Euchre - Tournaments Rules

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The Deal

To determine the first deal of the game, cards are dealt face up until a player receives any Jack. That player becomes the dealer. Subsequently, the deal rotates clockwise each hand.

Cards must be properly shuffled. The deck is then offered for a "cut" to the player seated to the right of the dealer. A cut card is provided and must be used to cover the bottom card of the deck during dealing.

  Cards may be dealt in groups of 2's and 3's, or 1 at a time. It is always the dealer's choice as to the preference of deal style; however, that person's deal style must be maintained during the entire round.


Once the 21st card has been turned up, the deal is considered finished, and bidding may commence.

Starting with the player to the left of the dealer (Eldest hand), each player in turn has the option to bid. If passed, the option to bid passes to next player (clockwise rotation). The only language which is allowed during the 1st round of bidding is: "Pass", "Pick it up", or "Alone". The bidder may not use descriptive phrases that give clues such as "Let's try clubs", "I think I can", and so on. A warning is given for the first offense. For subsequent offenses, the offending team loses its right to bid and the opposing team is awarded two points. Exceptionally, the dealer may simply pick up the card to indicate they declare that suit as trump, or simply turn over the card to indicate they pass, with no verbal comment.  

Another player may request (order) the dealer to pick up the up card with any holding in that suit, or even if void in that suit. If the dealer's partner tells the dealer to "Pick it up" the partner is not required to go alone.

If all players pass, the up card is turned face down in the kitty and a second round of bidding commences. In this second bidding round the bidder must state their intentions by saying the name of the trump suit (the turned down suit cannot be called).

If in the second round of bidding the first 3 players pass, the dealer is obligated to declare trump from the remaining 3 suits (aka "Stick the Dealer"). This speeds up game play.

Once trump is declared the dealer places the trump cube (see definition below) on top of the kitty, showing the declared trump suit. No player is subsequently allowed to ask which suit is trump.


Any player declaring a Loner must clearly state this intention by saying "Alone". They may not use phrases such as "I'm trying it," "Sit this one out, partner," "It's all mine," etc. When a player declares a Loner, his/her partner must drop their hand face down on the table, in the middle position (not to their left or right side). The partner is not allowed to look at the kitty during a loner attempt.  

"Defending loners" (see definition below) are NOT allowed. 


Cards are not to be tossed into the middle of the table. Instead, each player makes their play by placing a card in front of them on the table (forming a "square"). At the end of the hand, each player pushes their card to the winner of each trick. The person winning the trick neatly puts it face down in their area. The person that takes the trick must retrieve the trick and store it in front of them, keeping each trick separate. Do not push a trick you have taken to your partner for storage so the tricks will be all together; each player must rake in their own trick. This is done to enable the tournament director to prove a renege. (The trick in front of you will be evidence as to what suit you trumped).

If a team member bids alone, his partner may retrieve the tricks.

"Tramming" (see definition below) is not allowed. Cards must be played completely out.  

A card laid is a card played


* If the bidding team takes 3 or 4 tricks in a hand they score 1 point

* If the bidding team takes all 5 tricks in a hand they score 2 points.

* If a team member goes alone and takes 3 or 4 tricks, that team scores 1 point.

* If a team member goes alone and takes all 5 tricks, that team scores 4 points

* In a standard progressive event (see definition below), on a lone call, the person making the call scores 5 points and his partner scores 4 points.
A total of 8 hands are played, with everyone dealing twice.

* If bidding team fails to take 3 tricks (aka euchre) the opposing team scores 2 points. Same scoring if the bidding team was going Alone.

* The first team reaching a score of 10 points wins the round (game). A total of 13 points per game is possible.


DO NOT make your own Rulings! Please call the Tournament Director (TD)  

RENEGE: - There are no exceptions to the ruling for a Renege: The hand is over, the offending team loses their bid and the non-offending team scores two points. In the case of a renege during a Loner attempt, the non-offending team scores 4 points.

If a renege is alleged but ultimately not proven, the team falsely accused by their opponent's scores 2 points.

BID OUT OF TURN: - All play stops for that hand and the non-offending team scores two points.

The non-offending team may void the out of turn bid and be allowed to call alone (the offending team will score no penalty points), but do so at their own risk as standard scoring will apply.

LEAD OUT OF TURN: - All play stops for that hand and the non-offending team scores two points (four points if on a lone call).

Obsolete Rules
( have been replaced by standard rules )

Natural Trump - (not widely endorsed)

This rule states that you must hold the suit of the turned card in your hand in order to pick it up, or order into the dealer's hand.

Farmers Hand - (not widely endorsed)

A 'farmer's hand' is a hand that contains all 9's and 10's. It is also known as 'No Ace No Face'. If anyone gets these cards, the hand is void and re-dealt by the same dealer.

