Euchre Strategies, A quick reference list

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Dlan
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Euchre Strategies, A quick reference list

Post by Dlan » Wed May 13, 2020 9:25 am

I received this helpful list from Brian, an OhioEuchre reader from Indiana.

Euchre Strategy


Bidding
First Seat, First Round
(trump + off-suit aces = 4, or Bower + 2 other trump)

First Seat, Second Round
Favor a next call with trump + off-suit aces that add up to 3.
The higher the turned-down card was, the more likely next will work

Second Seat, First Round
1) 2 of the turned-up suit + 1 off-suit ace (except don’t order up the Right).
2) three or more of the turned-up suit (OK to order up the Right).

Second Seat, Second Round
Reverse next w/ K-9 of trump plus an off-suit Ace. (Somewhat risky)

Third Seat, First and Second round
Only bid with a strong hand. Just both bowers w/o aces or more trump is risky.
Favor next call on second round.

The Dealer, First round

1) Always pick up a Jack if you have one other trump.

Pick up the turn card if it will give you:
1) 2 trump, plus a green Ace (esp. if singleton);
2) 3 trump and you will be two-suited;
3) 3 trump with one being a bower;
4) 3 trump, with an ace in next;
5) 2 trump, with two off-suit aces.

The Dealer, Second Round
Try a reverse next call.
With a strong hand, go alone.

Any hand with 3 trump and 2-suited is biddable.

If the score is 9-9 and it's your bid, you should bid your strongest suit.

Discarding
1) Create a void.
2) Try and hold a double suit. With K-Q & K, keep the K-Q.
3) With A-K & A, keep the A-K.
4) Discard lowest of a three-card off-suit.

 When a lone is called by your opponents from third seat, create a void in next. Your partner should lead next.

Throwing Off (signaling): The first time that you cannot follow suit, throw off the suit you want your partner to lead back to you. (But if it was the dealer that discarded, his first throw-off is probably from a doubleton.)

Defense’s Opening Leads

1) a green singleton Ace.
2) a green doubleton Ace
3) the low card from K-x
4) K from K-Q
5) smallest from shortest off-suit

Avoid:
1) Ace of next
2) Ace of the turned-down suit
3) Ace in a three-card suit

Leading Trump on Defense

1) In first seat, holding 3 trump, lead your middle trump.
2) With 2 green aces (except not a bare Right—then lead a small off-suit).

Bidder’s Partner’s Leads:

1) If you hold the Right or Left, lead it at your first opportunity. If you hold both, only play the Right.

2) With no bowers, but >1 trump, lead your highest trump. Play your off-suit Aces later.

3) If you have the opening lead when your partner named trump, a trump lead is mandatory. If you lead an ace, partner will assume you have no trump.

4) Please, if your partner calls next and leads a trump. DO NOT lead trump back.


Playing Hands

You're bidder in 1st seat with the Right bower, and an off-suit Ace:

1) Your best lead is the Right.

a) If partner doesn't have any trump, lead a second trump. Partner’s throw-off suggests what suit to lead back.

b) If partner followed suit on first trick, lead any Aces you may have.

First seat, regular bid: Lead trump to reduce the chances that your off-suit Aces will be trumped.

First seat next call:
1) With Right-x, and an off-suit Ace, lead the small trump first. (Unless Left was turned down.)

2) With two trump and a green Ace, lead a small trump.

3) With two trump, but no aces, lead a small off-suit.

Bidder with only Right-x: You trump in to take the first trick. Unless you have a bunch of Aces, don't lead your Right. Instead, play a small off-suit.

Playing the 3-2 Hand (Three Trump, Two-Suited)
(Assuming you win the first trick by trumping):

1) With an off-suit ace: lead your middle trump on the second trick (set up Ace)

2) With no off-suit ace, lead the smaller off-suit card (save trump to trump in)

If your partner bids and has lost the first two tricks. If you take the third trick, then lead a small trump to get back to your partner.

Defense: If the bidder starts out leading a low trump, the first opponent to play should play low if they have a choice (“second hand low”).

Lone Calls

1) 4 or 5 trump;

2) 3 trump (with a bower), and two-suited;

3) 3 trump with an off-suit A-K;

4) Both bowers and an off-suit A-K-x in first seat;

5) Any 3 trump and 2 off-suit Aces;

6) Your partner turned up the Right, you hold Left and two other trump with a strong off-suit;

7) If Dealer turns down a bower increases the chances of a lone in next;

8) Right-x with an off-suit A-K & A;

9) Bare Right with 3 off-suit Aces.

At eight points, if you are dealt a strong hand, think about playing it alone.

Defending against a lone call

Leads:

Against a lone call from 3rd seat, lead next, even if it is a single Ace.
With a single ace, do not lead it. Lead another suit.
With double aces, lead the ace in the shorter suit. Saving the green ace seems to work best.

Signals / Holding:

If your partner throws off an ace, try to hold the highest card in the same suit as the ace your partner threw away (but don’t throw away an ace to do that).
With an A-K at your first throw-off, play the ace. This tells your partner you hold the King and have that suit covered.
Otherwise, throw off any single-carded suits first, to signal your partner you can't cover that suit.

Without aces, discard K-Q doubleton last. Discard singletons before doubletons or three-card suits.

The dealer calls alone: If you cannot follow the suit on your partner’s opening lead, trump in with your highest trump, even if your partner led an ace (forces bidder to spend high trump).

