Euchre is one of those games that seem simple at first, after all, there are only 24 cards and once dealt you know where six of those are. However, if you want to win, it is imperative to learn some * general strategies first. Beyond these, it is also important to know what not to do. While some may seem obvious, others, not so much. In the following, I'll point out some common errors and ways to avoid them.
It is common for new players to think of only their hand when making a bid or playing the hand. I cannot stress this fact enough: winning has to be a team effort. You have a partner! They are there to help. Ask yourself these questions. Do you allow then the opportunity to help? Are you watching for clues they send? Do you try to guess what the hold? Do you trust their ability to play the hand? A no answer to any of these will limit your team's ability to win.
Remember, euchre is a partnership game. Passing any hand sends a message to your partner. Your partner is watching for clues and passing says a lot about your hand. Send the wrong message and you limit his ability to call. You should also keep in mind a pass gives your opponents the opportunity to name trump; they may even be waiting to make a lone call.
You will be able to create a void and should be able to trump the suit you're void in. By passing, your telling your partner that you are void in that suit. He may let a trick go by, expecting you to trump.
The logic behind calling next is simple: your opponents do not many cards in that color. Well, if they don't, it's a fair bet their cards are in the other color. Does your partner have the opposite suit of the same color? While there is always the risk of a euchre, many next calls are made on weak hands. Calling next also stops an opponent from going alone in green.
Trumping your partner's Ace is almost never a good idea. Why would you want to waste a trump taking a trick from them? The one major exception would be when defending against a lone call. There may be a couple of others, but those require having a definite plan along with the cards to back it up.
When you take that first trick and lead a trump back to your partner. You are setting your team up for a euchre. Why? This may strip all trump and leave your team in precarious situation in which there may be no way to recover.
A lone is called when holding a strong trump hand. A trump lead will only help in making the hand stronger, limiting any chance your team had to stop or euchre it. The logic that it may make your aces good just doesn't make sense here.
Any call from third is difficult. Successful lones, even more so. Why? The dealer has the opportunity to discard. Taking advantage of this, the dealer should discard next. Thus, with his partner leading next, the dealer would be able to stop the call by trumping in.
Holding the Ace and leading the king causes your partner to try to guess whether the King is the only one he has, if it came from an Ace-King set, or if it came from a King-Queen set. Now, does he trump or not.
Please note that many are not absolutes, but guidelines to help avoid making mistakes. You just need to be aware. As your skill level increases, you will find there are times when it may be best to deviate from these.
Don Bunn is the creator of OhioEuchre.Com As a self-proclaimed Euchre authority, Don is involved in teaching Euchre along with the promotion and operation of Euchre tournaments. He can be reached at [email protected]