A 'farmer's hand - 2' There is another variation that states a re-deal is only allowed if, after trump has been named, a hand contains all 9's and 10's and no trump.

Going Under - AKA Playing bottoms - (not widely endorsed)

Going under is sometimes called playing the kitty, playing bottoms or playing under the table. While the rule varies slightly from place to place, it allows for someone that holds a 'farmers hand' (see above) to swap any three cards from their hand with the three bottom cards that are left in the kitty.

   * As far as I can tell the above rules came about to give inexperienced players, and children a chance to win. Most euchre enthusiasts find that these rules take away from the game.

Defending or Challenging alone

There is an interesting variation to the standard set of rules that can add an exciting twist to the game: defending alone.
If a player calls alone, another player can declare they want to defend or challenge alone. In this case, the two play against each other while their partners sit out. If the player calling the lone takes three or more tricks, their team gets 4 points. If they don't take at least 3 tricks then the opposing team gets 4 points. Only players that bid after the lone caller are eligible to defend alone; any player that has already passed is not.

Irregularities Not Cover in Standard Rules

The following list covers those rare situations that may come up in a euchre game, Although not covered in the standard rule set, these unwritten rules should be followed.

* If the cards are dealt by the wrong player and discovered after the first trick is played, the deal stands.

* Once the up card is turned, the deal is considered complete, and naming of trump may begin.

* If an incorrect number of cards are found to have been dealt to any player before the first lead, the hand is void and re-dealt by the same player. If discovered after the first lead (during play), the hand is void and the deal passes to the next player.

* If first seat leads a card before dealer discards, the card must remain in play for that hand and cannot be retrieved. It also no longer has any value and the hand cannot be won by first seat. The first lead passes to second seat.

* If 1st seat leads a card before dealer discards, the card must remain in play. It can not be retrieved. It no longer has any value. The first lead now goes to the second seat

* Dealer must be giving reasonable time to discard, but cannot be reminded to do so.

* If the dealer fails to discard, the opposition scores 2 points (or 4 points if lone hand was called by opposition).The deal is passed to the next player.

* If a player declares alone and their partner plays a card, the lone call is canceled and the hand is played as normal hand.

* If a renege is alleged, any team member has the right to look back at any previously played hand. He must, however, wait until the hand in play is complete.

* If during a trick, two different players renege, the penalty is against the first renege and the second renege is canceled.

* A point must be marked before the end of the next hand. Once the next point is made, any prior points made, but not marked up, are forfeited.

* If in the second round of bidding someone tries to name the turned down suit as trump, their team forfeits the right to bid on that hand.

* If a card falls out of a hand face-up, the card is left on the table and must be played at the first legal opportunity. The card has no value and cannot take a trick. If the offending player has the next lead, they must lead that card, others must follow suit if possible.

* When playing a card, if the card has been extended far enough that any other player can see its face, then the card is considered played. It cannot be placed back in hand.

* Once a trick is complete, the cards must be turned face down, and no one may look at them until the end of the round (except when a renege is alleged).

Euchre Terminology

Standard partners game :  Euchre is played by 4 players in 2 partnerships sitting across from one another. The first team reaching 10 points wins.

Standard progressive game :  Partnership set-up as above, but each player deals twice for a total of 8 deals. The highest score at the end wins. Ties go to the first team to make the tying score (i.e., last team to score loses).

Euchre Deck :  The Euchre deck is a twenty-four card deck consisting of the
space 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A of each of the four suits.

1st seat :  Left hand opponent of the dealer (AKA LHO, eldest)

2nd seat :  Dealer's partner

3rd seat :  Right hand opponent of the dealer (AKA pone)

4th seat:  Dealer

Off suit :  any suit but trump

Green suits :  either of the two suits that are the opposite color of trump

The kitty :  the stack of four cards left over after the deal is complete

The Bowers :  The Jack of the called trump suit is known as the 'right' bower, the Jack of the other suit that is the same color as the trump suit is known as the 'left' bower. These two cards are, respectively, the highest and second highest cards in any given hand.

Up-card :  The 21st card of the deal, AKA the turn card

First Round Bidding :  The round of naming trump that starts immediately after the cards are dealt and a card is turned up.

Second Round Bidding :  The round of ordering that starts immediately after each player passes and the up-card is turned down.

Trick :  The set of four cards played in succession. A trick is won by the highest trump played or, if no trumps are played, by the highest card played in the suit that was led. The winner of each trick leads the first card of the next trick.

Hand :  The set of five cards held by a player.

Cut card :  A card that is not use in play, but is used to cover the card on the bottom of the deck. A special cut card, or a joker can be used.

Trump cube :  A device containing , Hearts,Spades,Clubs and Diamonds pips. Used as an indictor of trump for any given hand.

Void :  Not holding any cards of a particular suit in your hand. (e.g., if you hold all hearts you are void in clubs, spades, and diamonds.)

