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Most of us have heard of The Ten Commandments of Euchre by Harvey Lapp. The number six commandment states "Thou shall not leadeth trump to thine opponent's order."(If the opposition makes trump do not lead it)) This is, as are all of Harvey's other commandments, great advice to any new euchre player. As we become more experienced players, we start to realize this rule may restrict our ability to win.
Not observing this rule may be a complete contradiction to what many of us had been taught. On the surface, it would seem like this could only benefit the team that named trump. This is sometimes true; however, there are those hands where this play is called for. This play tends to work best on thin calls where the trump is evenly distributed.
The main thought behind a trump lead is that it forces the opposition to use their trump in a way they had not planned. When naming trump, most players have already given thought as to how they are going to play the hand. This is especially true when playing against aggressive players. Let's look at what happens when an opponent leads trump. First, it tends to throw their plans into complete chaos. Consider that there is a good chance that one opponent will only hold a single trump. This lead will remove that trump from them, reducing their ability to take a trick. In addition, you and your partner's aces now have a better chance of surviving. Another possibility is that after the first lead you may be able to control the rest of the trump. Winning at euchre does involve taking risks. Sure, there will always be those hands where a trump lead only serves to help the opponents. Yet in these hands, no matter how they're played, a euchre is highly unlikely.
In an effort to euchre your opponents there will be times when you must step outside the box. These skills will develop over time, but only by motivated players that are willing to take chances and try new things.
As you look through the following pages, keep in mind that the random leading of trump is counterproductive. Beyond just leading trump, thought needs to be given to how the rest of the hand will play out. There are no general guidelines as to what type of hands where a trump lead would work best. . The best way we can show what may work is by presenting a series of different hands where this lead has worked in the past and have a high probability of success in the future. Although these hands are not common, they do come up. Be sure to watch for them.
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