If you love playing cards, there are plenty of trick-taking games you could choose from. One of the most popular ones in USA is Euchre, which is an ideal game for a group of four people.
As a card game, it has been popular for more than a century now. A little known fact about Euchre is that it was the first game to add the 'Joker' card to the pack.
It is a trick-taking trump game which is designed to be played between four people. It is known to be a close cousin of the French card game - 'Écarté' and is played with only 24 cards, which only include the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, and 9 of all suits.
So you need to remove all the 2 to 8 cards of all suits, from the card deck, to play. The objective of the game is to win maximum amount of tricks in each game. Let us now have a look at the actual game play.
How to Play
Assuming you have a basic knowledge of card game play and know what is meant by a 'trump' and what is a 'trick-playing' game. Let us first see how a dealer is chosen and how cards are dealt to determine the trump.
Dealing and Deciding Trump
To begin with, from a 52-card deck, remove all the 2 to 8 cards, which will only leave 24 cards for play. The first part is choosing the dealer. To do that, deal all the cards (face up) among all players and the one to get the first black jack, will be the dealer. Thereafter, every player will get to be the dealer in a clockwise manner, in successive games.
The dealer should then shuffle the 24-card deck again and then deal five cards each, to every player. The players sitting opposite to each other are partners. You may deal out the cards, in any way you want. However, tradition dictates that the dealer should first deal the cards in a 2-3-2-3 number, followed by 3-2-3-2 combination, in clockwise fashion.
Once the cards are dealt, four cards still remain, which are known as the 'Kitty' and are placed face down in front of the dealer. After all players have had a look at their cards, the dealer picks up the top card from the kitty and puts it face up in front. The dealer inquires the players, from his left, whether they want the card's suit to be the trump.
If any one of them agrees with the trump choice, it is chosen. If none chooses the trump, then players are given the right to choose any trump of their choice (starting from the dealer's left). If none of them choose a trump, the dealer must choose one.
Card Ranking After Trump Selection
Once the trump is chosen, the ranking order of cards is decided. By default, as you may already know, the trump suit cards outclass cards of all other suits. The jack of the suit chosen as the trump card is the highest ranking card in the whole deck of 24 cards and is known as the 'Right Bower'.
Following in ranking is the jack of the similar color suit (known as the Left Bower). Then rest of the trump order ranking is as follows: Ace, King, Queen, 10 and 9. Among the rest of the suits, the jack is given no special status. There, the order of ranking is Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, and 9.
The privilege to begin the first trick of the game is that of the player to the immediate left of the dealer. Whatever card suit he or she plays, the other players must follow the same suit or play the trump in the event that they have no card, of the same suit.
The player who puts in the highest-ranking card in the trick sequence, obviously wins it. Depending on how many of the five tricks are won by the two teams, scores are assigned to them. Let us take a look at the scoring.
A team scores two points, if they win all five tricks and a single point, if they win at least three of the five tricks. If the team calling trump does not win at least three tricks, the opposite team wins 2 points. In this case, the trump suit choosing team is 'Euchred'. The first team to score a total of 10 points, wins.
It takes a good memory on part of both partners, some wise tactics, and good communication to win a game of Euchre. It is a great card game to play, when you are on a double date.