Similar to Spades, this is a trick-tacking game. The goal is to win as many tricks as possible, playing the card with the highest value.
1. Euchre cards
The game is played with a standard deck of cards. Players use a total of 24 cards – 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A of all 4 suits. Aces are with the highest value, and 9s are with the lowest. This ranking applies to all of the suits except for the trumps.
In Euchre, the Jack of the trump suit is known as the right bower. This is the card with the highest value. The second card in ranking is the so-called left bower – the Jack of the same color as the trump suit. For example, let’s say the Diamonds are trumps. So the card value from highest to lowest will be as follows: Jack of Diamonds, Jacks of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds, Kind of Diamonds, and so on.
Ranking of the cards is valid for the 3-person Euchre as well as the classic version of the game.
2. How to play
Playing Euchre as a card game for 3 people means that there will be one empty spot at the table (the dummy). Each player receives 5 cards, including the dummy. The other 4 cards are placed in the middle of the table, and the top one is turned face-up. This card determines the possible trump suit for the round.
Players take turns in a clockwise direction and bid. There are 2 options: to “order up” the suit as trump or to pass. The bidding starts with the player that is positioned left of the dealer. If none of the players want the face-up card as a trump, the second round of bidding starts. Players can choose whatever suit they want and name it trump.
The player who chooses the trump is called a maker and will play alone. The other 2 will be a team referred to as the defenders. The maker has the option to use cards from the dummy hand and make the best possible combination of the ten cards.
Players must follow suit when it’s possible. Otherwise, they can play any card.
3. Going alone
Any player can decide to go alone for a particular round. If this is the maker, they can not use the dummy hand. If it’s someone from the defenders, their partner will not participate in the round.
The announcement of going alone may occur after trump is chosen but before the first card is played.
4. Euchre scoring
In order to score one point, the maker has to win at least 3 tricks. If the maker wins all 5 tricks, they will get 3 points.
If the maker wins less than 3 tricks, it is called that they are euchred. In that case, each of the defenders will get 2 points.
If a defender decides to go alone and manages to win 3 or 4 tricks, both defenders will have 2 points each. They will score 4 points if 5 tricks are won.
The winner is the player that first scored 10 points total.