Euchre Rules

EuchreEuchre is a popular, fast-paced card game, most commonly played by four players, in partnerships of two. Euchre is played with a short deck (either 24 or 32 cards, plus a single joker). Euchre is a trump game, in which one suit is declared trump for each new hand.

The Basics of Euchre

Euchre can be played with is played with specialized Euchre playing cards, or can be played with a stripped deck of standard playing cards, by removing the 2-8 (if playing with 24 cards) or 2-6 (if playing with 32 cards). One joker is added to make a total of either 25 or 33 cards. The most common form of the game, Partnership Euchre (described below), normally uses 25 cards. Other variations may use different numbers of cards.

With a 25-card deck, you'll have 9s, 10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces of each of the four suits, plus a single joker. Cards are ranked A (high)-K-Q-J-10-9 (low) in every suit except trumps. In the trump suit, the ranking is Joker (this is called the "Best Bower"), Jack of trumps (this is called the "Right Bower"), the Jack of the same color (this is called the "Left Bower"), A-K-Q-10-9. For example, if trumps is spades, then the ranking is Joker - ♠J - ♣J - ♠A - ♠K - ♠Q - ♠10 - ♠9.

The dealer deals five cards to each player, in two rounds: first three cards, then two cards. The remaining five cards are stacks face-down to form the "kitty" (or "blind"), with the top card revealed. The suit of the face-up card determines proposed trump for that hand.

The object is to be the first partnership to reach 10 points. Points are scored by winning three or more tricks during a hand. The winner of the trick is the player who plays the highest-ranked card. Any card of the trump suit is ranked higher than a card in any other suit.

After the cards are dealt, each player in turn, starting at the dealer's left, has a chance to accept the proposed trump suit, or pass. A player says "pick it up" if he wants the exposed card's suit to be trump, and the dealer must then pick it up, place it in his own hand, and discard one card to the kitty. If all players pass, then the dealer turns the upcard is turned back over, and a new round of bidding begins, in which each player may either pass or propose a trump suit. If the upturned card is the joker, then the dealer must propose a trump suit (before looking at his own cards). As soon as the trump is accepted, play begins.

The player to the dealer's left leads the first card. Each player must follow in suit if they can, or any other card if they cannot. The player who plays the highest trump wins the trick. If trump is no played, then the highest card of the lead suit wins the trick. The player that wins the trick leads the next.

When all five tricks have been played, points are tallied. If the calling partnership wins at least three tricks they score: one point for winning three or four tricks, and two points for winning all five tricks. If they do not win three tricks, then they are euchred (or set), and the defending team scores two points.

Deal passes to the left. Game is ten points.

Other Euchre variations include Jackpot Euchre, Call-Ace Euchre, Auction Euchre, Hasenpfeffer, and more. Refer to the links below for more detailed instructions and strategy tips.

Euchre Introduction Video

Euchre Rules

The following sites provide authoritative rules to play the Euchre card game:

  • Bicycle Euchre
    Rules to the game of Euchre, from Bicycle Playing Cards.
  • Bicycle Euchre Rules
    Rules to the game of Euchre, from Bicycle Playing Cards.
  • Learnthat Euchre
    Learn how to play the game of Euchre, with variations.
  • Pagat Euchre
    An authoratative detailing of the rules of Euchre, including all standard variations.
  • PlayCardGames Euchre
    Learn how to play Euchre with a tutorial on Euchre rules that teach you the basics of the game.
  • Wikipedia Euchre
    Learn about the game of Euchre, with history, rules, and variations.
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Last Update: September 25th, 2011