What is Euchre?

What the heck is Euchre!?

(experienced players skip to the bottom of this article, others read on for Euchre tips and overview)

Euchre is a four-player trick based game having 2 teams of 2 with partners sitting across from one another. Then taking a standard 52 card deck, you will remove cards 2 through 8 which leaves 24 cards to be dealt. Each player will then be dealt 5 cards, dealing clockwise either 2 or 3 cards at a time. That is a decision left to the dealer.

For example: As the dealer you must deal clockwise but you can choose if you’d like to deal 2 cards to the left, then 3 to your partner (across from you), then 2 cards. If that is the method you choose, when dealing the second pass you must pass 3, 2, then 3. Ensuring all players have 5 cards. This method is the most common when playing Euchre, however it’s up to you as the dealer as long as you make 2 properly sequenced deals.

Now you’re saying to yourself:

“Okay, you said 24 cards are used to play, yet I’ve only dealt out 20. What about the remaining 4!?”

Glad you asked, the remaining cards are called the kitty but are also sometimes called:

  • the “trump pile”,
  • the “nest”,
  • the blind,
  • the kit
  • the grave,
  • or the buried

The top card of the kitty is then turned face up and players will begin bidding. This is where the dealer will ask all of the players in turn if they want that card to be the trump suit. If they agree they will respond with “pick it up” or “order it up” euchre-pick-it-up and the card is added to the dealer’s hand, who will have to discard a card face down in order to only have 5 cards. However, if they don’t agree on the face up card being trump, each player is given the chance to choose a different suit as trump. If they cannot agree on a trump, the hand is declared a misdeal and the deal is passed to the player on the dealer’s left. (This will change depending on the variation of Euchre you’ve decided to play.)

Once the trump suit has been selected, any card in that suit trumps (out-ranks) any other card. In Euchre the highest-ranking card is the Jack of the trump suit, followed by the other Jack of the same color. The cards are then ordered from highest to lowest A, K, Q, 10, and 9.

The remaining cards rank in the normal order A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9.

For a complete introduction on how to play Championship Euchre, please use our interactive Euchre card game Tutorial, accessible from the game’s Help menu. Simply click the [Menu] button in the lower left corner, select [Help], and then select [Tutorial] in our Championship Euchre card game.

Maybe you’re already a seasoned player but would like some strategy tips please visit Euchre Links Commandments for a large list of strategy guides.


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