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Title: The Laws of Euchre
       As adopted by the Somerset Club of Boston, March 1, 1888

Author: H. C. Leeds
        James Dwight

Release Date: February 2, 2007 [EBook #20506]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Barbara Tozier, Jonathan Niehof, Bill Tozier
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


As Adopted by the Somerset Club of Boston, March 1, 1888

With Some Suggestions about the Play


Decorative Plate

211 Tremont Street

Copyright, 1888,
By Ticknor and Company.

All rights reserved.

University Press:
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U. S. A.

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Euchre is played in so many different ways and under so many different rules that there seems to be a necessity for more rigid and exact Laws than exist at present.

The Laws of Euchre, as here appended, have stood the test of time and received the attention of many scientific Euchre-players.

If any game of cards is worth playing at all, it should be played according to rule in the strictest interpretation, and no favors should be given or expected.

An attempt has been made in these Rules to make the penalties commensurate with the advantage which might be gained by the error. A common instance of this is in the case of a lead out of turn. It often happens that the exposed card is an advantage to the side so offending, and the adversaries have no redress. Here the Whist Law has been applied, allowing the non-offending side the option of two penalties. See Rule 52.

Another instance occurs in a lone hand. An exposed card can only benefit the adversaries, consequently no penalty is attached; but should the lone hand lead out of turn, he is supposed to be attempting to gain an advantage, therefore Rule 104 has been adopted.



The Laws of Euchre 7

The Rubber 7

Scoring 7

Cutting 9

Formation of the Table 9

Cutting Cards of Equal Value 10

Cutting out 11

Entry and Re-entry 11

Shuffling 13

The Deal 14

A New Deal 15

A Misdeal 17

Cards liable to be called 18

Cards played in Error 22

The Revoke 24

Calling for New Cards 26

Making the Trump and Playing 27

The Discard 30

The Trump Card 32

Playing alone 32

Etiquette of Euchre 35

Technical Terms used in Euchre 38

General Remarks 41

Eldest, or First Hand 43

Second Hand 46

Third Hand 50

The Dealer 52

The Bridge 56

Lone Hands 57

Coups 61

Case I. 63

Case II. 65

Case III. 66

Case IV. 67

Case V. 68

Case VI. 70

Case VII. 72

Case VIII. 73

Case IX. 75

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1. The rubber is the best of three games. If the first two games are won by the same players, the third game is played; should the score of the third game lap, a fourth game is played.


2. A game consists of five points. Should a player order up, assist, adopt, or make the trump, and he and his partner take five tricks, they score two; three or four tricks, they score one. If they fail to take three tricks they are euchred, and the adversaries score two.

3. When a player plays alone and takes five tricks, he scores four; three or four tricks, he scores one. If he fails to take three tricks he is euchred, and the adversaries score four.

4. The penalty of a revoke takes precedence of all other scores.

5. An error in the score can be rectified at any time before the trump card is turned in the next deal.

6. Points should be announced before scoring.

7. Each game won counts one unless the losing side has failed to score, in which case the game counts two. Two additional points are taken by the side winning the rubber. Thus it is possible to win ten points in a rubber; that is, four double games, and two points for the rubber.


8. The knave is the highest card, then the ace, king, etc.

9. In all cases every one must cut from the same pack.

10. Should a player expose more than one card, he must cut again.


11. If there are more than four candidates, the players are selected by cutting; those first in the room having the preference. The four who cut the highest cards play first, and again cut to decide on partners. The two highest play against the two lowest. The highest is the dealer, who has choice of cards, seats, and counters; and having once made his selection, he must abide by it.

12. When there are more than six candidates, those who cut the fifth and sixth highest cards belong to the table.


13. Two players cutting cards of equal value, unless such cards are the two lowest, or the two highest, cut again.

14. Three players cutting cards of equal value, cut again; should the fourth (or remaining) card be the highest, the two lowest of the new cut are partners, and their opponents have the deal. Should the fourth card be the lowest, the two highest of the new cut are partners, and have the deal and choice of seats, etc.


