One simple rule to improve your game

A euchre forum, which focuses mainly on the advanced strategies and statistics used by experienced players, can be a little overwhelming to a new player.
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raydog
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:56 pm

One simple rule to improve your game

Unread post by raydog » Tue May 03, 2022 6:00 pm

I play in a casual game at a bar on Saturdays, with players who are generally from the Midwest and have been playing their whole lives. But they have tend to be very set in their ways. There is one particular play I see crop up quite often - maybe 1 in 5 or 10 hands - which is quite often mis-played. Master this, and your results at euchre will improve dramatically.

Say S1 leads a non-trump card, S2 plays a higher card (without trumping), and S3 doesn't take the lead (so either plays a lower card in the suit, or plays some other non-trump card). It's now dealer's turn to play, and their partner in S2 is winning the trick. If they are void in that suit, the obvious choice is to throw off some useless card.

Let's say they do that, so S2 wins the trick. What should S2 lead?

Quite often, the thought process of S2 is, "my partner threw off x suit, so they must be voiding themselves; I'll lead that suit!" But that is exactly the wrong thing to do. The correct play is to lead (if possible) one of the 2 remaining unplayed non-trump suits. Statistically, the dealer is TWICE as likely to be able to trump that suit as they are to be able to trump the same re-led suit.

This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but put yourself in the dealer's shoes. Quite often, you are the declarer, and have 2 or 3 trump. You have already discarded some random card to create a void, and VERY OFTEN you have 2 cards in any remaining non-trump suit. When you discard some random card, you VERY OFTEN still have a second card in that suit.

Expert players will tell you to do this, and I have simulated this strategy and found it to be clearly the best one: dealer does indeed have TWICE the likelihood of trumping in on a new non-trump suit than trumping in on the re-led suit.

Look out for this in your next home game. It crops up quite often. And this strategy works if your team has declared or if you're playing defense. Not always, but 2 out of 3 times. Just don't tell your opponents!



Catch10110
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Unread post by Catch10110 » Wed May 04, 2022 9:33 am

This is only if the dealer has had an opportunity to pick up and discard to create a void, right? I would think you can't have the same expectation without that happening. In that case, i'd guess without the discard, the dealer would be throwing off to create a void.

irishwolf
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Unread post by irishwolf » Wed May 04, 2022 10:46 am

Correct OBSERVED Ray!

But there is another side to you observation. Let's suppose S1 led a Club here, S2 wins it with a higher club. True about 65% of the time the Dealer is the maker he has another card to the suit he sloughed. And 30 to 35% he might hold (say he picked up (Card_A-D) ) he might now have (Card_J-D) (Card_A-S) (Card_Q-S) (Card_K-H) so he sloughs the (Card_K-H) . It should be the observation of 2nd seat (S2) what card the dealer sloughed and what was the upcard?

Now he has some choices on what card to lead. Lead heart there is a good chance that was his only card in hearts because of how high the slough was. If it was a low heart then the probability increases to that 65%. (Card_A-H) is what he could have and that now that drops to 28% probability. Leading heart and it might get trumped as S2 really does not know what the Dealer holds. Here a Spade lead is not desirable as Spades has a high chance of being trumped by S1 or S3. But also knowing that your partner made trump - no guessing is necessary and that IMO trump is the best lead in this situation.

Euchre is a game of Probabilities. So the real question is what is the Probabilities of his choices being the Best lead (D, S or H). I think clearly Trump is the best lead and the other two choices if KH slough is about equal.

Now to Catch19 said, what if S2 ordered his partner? S2 might have 3 trumps, and the Dealer now sloughs that KD? Now the chance that is a Void is clearly flip flop, and high chance S4 is void in Hearts after the slough. Why - S2 has 3 - up card is four and most likely S4 has one more trump, thus he has three (3) off suit cards of two suits, one void. With 3 unknown trumps only a 16% chance Dealer has 3 trumps with a doubleton off suit. If S2 has 3 he should lead trump and if he has two, it depends. If he chooses to lead to Dealer's void and he sloughed the KH it most likely be the suit to lead, if he has a heart to lead. It very safe to lead Hearts. Club led by S1 originally. If leads a Spade he most likely to hit his partner's off suit. But the chance of a void in hearts is high when S2 orders. You just don't know for sure has he could have a triplet off Heart suit. Catch is correct.

Ray, your observations means just because you have played many, many games, you could be practicing the wrong fundamentals which hard codes bad play. If it's just a social game, drinking beer - WHO CARES!

