Never Trump Your Partner's Ace 1

Actually, In Euchre never doesn't mean never

In other articles we have talked about breaking some of the rules set forth in Harvey Lapp's Ten Commandments of Euchre. Well here we go again; it's time to discuss commandment number three: 'Thou shalt not trumpeth thy partners Ace'. There are two conditions when trumping an ace is considered standard play. If you are trump tight, of course you will have to trump. Also, when defending against a lone call, trumping an ace that is led by your partner may stop the call. However, never trump with a nine as it will always be a complete waste of trump. Beyond that, there will be times when thinking outside the box is required. These times tend to fall under one of two conditions. If you think your left hand opponent will trump the trick and when you want to change the lead. In a case where there is an assumption that the trick will be trumped, then one should use the highest trump possible. If nothing else you may be able to force your opponents to use a higher trump. Trumping with a nine would be a waste, because if in fact they are void in that suit, then any trump they hold would overtake the nine.

There are also circumstances where a lead change could affect the outcome of the hand by putting you in a better position to either euchre the other team or to make your point. As there are too many variables to offer specific recommendations, we will proceed by presenting a couple of examples.

Here's a great example

Table Position
Jack-jack call from 3rd

In this hand, the dealer is in the West position and just turned-up the ten of hearts. Bidding gets passed around and back to the dealer. As the dealer already held two hearts, he picked-up the ten and discarded the queen of diamonds.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

The hand gets underway with North leading the ace of clubs. Everyone follows suit and the ace is good. The N/S opponents have the first trick.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

Next, North leads the ace of diamonds. East follows suit and South, instead of throwing off, trumps his partner's ace with the ace of hearts. The maker has now lost the 2 first tricks. I'm sure many of you are questioning the wisdom of trumping in here, but the player doing the trumping was an excellent player and had a plan. Now the N/S opponents had a second trick.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

The maker(W), knew there were still three trump unaccounted. He was worried that overtrumping the ace with the right may allow South to control the balance of the hand. He was not too concerned about being euchred as he still held three trump. He throws off the king of clubs.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

Leading a suit the second time back through the maker is perhaps one of the most powerful plays in euchre. South knows this and leads the jack of clubs back. This allows their in partner(N) to make use of the left. The maker's team was euchre before they ever got to take a trick.

Now let's see what happens if South didn't use their trump. After all, No one wants to trump your partner's ace. The maker(W) would have trumped in with the queen, No matter how it would be played after that their team would still make a point

Suggested Further Reading:

Never trump your partners ace, page 1
Actually, In Euchre never doesn't mean never

Never trump your partners ace, page 2
Until it's the correct time

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