15. At the end of a rubber, should admission be claimed by any one, or by two candidates, he who has, or they who have, played a greater number of consecutive rubbers than the others, is or are out. When all have played the same number, they must cut to decide on the out-goers, the lowest going out.


16. A candidate wishing to enter a table must declare such intention before any of the players have cut a card, either for the purpose of commencing a new rubber, or of cutting out.

17. In the formation of fresh tables, those candidates who have neither belonged to nor played at any other table, have the prior right of entry; the others decide their right of admission by cutting.

18. Any one quitting a table prior to the conclusion of a rubber may, with the consent of the other three players, appoint a substitute in his absence during that rubber.

19. Should a player leave a full table after he has played but one of the two consecutive rubbers to which he is entitled, the candidate next in order for entrance to the table takes his place, but must go out at the end of one rubber, as his predecessor would have done.

20. A player cutting into one table while belonging to another, loses his right of re-entry into the latter, and takes his chance of cutting in as if he were a fresh candidate.

21. If any one break up a table, the remaining players have the prior right to him of entry into any other; and should there not be vacancies at such other table for all those candidates, they settle their precedence by cutting.


22. The pack must neither be shuffled below the table, nor so that the face of any card can be seen.

23. The pack must not be shuffled during the play of a hand.

24. Each player has a right to shuffle once only, except as provided by Law 27, prior to a deal, after a false cut, or when a new deal has occurred.

25. The dealer's partner must collect the cards for the ensuing deal, and he has the first right to shuffle that pack.

26. Each player, after shuffling, must place the cards, properly collected and face downwards, to the left of the player about to deal.

27. The dealer has always the right to shuffle last; but should a card or cards be seen during his shuffling or while giving the pack to be cut, he may be compelled to re-shuffle.


28. Each player deals in turn; the right of dealing goes to the left.

29. The player on the dealer's right cuts the pack, and in dividing it he must not leave fewer than four cards in either packet. If in cutting or in placing one of the packets on the other, a card be exposed, or if there be any confusion of the cards, or a doubt as to the exact place where the pack was divided, there must be a fresh cut.

30. When a player has once separated a pack he cannot alter his intention; he can neither re-shuffle nor re-cut the cards.

31. When the pack is cut, should the dealer re-shuffle he loses the deal.

32. After dealing, the dealer should put the pack at his right hand.


33. There must be a new deal by the same dealer if during the deal or during the play of the hand the pack be found to be incorrect or imperfect; but all points scored on previous hands stand.

34. If any card be found faced in the pack before a lead is made, there must be a new deal.

35. If, while dealing, a card be exposed by the dealer or his partner, the adversaries can call for a new deal, provided that neither of them has touched the cards. A card exposed by either adversary gives that claim to the dealer, provided that his partner has not touched the cards. If a new deal does not take place, the exposed card cannot be called.

36. If, during the deal, a player touch any of his cards, the adversaries may do the same without losing their privilege of claiming a new deal, should chance give them such option.

37. If, in dealing, one of the last cards be exposed, and the dealer turn up the trump before there is reasonable time for his adversaries to decide as to a fresh deal, they do not thereby lose their privilege.

38. A deal made with the adversaries' cards is good, provided that the trump card has been turned. If not, a new deal may be claimed. The players thus losing their cards may reclaim them at the end of the deal.

39. Should the dealer, in turning the trump card, expose any other card of the pack, there must be a new deal.

40. A deal out of turn can be stopped, if the error be discovered before the trump card is turned; otherwise the deal stands.


41. A misdeal loses the deal.

42. It is a misdeal,—

I. Unless five cards are dealt to each player.

II. Unless the dealer begin by giving two cards to each player in turn in the first round of the deal, and three in the second, or vice versa.

43. A misdeal does not lose the deal if during the dealing either of the adversaries touch the cards prior to the dealer's partner having done so. Should the latter have first interfered with the cards, notwithstanding either or both of the adversaries have subsequently done the same, the deal is lost.

