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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

How to Play Euchre

It's been said that euchre is the card game that brought the Joker to our modern deck of cards. In the North American version of this game, you play without the Joker. The best way to play is with two teams of partners.

  1. Use a 24-card pack with all cards numbered between 2 and 8 removed.

  2. Choose a dealer.

  3. Deal clockwise, giving each player three cards, then two (or two, then three) for a total of five.

  4. Put the remaining cards facedown on the table and turn the top one over.

  5. Begin with the player to the dealer's left. He or she may declare the card on the table trump or may pass. If the player declares the card trump, the dealer must take the card showing and discard one of his or her cards facedown.

  6. Pass the choice to the next player, and he or she can declare the suit trump or pass also. If the passes reach the dealer and the dealer doesn't want the card on the table to be trump, the dealer turns that card over, and the first player can declare any trump.

  7. Decipher the trump system: The Jack of the trump suit is called the Right Bower, and it becomes the highest-ranking card. The next ranking card is the Jack of the same-color suit or Left Bower. So if hearts are trump, the Jack of hearts is the Right Bower, and the next highest card is the Jack of diamonds.

  8. Once the trump is determined, the player to the left of the dealer leads by laying down a card (it doesn't have to be of the trump suit). Players must play cards of the same suit if they have them.

  9. Follow this example: Hearts are trump. Player 1 leads with the Ace of spades. Player 2 lays down the 9 of spades. Player 3 (Player No. 1's partner) doesn't have any spades, so he or she lays down the 10 of hearts. This player has just "trumped in." Player 4 must play a spade if he or she has it; if Player 4 does not have a spade, he or she can win the trick by playing a heart higher than the 10 or by playing the Jack of diamonds.

  10. Make a trick by winning a hand.

  11. Lead the next card if your card wins a trick.

  12. Score 1 point if your team called trump and you take three or four tricks. Take all five tricks (a sweep) and score 2 points. If you don't score at least three tricks and you called the trump, you are Euchered, and the other team receives 2 points.

  13. End the game when a team scores a total of 10 points.

The order of value of the cards is as follows: Trump Jack is highest, followed by the same-color Jack, the trump Ace, King, Queen, 10 and 9 and then all other cards (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9).

In the example above (step 9) there are five cards that Player No. 4 can use to win. From lowest to highest, they are the Queen of hearts, King of hearts, Ace of hearts, Jack of diamonds, Jack of hearts.

Don't cheat. If you have a card in your hand of the suit that's being played, you have to use it. If you get caught cheating, the other team gets 2 points.

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