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The best part of making a next call is when you call on nothing, and your partner has all the top trump. How does it work? Why does it work? Keep reading, we have the answers here.
The idea of calling next has been around for as long as the game of euchre itself. Even the earliest books on euchre talk about it. Still, many people do not understand it. There are even those who say it doesn't work. Our Euchre Quiz reflected this, as many people missed the question on next. It may not work every time. However, in the end, 'next calls' will get you more points and therefore more wins. Also, don't forget the times when a next call may stop a lone call and save you two or more points. This article will help you understand the how and whys of the next call strategy. For those that don't know about next, next is the other suit of the same color. For example, if we were talking about hearts, then next would be diamonds. Therefore, a next call would refer to bid from first seat where the person sitting directly to the left of the dealer, calls trump in the other suit of the same color as the card turned down.
Euchre is a game of strategies and probabilities; you have to use any strategy that will give you the best chance of winning. Calling next is one of them. The reason behind calling next is simply that your opponents don't hold cards or the bowers in that color. If they did, they would have picked or ordered up the turn card. Well if they don't have the cards and you don't, then they are may be in your partner's hand. By calling next, you are not only calling into your partner's hand. You are also stopping the opposition from bidding in the opposite color, as this is where they may have a strong green hand.
Here are some fairly safe times to call next;
1) If you have 3 or more in next,
2) If you have 2 or more in next, with 1 off-suit Ace
3) If you have 1 or more in next, with 2 off suit Aces
4) If you have nothing in next but have 3 off suit Aces
While there is always the risk of being euchred, many next calls have been made with only one small trump along with a green off suit ace. The thing is, all card games are games of chance. Occasionally, you have to take some risks. You may be pleasantly surprised at what will work.
It may not be a good idea to call next automatically, as you may find yourself being setup by a skillful player. The dealer, knowing you always call next, may pass a biddable hand in hopes of euchring you. Mix up your play a little.
The higher the turn-up card is, the more likely next will work
Next is also less successful when playing against very conservative players. They may have the cards but are simply afraid to call.
The best first lead on a next call is a small trump; this is especially true if you hold an off-suit Ace. By leading a small trump, you stand the best chance of hitting your partner's hand. Remember, the odds are your partner will have at least one bower in his hand. This lead is the best chance you have of going straight to him. This will give him the opportunity to play any aces he may have. In addition, with one round of trump gone, those aces have a much better chance of surviving.
Leading the right may not be the best move. Your partner could only have one bower in his hand and you don't want them to clash. When you are holding a right/ ace combination it's usually best to lead the ace. If the other bower has been turned down, then it is ok to lead the right.
In a hand where you only hold two small cards in next but no power, try leading an off suit that you think your partner may be able to trump. You may need the trump to make your point.
While we are talking about next, Please, if your partner calls next and leads a trump. DO NOT lead trump back. I'm amazed at how many times people do this. This move almost always results in being euchred.
Take a look at the picture below. The dealer is in the East seat and just turned down the King of clubs. The player in South bids spades(next) and leads the 10. West plays the king. West's partner(N) plays the right and then leads back the ace of hearts. Next, he leads the queen of diamonds. This next call made the team made two points. With an initial lead of the left, they may have only made one point. While no play works every time, a small trump lead may be what a next call needs to be successful.
Should you decide not to call next but instead call the opposite color (aka crossing the creek or calling green) you should be aware that your partner would most likely be of little or no help. You should only call green if you have three sure tricks in your hand. You may even want to play the hand alone.