44. If the adversaries interrupt a dealer while dealing, either by questioning the score or asserting that it is not his deal, and fail to establish such claim, should a misdeal occur he may deal again.

45. Should a player take his partner's deal and misdeal, the latter is liable to the usual penalties, and the adversary next in rotation to the player who ought to have dealt, then deals.


46. All exposed cards are liable to be called, and must be left on the table; but a card is not an exposed card when dropped on the floor or elsewhere below the table.

The following are exposed cards:—

I. Two or more cards played at once.

II. Any card dropped face upwards, or in any way exposed on or above the table, even though snatched up so quickly that no one can name it.

III. The trump card if lifted from the pack.

47. If any one play to an imperfect trick the highest card on the table, or lead one which is a winning card against his adversaries, and then lead again, or play several such winning cards one after the other, without waiting for his partner to play, the latter may be called on to win, if he can, the first or any other of those tricks, and the other cards thus improperly played are exposed cards.

48. If a player or players, under the impression that the game is lost or won, or for other reasons, throw his or their cards on the table face upwards, such cards are exposed, and can be called, each player's by the adversary; but should one player retain his hand, he cannot be forced to abandon it.

49. If all four players throw their cards on the table face upwards, the hands are abandoned, and no one can again take up his cards. Should it then be proved that the game could have been saved or won, no such claim can be entertained unless a revoke be established.

50. In a lone hand, should either adversary abandon his hand by laying it face upwards on the table, or by failing to play to every trick, the party playing alone scores five points.

51. A card detached from the rest of the hand is liable to be called if either of the adversaries can name it; but should an adversary name a wrong card, he is liable to have a suit called when he or his partner next lead.

52. If any player lead out of turn, the adversaries may either call the card erroneously led, or may call a suit from him or his partner when it is next the turn of either to lead.

53. If any player lead out of turn, and the other three have followed him, the trick is complete, and the error cannot be rectified; but if only the second, or the second and third, have played to the false lead, their cards, on discovery of the mistake, are taken back, and there is no penalty against any one except the original offender.

54. If a player who has rendered himself liable to have his highest or lowest called, fail to play as desired, or if when called on to lead one suit, lead another, having in his hand one or more cards of the suit demanded, he incurs the penalty of a revoke.

55. In no case can a player be compelled to play a card which would oblige him to revoke.

56. The call for an exposed card can be repeated until such card has been played.

57. If a player called on to lead a suit have none of it, the penalty is paid.


58. Should the third hand play before the second, the fourth may play before his partner.

59. Should the third hand not have played, and the fourth hand play before his partner, the latter may be called on to win or lose the trick.

60. Should any one have omitted playing to a former trick, and such error be not discovered till he has played to the next, the adversaries may claim a new deal. Should they decide that the deal stand good, the surplus card at the end of the hand is considered to have been played to the imperfect trick, but does not constitute a revoke therein.

61. If any one play two cards to the same trick, or mix his trump or other card with a trick to which it does not properly belong, and the mistake is not discovered till the hand is played out, he is answerable for all the consequent revokes he may have made.

If during the play of the hand the error be detected, the tricks may be counted face downwards, to ascertain if there be among them a card too many; should this be the case, the trick may be searched, and the card restored. The player is, however, liable for all the revokes he may have meanwhile made.


62. Is when a player, holding one or more cards of the suit led, plays a card of a different suit.

63. The penalty of a revoke is three points, except in the case of a lone hand, when it is five; and the penalty may be claimed as often as the revoke is repeated in the hand.

64. A revoke is established if the trick in which it occurs be turned and quitted; or if the revoking player or his partner, whether in his right turn or otherwise, lead or play to the following trick.

65. A player may ask his partner whether he has not a card of the suit renounced. Should the question be asked before the trick be turned and quitted, subsequent turning and quitting does not establish the revoke, and the error may be corrected, unless the question be answered in the negative, or unless the revoking player or his partner have led or played to the following trick.

