Blocking or donating points, page 2
Common situations that call for a block
Look at the hand below:
I am dealer sitting in South. The score is 9 - 6. A jack is turned up and 1st seat has a junk hand with no stoppers.
This is a hand that screams to be blocked by West.
And yet, it wasn't.
Why? When the player asked afterwards he replied "I don't like to block."
Here's how the game played out. The East/West team was ahead 9 -4. The cards changed and East/West was euchred on a hand. Now the score was 9 to 6. This was the next hand. Bidding went pass, pass, pass and I think to myself "how sweet is this", as I call "alone" in diamonds. The East/West team gave up the point lead and lost the game due to an unwillingness to block. While the old saying goes, "nice people finish last" this isn't about being nice or not. It's about winning or losing. Euchre is a competitive game. You should always play to win.
Again, the dealer sits in South. This one is not as obvious as with the nine is turned up. Still, the score of 9 - 6, says it all. As in the hand above, West has no way of stopping a lone. A block here would assure E/W they will still be in the game for the next hand.
Protect Your Lead
Another use of blocking is to protect a large lead. Here's what happened in a game I recently played. We were ahead 9 to 4, and dealer is in the West position. Their team had the deal and turned up the jack of clubs. I had already played a couple of games with this partner and he seemed like a solid player, I was not worried when he passed; I assumed he had the lone stopped. I was wrong! As I reviewed the game, it seems my partner was waiting to play next. He must not have thought about the fact 'if there's one lone, there could be two'. The dealer went alone and made the bid. On the next hand I bid with three trump and off ace. The problem was that 3rd seat had four and was sitting behind me. As you may have guessed, I was euchred. As a team, we turned a six point lead into a lost. Had my partner blocked at 4 - 9 we would have had two or maybe three other chances to make the last point.
If you have a large lead, don't give your opponents a chance to catch up. Even though the card distribution has favored your team for the last couple of hands, it could change very quickly. To give your team the best chance of winning, always protect Your Lead.
Suggested Further Reading: