Step 1: What You Will Need
1) A deck of cards
2) 4 players
3) Paper and pen
Step 2: Game Setup
First, you will only need cards nine through ace in each suit so start by removing cards two through eight in each suit. Before starting, pick a partner who will sit across from you at the card table. In order to select a dealer, draw cards with the highest card deciding who the first dealer will be.
Step 3: How to Deal
First, the dealer gives 5 cards to each player, alternating in intervals of two or three cards at a time until each player receives 5 cards.
Step 4: Rules
4.1: Trump Rules
Trump is the suit that has the highest priority over other suits, which wins over all other suits. The order ranking of highest cards within a trump suit are jack of that suit, the jack of the same color suit, ace of the trump suit, king of the trump suit, queen of the trump suit, 10 of the trump suit, and finally 9 of the trump suit.
For example, if diamonds is trump then the jack of diamonds is the highest card followed by the jack of hearts, ace of diamonds, king of diamonds, etc.
Note, that all suits follow this same order.
Step 5: The Game
5.1 Trump Selection
Following the dealer passing out five cards to each player, there should be four cards left. The top card is then placed face up. Next, the person left of the dealer can decide either to make the top cards suit trump or not. If the person does, the dealer picks the card up and places it in his hand and discards one card from his hand. If not, the player passes to the person to their left. The same situation applies to each subsequent player. If everyone passes including the dealer the card is then flipped over face down.
Now, the person to the left of the dealer can chose to make trump any suit they choose except the one that was face up at the beginning. Alternatively, they can pass this decision to the person to their left. If everyone passes again, the person to the left becomes dealer and the round starts over.
5.2 The First Hand
Now that trump has been selected, the person to the left of the dealer will start the hand and place the first card down for the round. The player can select whatever card he or she desires. Every player must follow suit, meaning they must play a card of that same suit. If they do not have a card from that suit, they can place any card in their hand. The player with the best card placed down for the round wins, and the next round continues with the winning player leading the next hand.
If team A is the team that decided trump then 3 rounds won equals 1 point and 5 rounds won equals 2 points. If team B is the team that did not decide trump, 3 or more rounds will give that team 2 points. Subsequent hands are played until the team that gets 10 points wins the entire game.
Step 6: Example Hands
Here is an example of two rounds played in the game.
6.1 Round 1
Hearts is trump during this game. Player 1 places an Ace of clubs. Player 2 plays a ten of clubs from his hand since he has a club card in his hand and is forced to follow suit. Player three does not have any club cards and decides to play a nine of diamonds. Player four also does not have any clubs, but has a queen of hearts, which is trump. Player 4 wins the hand because hearts is trump and “trumps” all other suits no matter their ranking in their respective suit.
6.2 Round 2
Hearts is trump during this game. Player 1 places a 10 of diamonds of down. Player 2 plays an ace of diamonds. Player 3 does not have any diamonds or trump cards and places a 10 of spades. Player 4 plays a king of diamonds. Player 2 wins the hand with the ace of diamonds since that was the highest card played and no trump card was played.
Step 7: Overall Objective and Strategy
The overall objective of Euchre is to win as many hands as possible in any given game. Trump is the highest suit in the deck and wins over all other suits in any given hand. If the team that calls trump does not win more 3 or more hands they are “Euchred.”
A good team will be able to watch what cards have been played and rely on their teammate to win the hand, in some instances. Mainly, the strategy of the game is to save your trump cards until you absolutely need to use them to win a hand. The more a player plays the game, the more strategy will come into play.