66. At the end of the hand the claimants of a revoke may search all the tricks.

67. Should a revoke be claimed, and the accused player or his partner mix the cards before they have been sufficiently examined by the adversaries, the revoke is established.

68. A revoke cannot be claimed after the cards are cut for the next deal.

69. If a player discover his mistake in time to save a revoke, the adversaries may call the card played in error. Any player or players who have played after him, except his partner, may withdraw their cards and substitute others; the cards so withdrawn are not liable to be called.

70. A revoking player and his partner may require the hand on which the revoke occurred to be played out.

71. An equal number of revokes on different sides cancel each other.


72. Any player (on paying for them) before, but not after, the pack is cut for the deal, may call for fresh cards. He must call for two new packs, of which the dealer has the choice.

73. A card or cards torn or marked must be replaced by agreement, or new cards called for at the expense of the table.


74. The trump card having been turned, the eldest hand may pass, order up, or play alone; in either of the last two cases the third hand may take it from him and play alone.

75. Should the eldest hand pass, the second hand may pass, assist, or play alone; in either of the last two cases the dealer may take it from him and play alone.

76. Should the second hand pass, the third hand can pass, order up, or play alone; and after him the dealer must pass, take up the trump, or play alone.

77. Should all four players pass, the trump is turned down, and the first hand can name a suit, or pass; and so on in turn around the table. Should all pass again, the deal is at an end, and the next player deals.

78. Should the player entitled to make a trump name a suit, he cannot change; and should he name the suit turned down, he is considered to have passed.

79. Should the player, after naming the suit turned down, or passing, mention the suit he intended to make trumps, his partner also must pass.

80. Should a player pass, and then attempt to assist, or order up the trump, his partner also must pass. The adversaries, however, may elect that it shall be played.

81. Should a player make a declaration, and his partner not hear it and pass, the declaration is not invalidated.

82. No player can take away another's right by passing, ordering up, or assisting, out of turn; but should the dealer turn down the trump card, or on the second round throw his cards on the table, such action is binding on his partner.

83. If any one, prior to his partner's playing, should call attention to the trick either by saying that it is or is not his, or by naming his card or by drawing it without being asked to do so, or call on his partner to take or not to take the trick, the adversaries may require that opponent's partner to play his highest or lowest of the suit led, or to win or lose the trick.

84. A player has no right to ask who played a particular card, but at any time during the play of a trick, or after the four cards are played, but before they are touched for the purpose of gathering them together, may demand that the cards be placed before their respective players.

85. When a player and his partner have an option of exacting from their adversaries one of two penalties, they should agree who is to make the election, but must not consult with one another which of the two penalties it is advisable to exact. If they do so consult, they lose their right; and if either of them, with or without the consent of his partner, demand a penalty to which he is entitled, such decision is final.


86. Should the card turned up be made the trump, the dealer must at once discard one card from his hand. The discard is not complete until the dealer has placed the card under the pack and quitted it; after which he cannot change.

87. Should the eldest hand lead before the discard is completed, the lead stands, and the dealer can change his discard if he wishes.

88. The trump card cannot be discarded.

89. Should the third hand play alone, and the second player lead before the dealer has discarded, the latter can be called on to play his highest or lowest of the suit led, or to win or lose the trick.

90. Should any player have more or less than five cards, or the dealer neglect to discard before playing, the deal holds good, and the party so offending forfeits two if all four are playing, and four if a lone hand is played. They also are not entitled to score any point or points they may have made on that hand.


91. The trump card must be left in view till played, and if removed or lifted from the pack, becomes an exposed card.

92. After the trump card has been played, no player has a right to ask what card was turned up, but can at any time ask what is the trump suit.


93. A player may play alone when he orders up, assists, adopts, or makes the trump, or when his partner does so, provided that he himself has not already passed.

