How to play Two and Three Handed Euchre
The rules for 4 person euchre apply to 2 person and 3 person euchre,
with a couple of exceptions as noted below.
Rules for standard euchre are here
Two Handed Euchre
A standard deck of 24 cards are used. Cards are ranked the same as in ordinary Euchre. Cards are dealt out in groups of 2's and 3's with an additional two cards are dealt to a dummy hand. No player may look at the dummy hand until bidding is over. Each player receives 5 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down in front of the dealer and the top card is turned over.
The dealer's opponent has the first opportunity to name trump. If he orders the dealer to pick up the turn card, he then has the right to pick up the two cards from the dummy hand, and places them in his hand. He must then discard any two from the seven in his hand. If he passes, again as in ordinary Euchre, the dealer may pick up the turn card. The dealer now has the right to use the two cards from the dummy hand. As he now has 8 cards in his hand he must discard 3. If the dealer turns down the up card, his opponent has the opportunity to name any other suit as trump. If he does not, the dealer must name another suit as trump as in 'Stick the dealer'. He gets to pick up cards in the kitty. The hand then begins.
The non-dealer has the first lead. The hand is played out as in regular euchre. The bidding person must take at least 3 tricks to make his point. There are no '4 point lone hands' played as every hand is a lone. However taking all 5 tricks does award the bidder with 2 points. Euchres' (taking less than three tricks) awards the non-bidding player with 2 points.
If a two handed game is played as part of a progressive tournament to balance out the tables and there is a prize is awarded for most lones, then one lone is normally awarded to the winning player at the end of the game.
Three Handed Euchre (AKA as ''Cutthroat'')
A standard deck of 24 cards are used. Cards are ranked the same as in ordinary Euchre. Cards are dealt out in groups of 2's and 3's with an additional three cards are dealt to a dummy hand. No player is allowed to see this hand until bidding is over. Each player receives 5 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down in front of the dealer and the top card is turned over.
The naming of trump is done the same as it is in traditional euchre, with the option to name first given to the player immediately left of the dealer, and continuing clockwise. The player winning the bid gets to pick up the cards in the dummy hands. If the bidder is also the dealer then he gets the turn up card as well. If the bidding player is not the dealer, the dealer will get the turn up. The other two players become temporary partners for the current round only. They compete against the bidder. Players that have picked up cards must discard so that all players hold 5 cards in their hand before play begins.
The bidder must take 3 tricks to make his point. If he takes all 5 tricks then he gets 2 points. Getting less than 3 tricks results in a euchre and gives both defenders 2 points. Each player keeps his own score. Game is played to 10 as normal.
Going alone is still an option and occurs when the calling player opts not to pick up the dummy hand. A player wishing to go alone must state so before looking at the dummy hand. He may not look at the cards in the dummy hand. Taking 5 tricks on a lone call gives bidder 4 points. Taking three or four tricks gets one point. Getting less than 3 tricks will give both defenders 2 points.
During play no one is allowed to look at the cards in the kitty. This includes the dummy hand on a lone call.