THE LAWS OF EUCHRE
Adopted by the Somerset Club of Boston
March 1, 1888
H. C. Leeds + James Dwight
ETIQUETTE OF EUCHRE.
106. The following rules belong to the
established Etiquette of Euchre. They are
not called “Laws,” as it is difficult, and in
some cases impossible, to apply any penalty
to their infraction, and the only remedy is
to cease to play with the players who habitually
107. Two packs of cards of different
colors are invariably used at Clubs, and
this should be adhered to if possible.
108. A player having the lead and
another winning card to play, should not
draw the second card out of his hand till
his partner has played to the first trick,
such act being a distinct intimation that
the former has played a winning card.
109. No intimation whatever by word
or gesture should be given by a player as
to the state of the hand or the game after
the trump card is turned.
110. A player who desires the cards to
be placed, or demands to see the last trick,
should do so for his own information only,
and not to attract the attention of his
111. No player should object to refer to
a bystander who professes himself uninterested
in the game and able to decide
any disputed question of fact.
112. It is unfair to revoke purposely;
and having made a revoke, a player is not
justified in making a second to conceal the
113. Until the players have made such
bets as they wish, bets should not be made
with the bystanders.
114. Bystanders should make no remark,
nor should they, by word or gesture, give
any intimation of the state of the game
until concluded and scored, nor should
they walk around the table to look at the
115. No one should look over the hand
of a player against whom he is betting.
116. Players should pass, assist, order
up, etc., with as nearly as possible the
same manner at all times, and should be
careful not to give information by unusual
quickness or delay.
TECHNICAL TERMS USED IN EUCHRE.
“Right Bower,” or “Right,”—knave of
the trump suit, which is the highest card.
“Left Bower,” or “Left,”—knave of
the same color as the trump suit, which is
the second best card.
“Alone,”—playing without your partner.
“Assist,” or “Help,”—ordering up the
trump when your partner deals.
“Announce,”—to declare the suit
which shall be trumps.
“Bridge,”—when the score of the eldest
hand is four to one or four to two in
“Crossing the suit,”—making the trump
of a different color from the suit turned
“Next,”—to make a trump of the color
“Euchre,”—when the party making the
trump fails to take three tricks.
“Hand,”—the five cards dealt to each
“Ordering up,”—requiring the dealer
and his partner to play the trump turned
“Pass,”—declining to order up, assist,
adopt, or make the trump.
“March,”—taking five tricks.
“Love Game,” “Slam,” or “Double,”—where
the score is five to nothing.
“Lap,”—is where more points are made
than are necessary to win a game, and are
carried to the next game.
“Rubber,”—consists of three games.
When, however, a lap is made in the
third game, a fourth must be played.
A “Lay Card,” or an “Outsider,”—is
a card of a different suit from the trump.
The following points are written simply
for the information of those not thoroughly
conversant with the game of Euchre.
It is not the intention of the authors to
write a treatise on the game, but merely
to illustrate a few conventional plays, most
of which are in use among the best exponents
of the game.
There can be no absolute rules about
the play in Euchre, as in Whist, as the
number of cards is so few that the importance
of each play is intensified, and the
score has so great an influence on the
The exceptions also are perhaps almost
as numerous as the rules; but if the beginner
will accept as a guide the appended
hints, it is thought they will not lead him
The play of the cards is governed by the
card sense of the individual.
The refinement of the game consists in
playing to the score, which is quite peculiar
to Euchre, since it is so constantly changing.
The same hand should suggest different
ideas at different scores.
A player should school himself to notice
the score before he picks up his hand.
No attempt has been made to go beyond
the adoption of the trump, passing, assisting,
and the original lead or play, at the
risk of being confusing.
A beginner should follow these hints
pretty closely. A good Euchre player can
make his own exceptions; but they should
be made with careful consideration, and
ELDEST, OR FIRST HAND.
When the right is not turned, order
with three medium trumps or better, and
some strength in suit, provided you have
nothing to go to; for example, ace, queen,
ten of the turn-up, and two cards of another
Do not order (unless with great strength)
if you can make it next; for example, queen
of clubs turned up, you hold right, ten, and
nine of clubs, and king and ten of spades;
or left, ace and seven of clubs, seven of
spades, and seven of diamonds. In both
of these cases pass, and make it next.
Make it next when you can, and do not
cross the suit, unless very strong, especially
when a bower is turned down; for example,
the dealer has turned down the king of
spades, with ace, king, and seven of hearts,
knave of spades, and ten of clubs: make it
next, and lead the left.
When making the trump with ace and
two others (without the king), lead ace
in next, and small one when crossing the
If the right is not turned, lead trumps
through the assisting hand. The exceptions
to this are,—With left and small
one; ace and small one; with score four
to three in your favor, and you play with
certain reasons to stop a march; and occasionally
when short of a suit.
With a large tenace in trumps as right,
ace, or right, king, and no outside cards
of any special value, play an off-suit,
whether dealer takes up with or without
With one or two trumps and two aces,
lead trumps, whether through assistance
If the dealer adopts the trump, avoid,
if you can, leading from suits of king,
seven; queen, seven, etc. If possible, lead
an ace, or from a short suit of king or
queen, or from a suit of equals, as king,
queen, or queen, knave, or knave, ten.
In general do not lead trumps up to the
dealer's adoption; but with three trumps,
and the score two points in your favor,
lead a trump, if the turn-up is not above
the king. If you hold the two bowers
and an outside ace, always lead them in
the order named.
Always lead a trump when your partner
has ordered up, or made the trump. If
you have no trump, play your best card.
Avoid leading the turn-down until at least
one round of trumps has been played. If
you have left and small one, lead the
left and continue with small one if both
opponents follow. With any two others,
lead smallest, unless equals.
Score four to three in your favor is a
position of caution, and consequently your
play should be very conservative.