94. If a player declares to play alone, his partner may take it from him, subject to the previous rule; in which case the form of declaration must be, “I take it from you.”

95. A player cannot play alone when he or his partner is ordered up, or when his adversaries adopt or make the trump, or if before making his declaration he exposes a card.

96. The dealer must announce his intention to play alone before quitting his discard.

97. A player must announce his intention to play alone before naming the trump, otherwise he can be required to play the hand with his partner.

98. In all cases a single declaration must be made. It is not permitted to say, “I order it up and play it alone,” or “I make it hearts and play it alone.” The declaration must be, “I play alone at hearts,” or, “Alone at hearts.” Any other declaration precludes a lone hand.

99. Should the partner of the player playing alone offer to take it from him after a lead has been made, or after he has himself passed, neither can play alone.

100. Should a player announce that he will play alone, and his partner play upon the first lead, the player loses his right to play the hand alone, and must play it with his partner, unless his adversaries elect that he play it alone.

101. Should a player announce that he will play alone, his partner must place his own cards on the table face downwards, and not again take them up. He shall have the right to gather and quit his partner's tricks, and his action is binding on his partner.

102. Should a player expose the face of any of his cards, his partner can score only two points, should he take every trick; but in case of a euchre the adversaries score four.

103. After the partner of the lone player has placed his hand on the table, either adversary may count the hand, to see if it contains more or less than five cards.

104. A player playing alone is liable to no penalty for simply exposing a card; but should he lead out of turn, the card is an exposed card, and can be called.

105. Should an adversary play out of turn to the lead of a lone hand, both opposing hands must be laid on the table, and can be called by the player playing alone.


106. The following rules belong to the established Etiquette of Euchre. They are not called “Laws,” as it is difficult, and in some cases impossible, to apply any penalty to their infraction, and the only remedy is to cease to play with the players who habitually disregard them.

107. Two packs of cards of different colors are invariably used at Clubs, and this should be adhered to if possible.

108. A player having the lead and another winning card to play, should not draw the second card out of his hand till his partner has played to the first trick, such act being a distinct intimation that the former has played a winning card.

109. No intimation whatever by word or gesture should be given by a player as to the state of the hand or the game after the trump card is turned.

110. A player who desires the cards to be placed, or demands to see the last trick, should do so for his own information only, and not to attract the attention of his partner.

111. No player should object to refer to a bystander who professes himself uninterested in the game and able to decide any disputed question of fact.

112. It is unfair to revoke purposely; and having made a revoke, a player is not justified in making a second to conceal the first.

113. Until the players have made such bets as they wish, bets should not be made with the bystanders.

114. Bystanders should make no remark, nor should they, by word or gesture, give any intimation of the state of the game until concluded and scored, nor should they walk around the table to look at the different hands.

115. No one should look over the hand of a player against whom he is betting.

116. Players should pass, assist, order up, etc., with as nearly as possible the same manner at all times, and should be careful not to give information by unusual quickness or delay.


“Right Bower,” or “Right,”—knave of the trump suit, which is the highest card.

“Left Bower,” or “Left,”—knave of the same color as the trump suit, which is the second best card.

“Alone,”—playing without your partner.

“Assist,” or “Help,”—ordering up the trump when your partner deals.

“Announce,”—to declare the suit which shall be trumps.

“Bridge,”—when the score of the eldest hand is four to one or four to two in his favor.

“Crossing the suit,”—making the trump of a different color from the suit turned down.

“Next,”—to make a trump of the color turned down.

“Euchre,”—when the party making the trump fails to take three tricks.

“Hand,”—the five cards dealt to each player.

“Ordering up,”—requiring the dealer and his partner to play the trump turned up.

“Pass,”—declining to order up, assist, adopt, or make the trump.

“March,”—taking five tricks.

“Love Game,” “Slam,” or “Double,”—where the score is five to nothing.

“Lap,”—is where more points are made than are necessary to win a game, and are carried to the next game.

“Rubber,”—consists of three games.

