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Rules for Regular Euchre

Doctor Doug's Gigarrific Cosmic Euchre is a wonderful extension to the classic game of Euchre.  You can find out more information about this variant by clicking here.  But in order to play the cosmic version, you first must know how to play the regular version, so here are the rules to Euchre Proper.  (These are verbose rules aimed at people who are inexperienced card players.  The internet is lousy with briefer descriptions of the rules)

Euchre is a four-player game played in partners, with a standard deck of cards from which all the cards from two through eight have been removed.  The goal of the game is to be the first team to get ten points.  The game consists of a series of hands, with points being awarded after each hand.  Each hand consists of five tricks.  If you have played Bridge before, you can think of Euchre as the process of taking Bridge, putting it in a pan with some water, boiling away everything that is not fun, thus concentrating the good stuff.

The Hand:
The dealer gives each player five cards, leaving four that are unused.  These are called the kitty.  The top card of the kitty is turned face up (it is often called the turn-up card).  A trump suit is determined, the five tricks are played, and points are given to the winners.  If nobody has ten points at the end of the hand, the person to the left of the original dealer becomes the new dealer, and the next hand is played.

Determining the trump suit:
At the beginning of every hand, one of the four suits is chosen to be special, and called the trump suit.   All other things being equal, the team with the most trump cards will have the best chance of winning the hand.  After the cards are dealt, the suit of the turn-up card is the first candidate for trump.  The player to the left of the dealer has the first say.  She can say, "pick it up" meaning that she wants it to be trump, or she can say "pass" meaning she doesn't want it to be trump. 

If she says "pick it up," the dealer puts the turn-up card in his hand, and discards one, face down.   Trump has now been chosen.

If she says "pass," then the player to her left gets his chance to speak.  He can also say "pick it up" or "pass."  As before, if he says "pick it up" then the dealer puts the turn-up card in his hand, and discards one, face down.   If he passes, then the third player gets a chance.  If the third player passes, then the dealer gets to pick it up or pass.

If all four players pass, then the turn-up card is turned face down, and its suit is no longer eligible to be trump.   Now the player to the dealer's left is allowed to name any of the other three suits, or pass.  If she passes, then the player to her left gets a chance.  When someone names a suit this time, the dealer doesn't put any new cards in his hand.  If none of the other three players name a suit, then the dealer must name one of the other three.  This is called the stick-the-dealer rule, a rule which some wimpy Euchre players whine about.

Playing the five tricks:

The player to the left of the dealer puts down a card first.  This is called leading.  The next player, to her left, has to follow suit, that is play another card of that suit.  If he doesn't have another card of that suit, he can play any card he wants to.  Then the third player plays, and then the dealer.

The highest card of the suit led wins the trick, unless trump was played, in which case the highest trump wins the trick.  That's why trump is so important - it beats the other suit.  What do we mean by "highest card?"  Here, Euchre gets a little weird.  NON-trump suits are ordered the way you would think: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9 .  The trump suit is ordered:  Jack of trump, Jack of the suit of the same color as trump, A, K, Q, 10, 9.   The Jack of trump is called the Right Bower, and the Jack of the same-color suit is called the Left Bower.  The Left Bower is considered trump.  If clubs were trump, and someone led the ten of clubs, and you had a Jack of Spades, it is still following suit to put it on the ten of clubs.  If spades were led, the Jack of Spades would not be considered a spade - it is considered trump.

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The ranking of cards in a non-trump suit 

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The ranking of cards in a trump suit

The person whose card won the trick then leads for the next trick, until all five tricks are played. 

Going alone:

There is one exception to the rules above.  If a player has a dynamite hand, when he declares trump (by either saying "pick it up" or naming a suit after everyone else passes) he can say "I'm going alone."  This means he thinks he can get all five tricks, without the help of his partner.  If he goes alone, his partner puts down her cards, and she doesn't play for that hand.  If the player going alone winds up getting all five tricks, his team gets bonus points.  If he fails, there is no penalty.


If the team who chose trump (the calling team) gets the majority of the tricks, they get a point.  If they get all five tricks, they get a bonus point.  If they do not get the majority of the tricks, they are said to be Euchered and the other team (the defending team) gets two points.   (They are punished because they got to choose trump and yet they lost most of the tricks)  If they went alone and made all five tricks, then they get a whopping four points.

Calling team making 5 tricks Calling team gets two points
Calling team making 3 or 4 tricks Calling team gets one point
Calling team making 0, 1, or 2 tricks Defending team gets two points
Calling team goes alone and makes 5 tricks Calling team gets four points

Dumb traditions:

The rules you have just read are the rules of Euchre.  If you play Euchre on line, or with your basic cool group of people, they will play by these rules.  There are some other things that people sometimes add to their game, because they are wussy.  For example, some people play that the dealer can't deal out the cards one at a time, like a normal human being, but must deal them out in clumps of twos and threes.  Other people play that you have to have at least one trump card if you are going to say "pick it up."  Still others play with a rule called steal the deal, meaning that if you cheat and deal when it isn't your turn, and nobody notices until the top card is turned up, then you have gotten away with it and are the dealer.

Doctor Doug's Gigarrific Cosmic Euchre:

The survey is finished, and it turns out that there are 20 intelligent races in the galaxy. The only thing they have in common is that they all play Euchre. It has been decided, therefore, to have a great Galactic Euchre tournament. Which race reigns supreme?

Doctor Doug's Gigarrific Cosmic Euchre is played like regular euchre. The difference is that each player gets randomly assigned an alien race. Their race determines which alien power they get to use in the game. (I got the idea from an old game I had as a kid called Cosmic Encounter, and similar ideas occur in games such as Robot Wars)

Brief History of Euchre:

16,000,000,000,000 BC Universe begins
4,000,000,000 BC Earth begins
1377 AD Playing cards invented
1800s AD Euchre invented
2000 AD Dr. Doug's Gigarrific Cosmic Euchre invented


Click here to play Doctor Doug's Gigarrific Cosmic Euchre 

Click here to go back to my page.

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Doug Code 6/2001: miwiju kykn rkmjp timku bi c tcm xol c pkmpk is qftin    -tohk mkptol