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The American Card Player section-3

The origin of euchre
By William Brisbane 1866, Pages 57 - 81

Last update on: Dec 21, 2016


The game of Euchre is played with thirty-two cards, all below the denomination of seven-spot being rejected. Four persons constitute the complement for the game, and partners are determined by dealing and turning up one card to each; those receiving the two lowest cards, and vice versa, being associated together


The value of the cards in Euchre is the same as in Whist, All-Fours, and other games, excepting that the Knave of the suit corresponding with the trump is called the Right Bower, and is the highest card of the hand; and the other Knave of the same color is called the Left Bower, and is the card of second importance.
For example: if Hearts should be turned trump, the Knave of Hearts is the highest card, the Knave of Diamonds second in value, and the Ace, King, Queen, ten of Hearts, then come in their regular order, as at Whist. When the Knaves are of the opposite color from the trump card, they rank no higher than at Whist.


The players usually cut for deal, and he who cuts the highest Euchre card is entitled to the deal, and that is accomplished by giving the eldest hand, or first person to the left of the dealer, two cards, and so on all around, and then dealing an additional three cards to each player, in the same order. Regularity should be observed in dealing, and no party should be allowed to receive from the dealer, in any round, more than the number of cards given to the eldest hand. For instance, if the dealer begins by giving the left-hand player two cards, he cannot be allowed to vary, so as to give another three, and then two again, but must continue as he began. The proper manner of dealing is as we pointed out at the outset, and should be rigidly observed.

on' style="font-size:1.5em"> The advantage which accrues to the dealer is manifest. From the manner in which cards are played in all games, those of a corresponding suit will necessarily fall together, and therefore the dealer enhances his prospects thirty-three and one-third per cent, for an additional trump by dealing three cards last round, for then he has the three immediately preceding the trump, when, if he had began the deal with three cards, he would end by having only the two cards preceding the trump.

After five cards have been dealt to each player, in the order as above, the dealer turns up the top card on the pack or talon, which is called the trump. After the first hand, the deal passes to each player, in rotation


The game consists of five points - the parties getting that number first being winners - and the points are indicated by the number of tricks taken by the players. If all the tricks are taken by one side it constitutes what is technically termed a march, and- entitles the fortunate parties to a count of two; and it is necessary to take three tricks in order to count one, or "make a point," as it is called. Taking four tricks counts no more than three.

When the trump is turned, the first person to the left of the dealer looks at his cards, for the purpose of determining what he intends to do, whether to "pass" or "order the trump up" and this, to a certain extent, will depend upon the strength of his hand. If he holds cards of sufficient value to secure three tricks, he will say, "I order it up," and the dealer is then obliged to take the card turned up, and discard one from his hand; and the card thus taken up becomes the trump. If the eldest hand has not enough strength to order it up, he will say, "I pass," and then the partner of the dealer has to determine whether he will "pass" or "assist." If he has enough, with the help of the card his partner has turned, to make three tricks, he will say, "I assist," and the card is taken up as before. If he passes, then it goes to the third hand, who proceeds exactly as the eldest hand. Should all the players pass, it becomes the dealer's privilege to announce what he will do, and, if he thinks he can take three tricks, he says, "I take it up," and immediately discards his weakest card, placing it under the remainder of the pack, and, instead of the card thus rejected, he takes that turned up, which remains the trump. It is not considered 'en regle' for the dealer to remove the trump card until after the first trick has been taken, unless he needs it to play. It is let lay that every one may see what the trump is. We may as well state here, that it is always the dealer's privilege to discard any one card in his hand, and take up the trump card; and this holds good whether he is assisted by his partner, is ordered up by his adversaries, or takes it up himself. This gives the parties having the deal an advantage about equal to one trick. Should the dealer not be confident of winning three tricks, he says, '*I turn it down," and, at the same time, places the turn-up card, face down, on the pack. Should all the players decline to play at the suit turned up, and the dealer turn it down, the eldest hand is then entitled to make trump what he chooses (excepting the suit already turned down). If the eldest hand is not strong enough in any suit, and does not wish to make the trump, he can pass again, and so it will go in rotation, each one having an opportunity to make the trump, in his regular turn, to the dealer. If all the players, including the dealer, decline the making of the trump, the deal is forfeited to the eldest hand. The eldest hand, after the dealer has discarded, opens the game, and leads any card he chooses. The person playing the highest card takes the trick, and he in his turn is obliged to lead. In this manner the game proceeds, until the five cards in each hand are exhausted. Players are required, under penalty of the loss of two points, to follow suit. If, however, they cannot, why then they may throw away a small card, or trump at their pleasure.

The trey and quatre are used in marking game. The face of the trey being up, and the face of the quatre down on it, counts one whether one, two, or three pips are exposed; the face of the quatre being up, and the trey over it, face down, counts two whether one, two, three, or four of the pips are shown; the face of the trey uppermost counts three; and the face of the quatre uppermost counts four. The deuce and trey are now rarely used as counters, being more liable to mistakes.

It may be laid down as one of the general rules of Euchre, that whatever is undertaken by a player must be accomplished, in order to make the point. For instance, if I adopt, or order up the trump, and fail in securing three tricks, it is called being "Euchred," and entitles the opponents to a count of two; or if I make the trump after the original one has been turned down, and do not secure three tricks, I am also "Euchred," and it counts as before. Therefore it will be perceived, that in order to properly play the game, one should have, in addition to the ordinary rules, a thorough knowledge of the theory of chances, as they apply to this game, and exercise it judiciously.

The American Card Player

* Index *

Section - 1

Section - 2

Section - 3

Section - 4

Section - 5

Section - 6

Section - 7

Section - 8 - 2 handed euchre

Section - 9 - 3 handed euchre

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