When, however, a lap is made in the third game, a fourth must be played.

A “Lay Card,” or an “Outsider,”—is a card of a different suit from the trump.

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The following points are written simply for the information of those not thoroughly conversant with the game of Euchre.

It is not the intention of the authors to write a treatise on the game, but merely to illustrate a few conventional plays, most of which are in use among the best exponents of the game.

There can be no absolute rules about the play in Euchre, as in Whist, as the number of cards is so few that the importance of each play is intensified, and the score has so great an influence on the hand.

The exceptions also are perhaps almost as numerous as the rules; but if the beginner will accept as a guide the appended hints, it is thought they will not lead him far astray.

The play of the cards is governed by the card sense of the individual.

The refinement of the game consists in playing to the score, which is quite peculiar to Euchre, since it is so constantly changing. The same hand should suggest different ideas at different scores.

A player should school himself to notice the score before he picks up his hand. No attempt has been made to go beyond the adoption of the trump, passing, assisting, and the original lead or play, at the risk of being confusing.

A beginner should follow these hints pretty closely. A good Euchre player can make his own exceptions; but they should be made with careful consideration, and not abused.


When the right is not turned, order with three medium trumps or better, and some strength in suit, provided you have nothing to go to; for example, ace, queen, ten of the turn-up, and two cards of another suit.

Do not order (unless with great strength) if you can make it next; for example, queen of clubs turned up, you hold right, ten, and nine of clubs, and king and ten of spades; or left, ace and seven of clubs, seven of spades, and seven of diamonds. In both of these cases pass, and make it next.

Make it next when you can, and do not cross the suit, unless very strong, especially when a bower is turned down; for example, the dealer has turned down the king of spades, with ace, king, and seven of hearts, knave of spades, and ten of clubs: make it next, and lead the left.

When making the trump with ace and two others (without the king), lead ace in next, and small one when crossing the suit.

If the right is not turned, lead trumps through the assisting hand. The exceptions to this are,—With left and small one; ace and small one; with score four to three in your favor, and you play with certain reasons to stop a march; and occasionally when short of a suit.

With a large tenace in trumps as right, ace, or right, king, and no outside cards of any special value, play an off-suit, whether dealer takes up with or without assistance.

With one or two trumps and two aces, lead trumps, whether through assistance or not.

If the dealer adopts the trump, avoid, if you can, leading from suits of king, seven; queen, seven, etc. If possible, lead an ace, or from a short suit of king or queen, or from a suit of equals, as king, queen, or queen, knave, or knave, ten.

In general do not lead trumps up to the dealer's adoption; but with three trumps, and the score two points in your favor, lead a trump, if the turn-up is not above the king. If you hold the two bowers and an outside ace, always lead them in the order named.

Always lead a trump when your partner has ordered up, or made the trump. If you have no trump, play your best card. Avoid leading the turn-down until at least one round of trumps has been played. If you have left and small one, lead the left and continue with small one if both opponents follow. With any two others, lead smallest, unless equals.

Score four to three in your favor is a position of caution, and consequently your play should be very conservative.


Do not assist too light. This is the most common error in Euchre.

Assist with three trumps.

right and another.[1]

left and another, and outside ace.

Assist with left and another; dependent upon the score,

two trumps and two aces.

ace and another, and outside ace; dependent upon score; always, however, if right is turned.

two medium trumps, and one suit of three, headed by the ace, dependent upon the score.

Ace and another, and king and another, even when short of a suit, are permissible only when justified by scores of four-all or four-love in your favor.

Anything less than this is not good Euchre, except, of course, at the two above-named scores.

Do not assist the right with two small ones. Your partner usually will know what to do with the bower. By too light an assistance you may tempt him into a lone hand, under the impression that one or two big trumps are out of his way.

Remember that to be short of one or two suits is a great advantage to an assisting hand.

When led through with right and another, play the right, except when the ace is turned,—when it is permissible to finesse.

