Give Your Partner a Chance, page 1

To win sometimes you have to let one go

'Take a trick whenever you can'; it's an old euchre adage that most of us are familiar with. While this may be good advice for beginners, we soon learn that by trying to take every trick we end up sacrificing points. And it may even get us euchred. Experience teaches us that often the best approach is to sit back and wait. With many hands there is at least an even chance your partner can take the trick. This is called "ducking" or throwing off on a trick. The primary reason for ducking a trick is to give your partner a chance to play their winning card. It's also a good opportunity to rid your hand of any unwanted cards, and may even give the other team a false sense of security.

For example, let's say the first lead is a small club and you don't hold any clubs in your hand. But you do have a low heart that will never take a trick. While you could use a trump here, playing the heart will give you a chance to rid your hand of a loser while simultaneously giving your partner the opportunity to play - and possibly win the trick. It's worth the risk.

Look at the following hand:

Table Position
Wrong lead into lone - 1

Dealer is at the top and just turns up the ace of hearts. 1st seat passes and 2nd seat orders their partner to pick up the ace. Dealer discards the nine of clubs.

Wrong lead into lone - 2

1st seat leads the king of spades. The bidder, knowing that they need some help in making their point, throws off the ten of clubs. 3rd seat follows suit and the dealer makes good use of their ace by trumping the trick.

Wrong lead into lone - 3

The dealer, seeing that their partner (the bidder) threw off a club on the previous trick, leads back a club in hopes that their partner is now void and can trump in. The bidder does indeed take the trick with the queen of hearts.

Wrong lead into lone - 3

Now the bidder's team needs one last trick for the point. Under most circumstances playing the king from an ace/king set would be considered improper play. However there are times when one wants their partner to use a trump. The other advantage to leading the king is that sometimes the player on their left will let the trick go by in the hope that their partner will have the ace. As it turns out, 3rd seat trumps-in and takes the trick. It now makes no difference what 3rd leads back; the point is made.

Now go back and see what would have happened if the bidder had trumped that first trick. It's doubtful that the bidder would have made their point.

Letting a trick go and allowing your partner to help one of the hardest concepts there is for new players to learn.

Suggested Further Reading:

To win you may have to let a trick go by

One must learn to trust their partner

A little trust goes a long ways

Here are two examples in the same hand

Euchre, a partnership game, must be played as such

The strategy of playing 2nd hand Low

2nd hand low keeps them guessing.

2nd hand low to euchre opponents

Here's what our viewers are saying

3 comments so far

This link is broken:
Read more on playing 2nd hand low here

Posted by Sabina  on Tuesday, 12.15.15 @ 14:02pm| #3537

The link at the bottom of the page to read more on playing 2nd hand low does not work.

Posted by Sabina  on Monday, 12.28.15 @ 01:02am| #3543

Oops... Sorry I did not mean to post twice.

Posted by Sabina  on Monday, 12.28.15 @ 01:05am| #3544

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