Euchre :  Winning less than 3 tricks in a hand where your team declared constitutes a euchre. The opposing team scores 2 points.

Going alone :  Opting to play without your partner on a particular hand.

Renege :  Not following suit when one is able.

Table talk :  Any remark made during the game designed to give your partner information or prevent him from making a possible mistake.

Tramming :  (The rest are mine) Playing multiple winning cards in your hand at once. This is frowned upon as it leads to may problems: it can disguise a previous renege, it can be done in error if the "trammer" has not tracked the played cards correctly, and it can give clues to a hand when a player does not tram. To be avoided.

If you are new to euchre, may I suggest reading:

Our series of 10 lessons on how to play -->>

Euchre basics -->>

Here's what our viewers are saying

18 comments so far

I dealt. My partner ordered me to pick up the Jack of Spades. At this point after I discarded I have the Right, & Left bowers, the Ace of Spades, The Queens of Spades, and the Ace of Clubs. Can I say Alone and play the hand alone? I guess My partner figured he had a good enough hand with me holding the Right Bower to make our point. He had NO way of knowing what I was holding when he ordered me up.

Posted by Gene  on Thursday, 11.24.16 @ 21:39pm| #3719

No, Once your partners orders then trump had been named. A good rule of thumb is not to order up the right to your partner unless you hold 3 trump in your hand. Your example clearly show why.

Posted by Don  on Sunday, 12.18.16 @ 12:25pm| #3723

Say clubs was made trump and i have the jack of spades, the reat of my hand is hearts and diamonds. The person after the dealer leads spades, do i have to throw my jack of spades or can i throw off.

Posted by Bob  on Sunday, 01.1.17 @ 06:54am| #3735


You may throw off, because now your jack of spades becomes a trump and trump was not led.

Posted by Don  on Sunday, 01.1.17 @ 07:16am| #3736

hi I would like info, if there is a professional euchre plaers

Posted by Dave  on Monday, 01.2.17 @ 14:34pm| #3737

There's none here, try one of the cooking sites

Posted by Don  on Monday, 01.2.17 @ 14:41pm| #3738

Who leads when a player declares he or she is going alone. Heard different answers to this question.

Posted by Jack Campbell  on Friday, 01.6.17 @ 11:38am| #3740

The person to the left leads. same as always

Posted by Don  on Friday, 01.6.17 @ 11:59am| #3741

Can you play partners best

Posted by Harvey Richardson  on Saturday, 01.14.17 @ 22:52pm| #3749

Hi! My father in law had the deal and everyone passed the first time around. I was ready to make trump when he flipped the card over and threw in his cards and said no ace no face no trump. Can he do that? I never got the chance to make trump so how does he even know he has no trump? Made no sense to me.....????

Posted by jennifer  on Wednesday, 02.15.17 @ 22:02pm| #3767


"No Ace No Face" is a made-up rule that has no business in an game where adults are playing. Like most things in life, one must play the card they are dealt. We don't get to pick and choose the hands we want to play. After all, If one was dealt a lay-down lone, would they throw that in because it was unfair to the other players?

Posted by Don  on Thursday, 02.16.17 @ 06:39am| #3769

Perfect lone hand

Posted by Nancy  on Tuesday, 02.28.17 @ 10:53am| #3777

If a queen of trumps is led my partner plays the left and I have the right and a nine, do I have to climb my partners left and play my right or can I play my nine?

Posted by Daniel  on Saturday, 04.1.17 @ 23:00pm| #3798

Play your nine. In euchre you don't have to play a higher card.

Posted by Don  on Sunday, 04.2.17 @ 07:56am| #3799


Posted by Michael Laub  on Saturday, 04.8.17 @ 22:33pm| #3805

Our house rules stipulate that you must have at least one suit card (can be the left bower) in your hand to "order up" your opponents - this prevents the non-dealing team from blocking a lone-hand. Do you have a comment on that?

Posted by Chris  on Monday, 04.17.17 @ 00:14am| #3813

To me, blocking is just part of the game. It takes skill to know when you should block or not. Both teams have the option to block. In a completive game, such as euchre, the team with the more skilled players tends to win. Inexperienced teams need to catch up to be able to compete. Let’s face it, lones give the making team an advantage, blocking is the countermove to alone call.

Restrictive rules such as farmers hand and such just work to dumb down the game.

Posted by Don  on Monday, 04.17.17 @ 18:10pm| #3814

My family played a version of Euchre they called upsy downsy, I think it was 12 handed but i forget if it was 2 teams or 3. Every one had their normal bid hand plus a cards both face down & face up in front of them. It was a ton of fun but dont remember the rules - does anyone know this game & have the rules written down?

Posted by Tracy  on Friday, 04.21.17 @ 11:34am| #3815

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