Learn how to play Euchre by British rules.
Euchre rules reign supreme here in the Great White North,
I’ve decided to expand our Euchre card game section with the
inclusion of the original British rules. I’ve chosen to do so for a
number of qualitative reasons:
- I’ve been
asked more than once since starting this page how the two versions
compare and contrast.
currently working on a ‘Crazy
Euchre‘ rule variant page that will soon bear need to
reference the British rules.
- I wouldn’t
feel right calling this a complete card gaming guide while bypassing
such relevant information.
further ado, let’s get right to it…
How to Play Euchre in England
is a 4-player trick catching game that requires partnership between
two teams of two players each. Partners must sit across from each
Th deck consists
of 25 cards; all suits of 9, 10, J, Q, K, A and a single
Joker. If there’s no Joker in your deck, inject the 2 of
Spades in its place.
The object of
the game is for a team to capture at least 3 of the 5 tricks in each
hand. Doing so earns that team points. The first team to 11 points
wins the game.
rank normally, high to low: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9
The Trump suit
(aka Best Bower):
of Same Color as Trump
- Ace of
- King of
- Queen of
- 10 of
- 9 of
For example, if
Spades are trump, the Jack of Spades is the Right Bower, and the Jack
of Clubs is the Left Bower. The same goes for Jack of Hearts or
Dealing the Cards
The host of the
game will normally deal first. Otherwise you can choose a dealer by
and random means. Once the dealer shuffles, the player to his left is
given the option to “cut” or “bump” (knock on the deck,
declining to cut). The dealer then passes out packets of cards to
each player in clockwise order. A packet will contain 2 or 3 cards,
at the dealer’s discretion. Each player must end up with 5 cards. So
if a player is dealt 3 cards in the first rotation of the deal, he’ll
be given 2 in the second, and vice versa.
Five cards will
remain in the deck. These are placed face down in a pile. The top
card is turned face up on the pile, known as the “upcard”.
The rest of the cards will not be used in the game.
Declaring Maker / Trump
There is no
traditional bidding required in Euchre. Each player, starting with
the player left of the dealer, can either make trump or pass. Once a
player makes trump, they win it. No one else can claim it.
Up: If the Benny (Joker
/ 2 of Spades) is turned up, the
dealer will automatically make trump. He must call a trump suit
before looking at his cards. He may then collect the Benny from the
pile and look at his hand, discarding one back to the pile.
There can be up
to two rounds to declare trump. For each hand, the team that makes
trump will be known as the Makers. The opponents are
In the first
round, players will make trump or pass based on the upcard.
Making trump in this round means choosing the suit of the upcard as
trump. The Maker takes the upcard, and then replaces it with any
other card from their hand by placing it face down on the pile. To
make trump in round one, each player position is required to utter
the corresponding phrase:
- Player left of dealer: “I order it up”
- Dealer’s partner: “I turn it down”
- Player right of dealer: “I order it up”
- Dealer: “I take it up”
If the dealer’s
partner “turns it down”, they will become the maker, but must “go
alone” (see below). Their partner (the dealer) will turn all of
their cards face down, and cannot participate in the hand.
If the first
three players pass, the dealer may also pass by saying “Over”.
The dealer will turn over the upcard, and a second round begins. This
time, players can call their own trump, or pass again. If every
passes a second time, the hand is null. All cards thrown in, and the
next to deal begins a new hand.
Go Alone – aka Loner
Most of the
time, any player can choose whether or not they want to play as a
“Loner” (except when dealer’s partner says “I turn it up”;
going alone is mandatory). When going alone, the player’s partner is
forced to sit out. This applies to Makers and Defenders. However, a
player can only announce that they are going alone. No one can choose
to sit out.
Going alone must
be declared at the start of the hand, after the trump is made, but
before any cards are played. If a Maker or Defender goes alone, their
partner cannot participate. It is also possible for one Maker and one
Defender to go alone, bringing about 2-handed play.
Once a Loner is declared, no arguments are allowed! Accept it and
Playing British Euchre
Play begins with
the first active player left of the dealer. This player will lead the
first card to the first trick. Any card of any suit is eligible,
trump or otherwise.
The next player
(clockwise) will play a card of the same suit that was led, if
possible. If not, any other card, including trump, may be played.
Remember that the Benny and Left Bower are considered trump!
The player who
plays the highest ranking card of the suit that is led – or the
highest trump (since trump beats all other suits) – wins the trick.
The winner of
the trick will lead a card to the next trick. Repeat this process
until all 5 tricks are captured.
Scoring and Winning the Game
scored in each hand only by the team that captures 3 or more tricks.
Points are awarded as follows:
win 3 tricks = 1 point
win 4 tricks = 1 point
win 5 tricks = 2 points
Go Alone, win 5 tricks = 4 points
win 3+ tricks = 2 points
The first team
to score 11 points wins the game!
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