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Last update on: Dec 26, 2019

Euchre terminology and common phrases


A hand consisting of one Ace, with the other cards being 9's or 10's.

This is where your opponent turns up a suit and you have strength in that suit. You are hoping they will pick it up. This could mean a possible euchre and two points for your team.

In trump, the right is the boss card. Keep in mind, once the right has been player, the left becomes boss. Also be aware that if an ace is turned down, the king of that suit becomes boss.

A euchre strategy in which a team names trump with little chance of making a point. Its sole purpose is to stop the other team from calling and making four points on a lone call.

A euchre strategy where you hope your partner will get one trick, giving your team three tricks and making your point.

A player is said to cross the creek if, instead of calling next in first seat, they call a green suit. Normally it takes a very strong to make this call as your partner may be of little help.

The two jacks of trump. The Jack of the called trump suit is known as the 'right' bower.
The Jack of the other suit that is the same color as the trump suit is known as the 'left' bower. These two cards are, respectively, the highest and second highest cards in any given hand.

A card that is not use in play, but is used to cover the card on the bottom of the deck. A special cut card or a joker can be used.

A variation of euchre where there are only three players.

Each player,in turn and starting with the LHO, has the opportunity to call the suit turned-up as trump. This is normally their strongest suit and is done in the first round. If everyone passes first round, one can still name trump in the second round, but can no-longer name the turned-up suit as trump.

"To do a man's job". This is where a player trumps-in with a low card, giving other players the opportunity to over-trump and take the trick.

Holding any two cards of the same suit.

Eldest : Left hand opponent of the dealer (AKA LHO, first seat)

A Euchre deck consists of twenty-four cards. This is made using a standard deck and removing the 2's - 8's of each suit.

Trump :  The suit of trump is determined during the bidding phase of the game. Trump will include the other jack of the same color. ie if hearts were named trump then the jack of diamond would also be considered a trump. Thus, the most powerful trump card would be the Jack of hearts, followed by the Jack of diamonds, then Ace of hearts, King of hearts Queen of hearts, 10 and 9 of hearts.
The non-trump suit of the same color is ranked Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9. The last two suits, known as the green suits, are ranked A, K, Q, J, 10, 9. Trump out-ranks any other suit.

Similar to standard euchre except a joker, called 'The Benny', is used and it is the highest trump.

Euchre is played by four players in 2 partnerships sitting across from one another. The first team reaching 10 points wins. In a partner's event, the team plays together the entire time. Partner's events tend to be more completive.

Euchre is played by four players in 2 partnerships sitting across from one another. Progressive differs from a partners event in that teams change partner's after each game. In most progressive games each person deals only twice. Here the team with the highest score wins. In tying scores, the win goes to the first team making the tying score.

Once trump has been named, the LHO leads a suit, normally his highest card. Players must follow suit if possible, with the highest card taking or winning the trick. If a player is void and unable to follow suit then they may ruff, taking the trick using a trump card. The highest trump on any hand wins.

The set of five cards dealt to and held by a player.

Winning less than three tricks in a hand where your team declared trump, constitutes a euchre. The opposing team scores 2 points. This is also be called 'Getting set' on a hand.

Opting to play without a partner on a particular hand. If successful in taking all 5 tricks, their team receives 4 points. Taking 3 or 4 tricks gives 1 point, while less than 3 results in a euchre and the other team receives 2 points.

A strategy where one leads a small card in hopes of drawing out the boss cards.

Holding at least one of every suit in a hand

Either of the two suits that are the opposite color of trump

When a team only needs one more point to win, they are said to be 'In the barn'

The stack of four cards left once the deal is complete and everyone has 5 cards. The top card is then turned-up and the balance is turned down, and then placed in the center of the table. No one is allowed to see these last 3 cards.

A hand that will automatically win all five tricks. This hand would require one to hold the top five trump or the top four plus an ace.

The left bower is sometimes referred to as simply 'the left'

When a team takes all five tricks in a hand.

The player that names trump.

The round of naming trump that starts immediately after the cards are dealt and a card is turned up. At this point, each player starting with the LHO has the opportunity to name the up-card suit as trump.

The round of ordering that starts immediately after each player passes and the up-card is turned down. In this second round, the suit of the turned-down card can no-longer be named as trump. Now, as in first round, one can still name trump, but can no-longer name the turned-up suit as trump.

The other suit in the same color as the trump suit. Therefore, if Hearts were trump then 'next' would refer to Diamonds.

A hand consisting of only 9's and 10's. In some circles, this is considered a misdeal and the cards are dealt over.

The three non-trump suits.

This is where a player tell the dealer to pick-up the turn card. That cards suit will then become trump.

Opting not to name trump on a hand.

Holding an Ace along with any other two of the same suit. As an Ace would be the third ranked trump, holding these cards would stop an opponent from making a successful lone call.

Holding the left along with any other card of the same suit. As the left is the second ranked trump, holding these cards would stop an opponent from making a successful lone call.

This is a strategy called from second seat, where the dealer has dealt then, turned down that suit. Here second seat would name trump in a suit of the opposite color.

The right is the Jack of the trump suit. This is the highest ranked card and over takes all others.

Pone : The right hand opponent of the dealer (AKA RHO, 3rd seat)

A phrase use when calling a loner hand, the player will tell his or her partner to "stay home" This signals the other players that they are going to try a lone call.

In this variation of the rules, if everyone passes during the naming of trump, first and second round, then the dealer must name trump. Most player find STD to be a more challenging and rewarding game.

When you win a game with your opponents having a score of 0

Any remark made during the game designed to give your partner information or prevent him from making a possible mistake.

1st seat :  Left hand opponent of the dealer (AKA LHO, eldest)

2nd seat :  Dealer's partner

3rd seat :  Right hand opponent of the dealer (AKA pone)

4th seat:  Dealer

Playing multiple winning cards in your hand at once. This is frowned upon as it leads to may to problems and should be avoided because: it can disguise a previous renege, it can be done in error if the "trammer" has not tracked the played cards correctly, and it can give clues to a hand when a player does not tram.

The set of four cards played in succession. A trick is won by the highest trump played or, if no trumps are played, by the highest card played in the suit that was led. The winner of each trick leads the first card of the next trick.

A device containing a Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds pips. Used as an indicator of trump for any given hand.

The twenty-first card of the deal, AKA the Turn Card

If everyone passes in the first round of trump naming, the up-card is "Turned-down" and a second round of bidding starts.

A hand with only two suits

Not following suit when one is able. The penalty for a renege is two points given to the other team.

When unable to follow (play) the suit led, you may ruff-in or trump the trick. In case of two players ruffing, the highest trump wins.

Standard games are player to 10 points. A team will make 1 point by taking any 3 of 5 tricks in a given hand. If a team takes all 5 tricks, they receive 2 points, while less than 3 results in a euchre and the other team receives 2 points.

Only holding one card in a particular suit

This is when one plays a card of little value on a trick. Here the intention is not to take the trick, but rid the hand of a useless card.

Not holding any cards of a particular suit in your hand. (e.g., if you hold all hearts you are void in clubs, spades, and diamonds.)

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Suggested Further Reading:

Euchre Rules
Official Rules and Regulations for Euchre

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