When led through, when assisting with left and another, play left, unless right or ace is turned.

When assisting with three trumps, if you take the first trick in suit, lead trumps at once. If you take the first trick by trumping a suit, your play is then dependent upon the value of your remaining trumps and the turn-up.

With two trumps and two aces, lead trumps as early as possible, if your opponents have not done so for you.

If your partner adopts the turn-up without your assistance, and you hold queen, seven; ten, eight, etc., in trumps, ruff as early as possible with the big one, and lead the small one.

If you take the first trick in suit, and your partner throws away, do not lead the suit he has shown, even if you have the ace of it.

If your partner turn down black, make it red if you can, especially if he has turned down the bower.

When playing second to a small card, do not ruff with right alone if it is the first trick. Ruff with left alone, especially with your partner's make or adoption.

If your partner refuses to adopt the turn-up, and the third hand declares to play alone, lead a card of the same suit as the turn-down.

With one small trump, ruff as soon as you can.

Do not finesse in lay cards.

[1] “Another” means “a small one.”


It requires a stronger hand to order or make the trump in this position than in the eldest hand, since you cannot depend upon your partner's lead, and he has displayed weakness by passing.

However, if you have a good hand at the turn-up, and are very strong at next, it is better to order, since the stronger you are at next, the greater the improbability that your partner will be able to make it next.

It is wise to see your way absolutely clear to three tricks before ordering the right.

There are certain hands, however, which by their strength compel you to order,—the right not being turned; and here are most of them.

Order with four trumps.

two bowers and another.

two bowers and outside ace.

three trumps and two aces.

three trumps and one suit, headed by ace.

right, ace, and another.

left, ace, king, and outside ace.

left, ace, king, and one suit.

left, ace, king, dependent upon the score.

left, king and another, and outside ace.

left, queen and another, and outside ace.

Order with ace, king and another, and outside ace.

If you ruff, it is usually well to beat the turn-up.


Take up three trumps.

right and ace.

right and king.

right and queen.

right and another, and one suit.

right, another, and outside ace.

left, ace, and outside ace.

left, another, outside ace; and king, queen of the third suit.

ace, king, and one suit headed by ace; dependent upon score.

two trumps and two aces.

With the score at four-all or four-love in his favor, the dealer may play a lighter hand than any mentioned above, especially if it is his best.

Scores of three-all and four to two in dealer's favor require more than ordinary caution.

With score four to three in dealer's favor he may play a shade lighter than ordinary.

If it comes round to the dealer to make a trump, it is permissible to make it with somewhat less strength than would be required in the other three hands.

It is usually better with a fair hand to try for a point rather than to turn down for a euchre. If, however, the dealer is better at next, and holds both bowers of the cross-suit, it is good euchre to pass.

If the dealer adopts the turn-up without assistance and has right and another, and takes the first trick with his small trump, he should not lead the right unless he can follow with an ace.

Always be careful how you play your small cards, and never play false cards.

If the dealer adopts the turn-up, he should discard the lowest card of a short suit; for example, with three trumps, ace, seven of one suit, and outside king, discard the king. Some prefer to keep the king with score four-all with only two trumps in the hand. With two trumps (clubs), ace, seven of hearts, and king, seven of diamonds, discard the seven of diamonds.

With three trumps (clubs), ace, king of hearts, and ace of diamonds, discard the king of hearts, except when playing a lone hand, in which case discard the ace of diamonds.

When your partner assists, and you take the first or second trick, always give him a trump if he has not played one.

Give all the information possible to your partner by your play; for example, queen of clubs is turned up, and you are assisted and hold the king of clubs in your hand. If you or your partner take the first trick with a trump, play the king. If you hold both ace and king of clubs in your hand, play the ace.

If you hold ace and king of an outside suit, throw away the ace as soon as possible on your partner's trick, thereby showing him you have command of that suit. If, however, you see by the fall of the cards that your partner has no strength in his hand, you may conceal this information, since it will do him no good, and can only benefit your opponents. This, of course, applies to all four hands.


