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.