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When To Play Alone, page 4

How to minimize your risk of being euchred


A major concern that most new euchre players have, is being euchred. They feel more confident when they take their partner along. They tend to think help is needed in making their point. This same fear keeps many new players from trying to play a hand alone. In this article, I'll show you the safe way to play a lone while reducing the chance of being euchred.

Here is a typical lone hand

Table Position
Ace High Lone Call

In this hand, you are the dealer and sit in the South position. The bidding is passed around and you pick up the 9 of hearts and call alone.

Ace High Lone Call 2

West starts by leading the queen of diamonds (their lead of diamonds was the correct play as next is almost always the best lead against a lone call). East plays their ace and you take the trick with your smallest trump. One trump is now out of play. (That's one trick down, four more to go.)


Now you lead the right. West throws off a spade and East plays the left. The fact that East showed void in trump is a warning sign: proceed with caution! Three trump are played and you still have one in our hand. That leaves three possible trump that may be out against you, including the ace. Yes, West played the left, but many players will hold the ace of trump back. If they were to have the ace and had no spades, leading the king could be an invitation for a euchre. (Two tricks down with three left)

Lone Example 2b

You're not worried about West as they don't have trump. The safe way to play this is to go fishing for any remaining trump by playing your ace of spades. If East still has trump, they would have to use one to take your ace. Then the only concern would be that East is void in spades and holds two trump, even then, one would need to be the ace.

Your ace of spades walks the board. Okay, that's your third trick, now you can relax knowing you've made your point.


Since this is alone call, and knowing your point is secure, it's time to if East has any trump left. Here is where you would play your last trump. What you're hoping for is to pick up any small trump. If they don't have trump then maybe they will throw-off their high spade.

Everything has worked out as planned and you have made a successful lone call.


However things don't always go as planned

Euchre is a game of chance because you never know what cards are out against you. There are hands where even though you do everything right; you're still going to be euchred. Yes, it is a little humiliating when it happens on a lone call. However, the cards can be fickle and may turn on you at any time. These are the times when even the most promising hands can go wrong.

Look at the following example:

Lone Example 2b

You are dealer sitting at the top of the screen in the North seat. Everyone passes and you and pick up the jack of diamonds, then call alone.

Lone Example 2b

West leads the ace of spades, East follows suit and you trump in with the ten.

Lone Example 2b

Now you lead the right, East plays the 9 of trump and West shows void. When you're trying a lone call and one of the opponents shows void while the other follows the trump lead, proceed with caution.

Realizing there could be high trump out against you, it's time to play it safe. The correct play is to lead the off-suit queen of clubs, hoping it holds up or that East wins the trick. If East were to take the trick, it should set the hand up for an end play.

Lone Example 2b

You lead the queen, but East is an experienced player and correctly throws off This gives his partner the opportunity to take the trick. No matter what you do next, you are euchred.

You played the hand correctly, but as they say 'the deck was stacked against you'. These things will happen occasionally. All you can do is shake it off and play the next hand.



Suggested Further Reading:

When To Play Alone, page 1
What is the minimum hand needed?

When To Play Alone, Page 2
Do you try all possible lone calls?

When To Play Alone, Page 3
Ace High Lones: Are you will to try one?

When To Play Alone, Page 4
Minimize the risk of being euchred

When To Play Alone, Page 5
Should you go alone on 8 points?



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