IRISH
Last edited by irishwolf on Wed May 04, 2022 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Catch10110
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Unread post by Catch10110 » Wed May 04, 2022 11:25 am

irishwolf wrote:
Wed May 04, 2022 10:46 am
Catch19
Close, but not quite. lol

Anyway, my point was only that Ray's observation makes sense to me in round 1, but maybe not in round 2. Although i'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

irishwolf
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Wed May 04, 2022 1:20 pm

CATCH10,

Anyway, my point was only that Ray's observation makes sense to me in round 1, but maybe not in round 2. Although i'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

So let's look at this. S1 passed R2, QD went down and S1 passes and S2 calls Spades. S1 leads a low Club, S2 wins it and S3 had a low club as well. All good players. So what could Dealer have before he sloughs?

We know he has No clubs and 1 diamond at most. Just a few possibilities, you fill in the rest:

1) S4 No clubs, 2H 1D 2S. He is going to slough the D.
2) S4 No clubs maybe 1H 1D 3S. Can't have 2 D's. Sloughs a H or D (depends on Size).
3) S4 No clubs, maybe 3H 2S. This example, Here he Sloughs a H. So he has more Hs.
4) S4 No clubs, maybe 2H 3S. This example, he sloughs a H. So he has more H, no Ds.
5) S4 No clubs, maybe 1H 4S. This example, he Sloughs a H. So he is void in H & D.

What is the Dealer more likely to have there? I say 1) & 2) - 60 to 70% void with Slough (my estimate). Maybe the jury is still out, don't think so!

Statistically, more likely to have a void with his slough. Probability is higher that he is Void in D's. BEST LEAD IS ACTUALLY A DIAMOND OR TRUMP!

This could be tested Simulator. Give S2 R2 calls Spades JS AS AH 10H KC or AS KS 9S KD QH or AS QS AH 10D KC or others and Test if it holds true that the Dealer at S4 is more likely to have a Void in what he sloughs? (RAY HELP) S2 wins first trick with KC and AC is buried.

It's not Rocket Science. But most players do not consider at all what my partner holds in terms of A LL five cards. In euchre one should, if they are really good, understand your side has 10 cards. You know what you hold but what is the most likely distribution of cards to my partner. Just some thoughts.

IRISH

raydog
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Unread post by raydog » Wed May 04, 2022 4:54 pm

I always love your thoughtful analysis, Irish. And I can't fault the points you raise - I will certainly try to think along those lines as I play.

But I pointedly posted this on the "beginners and casual players" forum, because my goal was to present a simply, reflexive strategy which could be easily learned (and even remembered after a few beers) which is better than the reflexive strategy I see used far too often, by casual players and bots alike. When dealer sloughs on the first trick, peg them for NOT being void in that suit, rather than void. Yes, that will not always be the case, and there will be times when a more thoughtful analysis could yield a more fruitful play. But the gross percentages say to play a new suit (from S2) or perhaps the same suit (from S1 or S3, hoping S4 will need to follow suit and partner can sneak in a trump).

Catch10110: you are correct, I meant for this strategy to pertain for 1st round call only, when dealer has a chance to discard. Good catch!

Irish: I'll test you suggested hand soon with my simulator.

irishwolf
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 pm

Unread post by irishwolf » Wed May 04, 2022 6:14 pm

lol - Euchre is such a simple game!

Actually, you don't have to run Simulation. S2 can't beat leading what was turned down according to Catch10 R2's example!


I always love your thoughtful analysis, Irish. And I can't fault the points you raise - I will certainly try to think along those lines as I play.

Catch10110
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:50 pm
Location: Aurora, IL

Unread post by Catch10110 » Tue May 10, 2022 2:28 pm

irishwolf wrote:
Wed May 04, 2022 6:14 pm
Catch10 R2's
lol

Catch10110 = Catch22

sdu754
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:15 am

Unread post by sdu754 » Fri Oct 28, 2022 12:13 am

The problem with your scenario is that you don't give enough information to make an educated decision. Several questions need to be answered.

Who made Trump? If it were your opponents, you will play differently than if it was you or your partner.

What cards am I holding?

If my partner called it and I have a bower, I am leading it. If my partner called it and I have offsuit Aces, I am leading a Trump card. If my partner picked up the right Bower and I have a low trump, I am leading the low Trump into his hand.

Did your partner pick up the card on the kitty. Based upon your description, they did, which would mean they likely have a second card in the suit that was thrown away, but if they didn't, they are likely voiding a suit.

If my opponents ordered up Trump, I am following your advice. If they called Trump in the second round, I am likely leading back the suit my partner played, as I expect him to be void in that suit.

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