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What Card should I Lead? page 2

Here are some guidelines for leading

Last update on: Feb 03, 2019

Each decision could mean the success or failure of the hand. There is little opportunity to recover from a mistake. Remember that this is a partnership game. Give thought to your partner's cards and try to play into his hand.

As your skill level advances, you may want to try out different strategies. Plan your hand and try to make it work for you. There are many things to take into consideration. Your table position, who called trump, the cards you hold, could be among the most important. Through practice and experience, you will learn the best lead in any given hand.

It may also be a good idea to change the way you lead occasionally. Don't automatically lead next. You wouldn't want your opponents to be able to predict what you will lead. Some people suggest switching between colors when you are in the lead. So if you lead a black ace, try a red lead next, and vice-versa. When you have that option, it's worth a try.

Normally one should not lead trump on the opponents call. Improper leading of trump generally results in helping them make a point. While there are some circumstances where this lead may be correct and possibly the only way to set a team up for a euchre, new players should avoid leading trump.

Second trick leads

Beyond the first lead, what will be your next lead? There are few hard and fast answers. Much like a first lead, many of the same things need to be considered. What is the score? Did you, your partner, or an opponent make trump? Was trump lead first? How many followed and how many possible trump are left? Did you lead then take the trick or did you trump in? Watch which players followed suit and their table position. For those that did not follow, what card/suit did they play? Once you see what falls on the first lead, use this information to help determine your next play. Ask yourself, did the cards that fell change your initial strategy?

Let us try to break this down a bit with some examples.

You led the right and only your partner showed trump.
-> Here a junk card may be a better second lead than pulling his trump.

Your partner dealt and turned up a jack. You are three suited; hold all low cards with three matching the jack. You order up your partner and take the first trick with a trump. What do you lead back?
-> Here you are counting on your partner for two tricks. Use a trump to send the lead to him and hope he has an ace he can make good.
-> Now let us say you ordered a king instead. Remembering the dealer is able to discard. In an attempt to led into his void, an off suit may be a better choice.

There will be times when your second lead can be used to set up a card for later in the hand. Leading the low card from a king-X set is one example of this.
-> Here you are hoping your partner has the ace or maybe can trump. This could make the king the boss card at the end of the hand. This could be the way to turn a one-point hand into a two-pointer.

Your partner made and then led a small trump. Four trump fell and you took the trick with the right. You still hold another small trump, a singleton ace, with two junk cards. Do you lead back trump or your ace?
-> Here a round of trump has already been taken out. A second trump lead could be disastrous.

No matter if you or your opponent's name trump, every trick counts. On each card you play, there should be the result and a goal kept in mind. Pull trump? Pass the lead? Set up a card for later? Careful planning is always the key.

Fourth trick leads

There are those players who think that once they get to the fourth trick and make their point, nothing else matters. They just toss out a random card to get the hand over. The truth is that the correct play here can make the difference between 1 and 2 points. There are even some hands when the correct lead could mean saving their team from being euchred. Knowing what card to play on the fourth lead is such an important part of a player's euchre strategy that I have dedicated an entire section to it.

Continue reading on page 3   >

Suggested Further Reading:

What Card should I Lead? page 1
Help me understand what card to lead

What Card should I Lead? page 2
Help me understand what card to lead page 2

What Card should I Lead? page 3
The proper use of a double lead

What Card should I Lead from 3rd seat
When my your partner calls

What card should I Lead - 4th trick? Pg 1
Why is the fourth lead so important?

NEVER lead trump on defense, page 1
Until you learn when is the correct time

Defending against a 'lone' call - 1
Use the proper lead to stop call

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