The Law and Practice of the Game of Euchre (1862)



Laws Of Euchre - CHAPTER 6



The Laws of Euchre should be carefully studied by every player who desires to become an accomplished adept in this fascinating game. The laws, here compiled, are observed and approved by the best players, and are supposed to determine every case which may occur in play. They should be enforced in the strictest sense, on all occasions, never deviating from them in the slightest manner yourself, and requiring your adversaries, with proper courtesy, of course, also to respect them; for, if a player is to be permitted to act as he chooses to indicate by signs or remarks to his partner the character of the cards he holds or to play a card and take it back or other similar impropriety you might as well sit down to the table and play at Jack Straws. In some few instances the laws may appear too rigid, but experience demonstrates to all skillful players the absolute necessity of adhering undeviatingly to the provisions they are, designed to enforce the law in such case made and provided for the integrity of the game must be strictly preserved. Dura lex, sed lex. By a careful observance of the laws, moreover, the unpleasant disputes and altercations which so often interrupt and mar the merriment of a card party, will be entirely obviated.



Law 1. Each player must cut for the deal, the two highest and the two lowest become partners, and he who cuts the lowest card is entitled to the deal. Should the lowest cards cut be of similar value, it is a tie as respects them, and those parties must cut again. If the person cutting should show two cards instead of one, he must be deemed to have cut the highest, or if he let fall a card from the pack, face up, that card must be considered his cut. Each party cuts, and shows the bottom card of those he has lifted from the pack. In cutting, the cards rank as at Whist, the Ace being the lowest.


Law 2. The cards must be shuffled by the dealer and cut by his right-hand opponent. The latter has also the privilege of shuffling them, and if he does, the dealer, who is always entitled to the last shuffle, may shuffle them anew if he chooses. After the cards have been cut for the deal, however, no one, except the dealer, can touch the pack previous to dealing


Law 3. In cutting for the deal, three cards at least must be lifted from the pack, and not fewer than four must be left upon the table. The dealer should never hold the pack in his hand, when presenting it for the cut, but should place it on the table near his right-hand adversary.


Law 4. In dealing, five cards are distributed to each player, either by three and two, or by two and three, in two rounds; but the dealer must continue to follow whichever mode he at first adopts, and should he depart from it, either of the adverse parties may, before looking at his cards, require a fresh deal.


Law 5. If a card is faced, or is turned in dealing unless it is the twenty-first, or trump card, the pack must be shuffled anew and a fresh deal made; but the dealer does not lose his privilege. Should the dealer show more than one card in turning up the trump card the deal is likewise void, and he must deal anew


Law 6. Should either of the dealer's opponents, during the deal, expose a card to view, the dealer may have a fresh deal, or not, at his option, but he must decide before looking at his own cards. If his partner exposes a card, either of the adversaries, in like manner, may, before the trump is turned up, require a new deal.


Law 7. No player is permitted to take up, or to look at, his cards during the deal, and should a misdeal ensue in consequence of such impropriety, the dealer does not lose his privilege, and may deal anew. It must be considered a misdeal, however, if his partner commits the fault.


Law 8. When too few or too many cards are dealt, if the mistake can be rectified, and the proper order of the distribution of the cards ascertained, before the trump card is turned up, the deal is valid; but if the error is not discovered until after the trump card is turned up, the deal is forfeited, and passes to the next player.


Law 9. If the cards are dealt by a player who is not entitled to the deal, and the error is discovered before he looks at his cards, though the trump card be turned, that deal is null, and the cards must be restored to the player entitled to the deal, even if the eldest-hand, or either of the other players, adopts the trump. If the dealer has discarded and the eldest-hand has led, however, the mistake cannot be corrected.


Law 10. If, in any deal, the pack is ascertained to be imperfect, by containing too many, or too few cards of the proper value in either suit, that particular deal is void, but all the games, or points, made in the preceding deals with the same pack are valid; and the deal in which the error is discovered is not forfeited.


Law 11. The trump card must be left in view on the talon by the dealer, after discarding, until it is his turn to play, when he may remove it to his hand. After he has taken up the trump card no player has a right to demand what particular card was turned up, although he may ask what is the trump suit.


Law 12. Whenever a misdeal occurs the deal is forfeited, and the opponent on the left of the dealer becomes entitled to the deal.


Law 13. Each person, in playing, should place his card on the table immediately before him, but if this practice should not be pursued no player has a right to ask who played a particular card, although he may require the other players to draw their cards before them.


Law 14. If the eldest-hand leads before the dealer has discarded, he cannot withdraw his card and change his lead, nor can the dealer, at any time before completing his discard, be deprived of his right to Play Alone. The discard is not completed until the dealer places his card under the talon, or on the table, and has quitted it; and when the dealer has once quitted the discarded card he cannot change it.


Law 15. If a player leads, or plays, out of turn, he may be compelled to withdraw his card, subject to the penalty of the call; if it causes an error in the play of any other party that player may withdraw his card without penalty ; but, in the case of an improper lead, if four cards have been played before the error is discovered the lead is good, and the player winning the trick is entitled to the next lead.


Law 16. Any card which is separated from those in hand and has touched the table, is deemed to have been played even if the face be downward though if a card is played to a lead of a suit different from the one led, it may be taken up, subject to the call, and another of the proper suit played. But if the player should have none of the suit led, and plays a card which he did not intend, he is not permitted to take it up again after he has once quitted it.


