, January 22, 2007

5 reasons why euchre probabilities are useful

Euchre Quote:

Flip a coin for peace of mind.

Euchre Haiku:

Another season
Another chance for greatness
If the cards agree

Euchre Strategy

Tonight is the beginning of the McGees Euchre League and hope springs eternal. Hopefully, my partner and I can tune up our game and win more games than last season. To prepare for tonight's first match I thought I'd review some euchre mathematics. This page on euchre probabilities is helpful.

After reviewing that page you might be asking "so what?" Why does any of this mathematics matter? Here are 5 reasons why knowing the mathematics and probabilities of euchre is useful.
  1. It helps you know what to lead. If you have 3 trump odds are high that your opponents have 2 or less. Lead trump to burn 'em and avoid the euchre.
  2. It helps you know when to order. Probabilities are the basis for the Euchre Universe point system of ordering. If you know the chances that each of your cards can win a trick, you'll know when you should order or pass.
  3. It boosts your euchre image. Spouting out statistics is an excellent euchre gambit to keep your opponents nervous and off-balance.
  4. It helps you identify bad luck. Do you ever wonder whether your losses are a result of bad luck or bad play? Probabilities help you figure that out. For example, there is an 18% chance that you will not have even a single card of the upcard suit. And only 3% chance that it will happen twice in a row. If rare things like this happen to you, you know it's bad luck.
  5. It helps defend against a critical partner. Some euchre players think they are geniuses who know exactly how to play your hand without even looking. Well, most of these players are delusional (at least about their euchre skills). If you have a mathematically sound reason for ordering or passing, you can assuage your nit-picking partner. Or at least make them feel a little less certain about their euchre conviction.

Euchre Universe Experiment Update

Since Jan 4, I've been conducting an experiment to make myself smarter. To that end, I've been doing puzzles, memorizing lists, and working through the problems in a book called Dental Floss for the Mind. It's quite good and I feel smarter already. I've also taken to drinking less, exercising more, eating better, and sleeping more. Hopefully, all this extra brain work will make me a better euchre player. Or at least smart enough to figure out how to make $44 million.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Improving your euchre intuition

Euchre QOD

90% of everything is stupid

Euchre Haiku

When playing euchre
You should know the math involved
But play with your gut

Euchre Strategy

The Columbus Euchre Guru had written awhile back about the need for mathematics in euchre. It is an interesting perspective on what you need to do to win at the game. Basically, he says you don't need math, you need a good "gut feel" or "intuition".

What he doesn't provide is a method for improving your euchre intuition. Well, that's where the Euchre Universe comes in. We searched high and low for methods to improve your euchre intution. Here is a list of the top six ways.

6 ways to improve euchre intuition

  1. Play euchre often. There is no substitute for experience. And with online sites like Hardwood Euchre, you can play a lot of games against a lot of players.

  2. Study your opponents. Watch how they play and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  3. Look for euchre tells. See this previous post on the top euchre tells.

  4. Watch others play euchre. Online sites allow you to watch games in progress. Spend some time seeing how different people play. This will help develop your observational skills.

  5. Learn tried and true euchre strategies. Read a few euchre books and visit the Euchre Universe often. Intuition will be improved by knowing which is the "smart" play.

  6. Learn from your losses. Review your euchre session and try to remember the times you've lost. Was it the right play at the wrong time? Or did you just screw up? Reviewing losses will help prevent a repeat in the future.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Create your own euchre cards

Euchre Quote

There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance

Euchre Haiku

Euchre between two
If your wife is the other
You better not win

Euchre Cards

Now isn't this cool. The folks over at Crafy PC are selling a set of blank playing cards & software that allows you to create your very own deck. This could certainly allow us to realize the Euchre Universe dream of having a complete rubber chicken deck of cards.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One month to smarter euchre

Alright, maybe all these brain exercises aren't worth doing. According to this article from the Boston Globe, there is no proof that brain exercises help make you smarter at all. The study shows some minor long term effects in most areas except in the area of memory.

However, studies also show that in the short term, these exercises can actually help you out. I know that when I practice memorizing a deck of cards it improves my ability to remember cards played during a euchre game. And studies also show that juggling improves your brain.

So, you decide. Maybe training your brain will help your euchre play but on the other hand, maybe it won't. Maybe you might be better off having an extra beer during the game. It might not help your play but it might make you feel better about losing.

Friday, January 05, 2007

How to increase your luck in euchre

Who believes in luck? As we've previously wrote about euchre is a game with a large luck factor. This website is designed to increase how often you win at euchre but the reality is, one third of the time you will lose no matter how great you play.

Increase luck to increase euchre wins

Here at the Euchre Universe, we don't much believe you have control of luck since everything that has and will ever happen was determined when the Big Bang formed the universe some 14 billion years or so ago. However, we do believe in diversity of opinion so this list of what some countries believe will bring luck in the new year is interesting. These things won't help but they won't hurt either and it could liven up your euchre game. Here are some favorites or at least some that seem a bit odd.
  1. Austria - They believe that pigs and green peppermint ice cream in the shape of a four-leaf clover will bring luck.
  2. Bengali - What could be luckier than painting a pattern on the ground with a flour solution, then putting a pot decorated with Swastikas and filled with mango sticks in the middle?
  3. Brazil - They push a boat filled with flowers out to sea and eat lentil soup.
  4. Denmark - They break dishes at your front door.
  5. China - Paint their doors red.
  6. Sicily - Good luck comes from eating lasagna on New Year's Eve.
  7. Spain - They eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Weird, I like to drink 12 beers.
  8. Thailand - They have a big water fighter.
  9. Norway - Rice pudding with a hidden almond is lucky (as long as you don't choke on it)
  10. United States - Everyone plays euchre with a rubber chicken (oh wait, not everyone yet)
Of course, these things won't have much effect on your euchre game but it could make it more fun.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Smarter euchre - Starting the experiment

Since becoming a better euchre player is what this website is all about, I thought I would follow the plan laid out in the smart euchre post and see if it helps. Feel free to report your results.

Smart Euchre - Initial IQ test

I completed the test over at IVillage and scored much lower than I would've hoped. 122. But I was distracted when I took it.

Two day update

Alright, steamed by my showing in the IQ test I decided to see if the extra sleep and good eating was helping me. I mean, it's been 2 days right? On Tuesday I got 8 hours of sleep and the fact that I only got 5 last night shouldn't matter. I ate better both days having breakfast and a smart Salmon dinner last night. So, I re-took that stupid IQ test and guess what? This experiment must be working. I score a whopping 170!! That's higher than a genius. I can't believe it. I'm a genius euchre player. Now I'm worried that if I keep the experiment up my head will explode. But I'll risk it. Becoming a better euchre player is worth it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

In one month you can be a smarter euchre player

Here at the Euchre Universe we are constantly on the look-out for ways to improve your euchre game. If you've taken to heart the euchre ordering strategies, the euchre playing strategies and even the euchre gambits, you're well on your way to becoming an excellent player. However, you still might be losing more than you like because your brain isn't firing the way it should. Forgetting things, remembering things wrong or just losing your focus can all degrade your euchre game.

Recently, there was an experiment about getting smarter published over at Wired magazine. In one month, the author claimed to get smarter. Here's an adapted version of how you can get smarter and become a better euchre player. Try this one month experiment and see if it helps you

Test Your Euchre Smarts

The first thing you'll want to do is find out how smart you are. There's no sense doing an experiment to get smarter if you don't know where you started. Try out this free IQ test to see where you stand. After you're done try another free IQ test to see if you've gotten smarter.

Week 1 - Sleep more and eat better

Now, for one month you'll want to get more sleep and eat better. The experts suggest just over 8 hours sleep is ideal. For food, eat breakfast each morning and include protein & vitamins. Some kind of fortified ceral should work.

Week 2 - Break your patterns

Start changing up the way you do things. Brush your teeth with your opposite hand. Take a shower with your eyes closed. Change the order in which you put on your clothes. Read a book upside down. Breaking patterns improves your creativity and this makes you smarter.

Week 3 - Train your brain

During this week dear euchre enthusiast, you'll want to exercise and train your brain better. Try one of the free exercises as My Brain Trainer. Or if you prefer a cheaper option, try memorizing the order of a deck of cards everyday. Even learning to juggle will improve your brain. This is quite challenging for the brain.

Week 4 - Final exam

After a month of improved sleeping, eating, and brain training you're ready to see if it helped. Take another IQ test to see if it made you smarter. And a smarter person who knows some euchre strategy will become a smarter euchre player.

Good luck and let us know how you did. I'll be starting the experiment myself and will report the results on the Euchre Universe.