Exceptions:
1) Your only trump is a nine or ten.
2) If you only hold a Left-x in trump)



BrianP
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 7:39 pm

Post by BrianP » Wed May 13, 2020 11:33 pm

This is not my invention: it is a digest of the 10 lessons and the advanced tips articles in the instructional part of Ohio Euchre. I hope it is useful to others. -Brian Primeau

BrianP
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 7:39 pm

Post by BrianP » Mon May 18, 2020 2:12 pm

Here is a somewhat revised version, organized so that some of the guidelines are easier to remember:

Euchre Strategy
Based on instruction at ohioeuchre.com.

Bidding

Any hand with 3 trump and 2-suited is biddable.

First Seat, First Round 
(trump + off-suit aces = 4, or 3 trump with a Bower)

First Seat, Second Round
Favor a next call with trump + off-suit aces that add up to 3.
The higher the turned-down card was, the more likely next will work

Second Seat, First Round
1) 2 trump + 1 off-suit ace (except don’t order up the Right).
2) 3 trump (OK to order up the Right).

Second Seat, Second Round
Reverse next w/ K-9 of trump plus an off-suit Ace. (Somewhat risky)

Third Seat, First and Second round
Only bid with a strong hand. Just both bowers w/o aces or more trump is risky.
Favor next call on second round.

The Dealer, First round
Pick up the turn card if it will give you:

2 trump and:
a) you are picking up a Jack
b) a green Ace (esp. if singleton)
c) 2 Aces off-suit

3 trump and:
a) you will be two-suited;
b) one is a Bower;
c) an Ace in next.

The Dealer, Second Round
Try a reverse next call.
With a strong hand, go alone.
If the score is 9-9 and it's your bid, you should bid your strongest suit.

Discarding 
1) Create a void.

2) Try and hold a double suit:
a) With K-Q & K, keep the K-Q.
b) With A-K & A, keep the A-K.

3) Discard lowest of a 3-card off-suit.

When a lone is called by your opponents from third seat, create a void in next. Your partner should lead next.

Throwing Off (signaling): The first time that you cannot follow suit, throw off the suit you want your partner to lead back to you. (But if the dealer discarded, his first throw-off is probably from a doubleton.)

Defense’s Opening Leads
1) a green singleton Ace.
2) a green doubleton Ace
3) the low card from K-x
4) K from K-Q
5) smallest from shortest off-suit

Avoid:
1) Ace of next
2) Ace of the turned-down suit
3) Ace in a three-card suit

Leading Trump on Defense
1) In first seat, holding 3 trump, lead your middle trump.
2) With 2 green aces (except not a bare Right—then lead a small off-suit).

Bidder’s Partner’s Leads:
1) If you hold the Right or Left, lead it at your first opportunity. If you hold both, only play the Right.  
2) With no bowers, but >1 trump, lead your highest trump. Play your off-suit Aces later.
3) If you have the opening lead when your partner named trump, a trump lead is mandatory. If you lead an ace, partner will assume you have no trump.
4) Please, if your partner calls next and leads a trump. DO NOT lead trump back.
Playing Hands

You're bidder in 1st seat with the Right bower, and an off-suit Ace:
1) Your best lead is the Right.
a) If partner doesn't have any trump, lead a second trump. Partner’s throw-off suggests what suit to lead back.
b) If partner followed suit on first trick, lead any Aces you may have.

First seat, regular bid: Lead trump to reduce the chances that your off-suit Aces will be trumped.

First seat next call:
1) With Right-x, and an off-suit Ace, lead the small trump first. (Unless Left was turned down.)
2) With two trump and a green Ace, lead a small trump.
3) With two trump, but no aces, lead a small off-suit.

Bidder with only Right-x: You trump in to take the first trick. Unless you have a bunch of Aces, don't lead your Right. Instead, play a small off-suit.

Playing the 3-2 Hand (Three Trump, Two-Suited)
(Assuming you win the first trick by trumping):
1) With an off-suit ace: lead your middle trump on the second trick (set up Ace)
2) With no off-suit ace, lead the smaller off-suit card (save trump to trump in)

If your partner bids and has lost the first two tricks. If you take the third trick, then lead a small trump to get back to your partner.

Defense: If the bidder starts out leading a low trump, the first opponent to play should play low if they have a choice (“second hand low”).

Lone Calls 
# Trump + Other Requirements
4 or 5

3 + a bower & two-suited
3 + an off-suit A-K
3 + 2 off-suit Aces
3 + the Left, strong off-suit cards, & partner turned up the Right

2 + Both bowers & an off-suit A-K-x (in first seat)
2 + Right-x & an off-suit A-K & A

1 + Right & 3 off-suit Aces

If Dealer turns down a bower, increases the chances of a lone in next.

At eight points, if you are dealt a strong hand, think about playing it alone.

Defending against a lone call

Leads:
Against a lone call from 3rd seat, lead next, even if it is a single Ace.
With a single ace, do not lead it. Lead another suit.
With double aces, lead the ace in the shorter suit. Saving the green ace seems to work best.

Signals / Holding:
If your partner throws off an ace at first throw-off, probably has the K. If they throw off an A later, probably has two aces, so try to hold the highest card in the same suit as the ace your partner threw away (but don’t throw away an ace to do that).
With an A-K, at your first throw-off, play the ace. This tells your partner you hold the King and have that suit covered.
Otherwise, throw off any single-carded suits first, to signal your partner you can't cover that suit.
Without aces, discard K-Q doubleton last. Discard singletons before doubletons or three-card suits.

The dealer calls alone: If you cannot follow the suit on your partner’s opening lead, trump in with your highest trump, even if your partner led an ace (forces bidder to spend high trump). (Exceptions: 1) Your only trump is a nine or ten. 2) If you only hold a Left-x in trump)

Digest by Brian Primeau, Lafayette, IN, [email protected] with apologies to ohioeuchre.com if any errors. Revised 5/14/2020

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