Law 17. If a player plays two or more cards to a trick instead of one, the adverse parties have the right to compel him to play either one of the cards they please, without regard to the order in which they were played, and the other card, or cards, shown may be called in the subsequent tricks, like other exposed cards.


Law 18. No player is allowed to look at any of the tricks during the play of a hand, after they have been turned, except the last trick only.


Law 19. If any player plays with six or more cards, or, if the dealer plays and omits to discard, and fails to announce the fact before three tricks have been turned, such player or dealer cannot count the point, or points, made on their side, in that hand, and they lose the deal. But if the adverse party wins under such circumstances they are entitled to count all they make.


Law 20. If a player, designedly, or for any reason, places his cards on the table, faces turned up, he is not permitted to take them up again, and his adversaries may call each card like other exposed cards, except at Jambone, when the right to call is limited to the first trick. Thus if a player, sure of winning, exhibits his cards, his opponents can continue the play, and have the right to call each card so exposed. The penalty is the same if a player believing he has lost shows his cards in a similar way.


Law 21. Whenever a player, who is entitled to the privilege of making the trump, once names a suit, he cannot be permitted to change it, and should he, by mistake, name the suit turned down, it is equivalent to passing, and the right to make the trump then belongs to his left-hand opponent.


Law 22. A player intending to Play Alone must announce his determination to play without his partner in such an audible and distinct expression that no doubt must exist of his intention, for if his manner of announcing it is ambiguous, and a legal lead is made, by himself or an adversary, he loses the privilege of Playing Alone and must be compelled to play with his partner.


Law 23. Whenever a revoke occurs, whether from inattention or design, the adverse parties are entitled to add two points to their score.


Law 24. The revoke is not completed until the trick in which it has been made is turned and quitted, and the player committing the revoke, or his partner, has again played.


Law 25. If a player revoking perceives his error previous to the turning or quitting of the trick in which it has been made, he can withdraw his card from the trick and follow the suit led, but his left-hand antagonist may compel him to play the highest or the lowest card he holds of that suit; or, if it seems more advantageous to his side, he may call the card so exposed and taken back whenever it is the offending player's turn to play, or lead, in a subsequent trick.


Law 26. If the partner of a player, who has made a revoke, but has discovered it in time to correct it, has played to the trick, he is not permitted to change the card he has played, but the adversary who has played after the revoke occurred may withdraw his card from the trick without penalty, and play another, if he thinks it may give him an advantage.


Law 26. Should either of the adversaries mix the cards together when a revoke is alleged against them they incur the penalty of the revoke, and the players claiming it are entitled to score the two points.


Law 27. When the cards have been cut for a new deal, no party is entitled to claim the penalty of a revoke; and, in case of a reciprocal revoke in one hand, one error offsets the other and a fresh deal must be had.


Law 28. If a player shows, or exposes, cne or more of his cards, intentionally or by accident, the card or cards so shown may be called by an opponent, either as a lead, when the offending player's turn to lead, or to the exposed card's suit when led. A card is shown if it is purposely, or accidentally exposed, and either of the opposite players can distinguish its character, and name it. And a card may be called if the holder names or indicates that it is in his hand.


Law 29. A player called upon for an exposed card must play the card or submit to the penalty of a revoke.


Law 30. The right to call one, or more cards, improperly played or exposed, by an opponent, belongs only to the left-hand adversary of the offending player. And, in no case can such a card be called if it causes a revoke; nor, can the player entitled to call, require his opponent to throw away a commanding card to a lead of different suit, when holding no card of the suit led, whether he can trump it or not. If two or more players, in any one deal, expose a card, the law is the same.


Law 31. Neither adversary is permitted to call the attention of his partner to the state of the game at a Bridge, without forfeiting their right to order up, and the dealer, or his partner, may then Play Alone, or not, at the option of either.


Law 32. If the counter marks more points than he is entitled to score to the game, either adversary or a bystander even may call attention to the error, and the opponents are entitled to count to their score, the point, or points, which their adversaries erroneously added to theirs. But the error cannot be rectified after the trump card has been turned in the deal next ensuing that in which the error occurred. So if he fails to count, or counts fewer points than he is entitled to, he loses the right to score such point, or points, when the next deal is completed.


Law 33. Should a player from loss of temper or upon supposition that he has lost or won the proper number of tricks or from any other cause throw down his cards upon the table, with their faces turned up, he cannot take them in hand again, and his left hand adversary may call each card so exposed as he deems most advantageous to his side. Who leaves the game loses it, is a maxim of this as of all other games.


Law 34. Every species of unfairness is strictly prohibited ; and if a player, at any time between the turning up of the trump card and the playing of the last card of the deal, indicates to his partner the strength of his own hand, either by words or gestures; or advises him how to lead or play; or invites him to make a trump, by such expressions as " follow the rule," " make it something," or any similar phrase; or, asks any questions about the game except such as are specifically allowed by the Laws of Euchre, the adversaries shall immediately add one point to their game.


Law 35. In every case of a penalty which entitles one party to add a point, or more, to the score of their game for the revoke, or any other wrong practice in play, the offending party cannot count a point, or more, which they may have won in that deal or round in which the penalty was incurred; and the regular routine of the deal continues.


Law 36. Every penalty incurred by the misconduct of a player must be shared and submitted to by his partner for partners are mutually responsible for each other's faults.


Law 37. If a player, who has incurred a penalty imposed by a provision of any of the preceding Laws, refuses submission to such penalty, his opponents may immediately throw down their cards, and that game, at any state of the score, is declared to belong to them.
















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