Below is a hand played by a group of very aggressive euchre players. In a group such as this, if you pass you can expect your left hand opponent to bid. Although the 'stick the dealer' rule is in effect, it is a rare hand when the dealer gets to bid in the second round. When euchre is played at this level, it's always a pleasure to go back, replay the game and view the different strategies that are used to win.
The following example demonstrates two different facets of the same principal, that of 'giving your partner a chance' to play. Both throwing off on a trick and playing second hand low are used here.
The dealer is sitting is South position and turns up the ace of diamonds. West passes, knowing that they have a good chance of a euchre if the dealer picks up the ace. This is the correct play as they also have a strong hand and sure point in next. North orders the ace of diamonds into their partner's (S) hand. It's a thin call, but in these very completive games it's best not to give the opposition any chance to name trump. Passes are rare as there is always the possibility that a pass will give the other team the chance to make a lone call. A euchre just means your opponents get two points.
West starts by leading the 10 of clubs. They know that leading the ace of hearts (next) will often be an invitation to have it trumped. They are hoping their partner in East holds the ace of clubs. Instead the dealer has it and takes the first trick.
Now South leads the 10 of diamonds (trump). His ace of spades has a much better chance of surviving once a round of trump has been played. West correctly plays 'second hand low' by underplaying using the 9. His right is good at any point in the hand. The maker(N) plays the king and East takes the trick with the left. Four trump are out of play.
Now east leads the king of clubs. As the ace was played on the first hand this king is boss, and a trump is necessary to take the trick. The dealer(S) throws off on this lead and clears his hand of a useless queen. At this point he knows that his partner is void in clubs as he didn't play the 9 on the first lead. The maker(N) takes the trick with the queen of trump. The bidding team now has two tricks with five trump gone.
Now the maker(N) leads back the king of hearts. East plays the jack of spades. The maker's partner (S) knows there is only one trump, the right, which is left out in the wild and wonders who holds it? The maker(N) hadn't played it, was he hoping to have his partner (S) to take a trick? His partner(N)/maker is known to name trump on very thin hands. Hearts haven't been played yet, nor has spades. He still had the ace of spades for a possible backup. Only one thing to do, trump the heart and see what happens. As it turns out, West holds a heart and the bidding team makes their point.
As demonstrated here, one does not need a strong hand to name trump. However a fundamental understanding of euchre and the different techniques available may be required.
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