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Never Trump Your Partner's Ace 1

Actually, In Euchre never doesn't mean never

Last update on: Feb 01, 2019

In other articles, we have talked about breaking some of the rules set forth in Harvey Lapp's Ten Commandments of Euchre. Well here we go again; it's time to discuss commandment number three: 'Thou shalt not trumpeth thy partners Ace'. There are times when trumping an ace is considered the correct play. Of course, is one when you are trump tight. In addition, and perhaps more important is when defending against a lone call. Here trumping your partner's ace may stop the call. However, never trump with a nine as it will always be a complete waste of trump. Beyond that, there will be times when thinking outside the box is required. These times tend to fall under one of two conditions. One is where you want to change the lead. The other is where there is an assumption that the trick may be trumped. In this case, you should use the highest trump possible. If nothing else you may be able to force your opponents to use a higher trump. Trumping with a nine would be a waste, because if in fact they are void in that suit, then any trump they hold would overtake the 9.

There are circumstances where a lead change could affect the outcome of the hand by putting you in a better position either to euchre the other team or to make your point. As there are too many variables to offer specific recommendations, we will proceed by presenting a couple of examples.

Here's a great example

Table Position
Jack-jack call from 3rd

In this hand, the dealer is in the West position and just turned-up the ten of hearts. Bidding is passed around and back to the dealer. As the dealer already held two hearts, he picked-up the 10 and discarded the queen of diamonds.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

The hand gets underway with North leading the ace of clubs. Everyone follows suit and the ace is good. The N/S opponents have the first trick.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

Next, North leads the ace of diamonds. East follows suit and South, instead of throwing off, trumps his partner's ace with the ace of hearts. The maker has now lost the two first tricks. I'm sure many of you are questioning the wisdom of trumping in here, but the player doing the trumping was an excellent player and had a plan. Now the N/S opponents had a second trick.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

The maker(W), knew there were still three trump unaccounted. He was worried that overtrumping the ace with the right may allow South to control the balance of the hand. He was not too concerned about being euchred as he still held three trump. He throws off the king of clubs.

Jack-jack call from 3rd

South knows that leading a suit the second time back through the maker is perhaps one of the most powerful plays in euchre. So they lead back the jack of clubs. This lead allows their in partner(N) to over trump, making good use of the left. The maker's team was euchred before they ever took a trick.

Now let's see what happens if South didn't use their trump. After all, No one wants to trump their partner's ace. The maker(W) would have trumped in with the queen, They then lead the right, now no matter how it was played, their team would made their point.

Suggested Further Reading:

Never trump your partners ace, page 1
Actually, In Euchre never doesn't mean never

Never trump your partners ace, page 2
Until it's the correct time

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