There is such a variety of opinion about the bridge that the writers do not feel confident enough to express any decided view about the matter.

It is a complicated question from a mathematical point of view, and they have never kept any record for a long enough period of time to be of any practical value.

They doubt, however, the expediency of keeping the bridge strictly.

If, however, the bridge is to be kept at all, it should be kept always, and in the same manner; otherwise you deceive your partner.

There is a growing tendency to abolish the bridge. The writers remember distinctly not long ago when every one kept the bridge; now the same players take their chances with two lay aces, or the ace and another in trumps. This, however, is purely a matter of taste, and is not offered here as an arbitrary rule.

Naturally, some hands will make four beyond a doubt; but it is much harder to get an imperfect lone hand through against two good players than against two inferior ones; hence the better the players, the less is the value of the bridge against the ordinary lone hand.


It is impossible to absolutely define a “lone hand.” With the score three-all, four-all, or any score in your favor, do not risk a light lone hand. It is our opinion that a great many points are lost by not taking your partner with you for a march.

With the score four-one or four-two against you, you may take a desperate chance.

If your opponents keep bridges tolerably strictly, you must, of course, be more careful if they have passed.

The eldest hand has the best position to play a lone hand, and the dealer the next best.

The second and third hands have the weakest positions for lone hands, especially the third hand, if the turn-up is the trump, since if the third hand declares to play alone it has become an established custom for the dealer to discard next in suit, and for his partner to lead it to him. The third hand should take this into consideration before playing alone. This is the only case when the original lead of next in suit has any significance.

In playing against a lone hand, you should lead from a short suit or suit of equals, if possible, and the fourth card you play (supposing always the lone hand to take the first four tricks with trumps) should inform your partner what suit you mean to keep. For example: Clubs are trumps. Eldest hand has two small trumps, queen of hearts, and queen and seven of spades. Lead the queen of hearts. The dealer, who is playing alone, ruffs the heart and leads both bowers and the ace of trumps. On the fourth trick you play the seven of spades; your partner, holding the ace of spades and the ten of diamonds, should throw away the ace of spades and keep the ten, thereby attacking the lone hand in all three suits.

Example: Clubs are trumps. The eldest hand has the king of clubs, the king of hearts, the ace and seven of diamonds, and the ten of spades. Lead the king of hearts, throw away the ten of spades as early as possible, and play the seven of diamonds on the fourth trick, thereby informing your partner that you are keeping a diamond.

If you lead from equals,—as king, queen, or queen, knave,—and your opponent takes the trick with a card of that suit, throw away all your other cards, however high, and keep your second one of that suit. This applies always against the dealer, and usually against any other player.

If the eldest hand holds the ace of hearts and the ace and king of spades (the trump being a club), lead the ace of hearts and advertise the command of the spade suit by throwing away the ace as soon as possible.

An exception: For third hand, supposing the dealer to have taken the first three tricks without showing a lay card and to have led a winning trump for the fourth trick. If your partner's fourth card is a lay king, and you hold one card of that suit and one of another, neither of which suits has been ruffed, keep the card of the same suit as your partner's king on the fourth trick.

With an assistance you may play a lone hand with less strength than otherwise.

Should your partner declare to play alone, and you have a fair trump hand with no weakness in lay suits, it is good play to take it from him.


The following cases are offered to illustrate some of the fine points in the game. Opportunities for making some of these plays occur frequently, and every ambitious euchre-player should be familiar with them. The easiest way to follow them is to place the cards on the table as shown below.

A coup is when you depart from the ordinary established rules of play, with certain reasons for each special case. Do not hesitate when attempting a coup. Consider what the play of your adversaries means, as well as that of your partner.

Bear in mind that coups are justified only in exceptional cases.

In all these cases A and C are partners. A is the dealer, and the discard is supposed to have been properly made.


Refusing to over trump.


9 of clubs (turn-up),
Knave of clubs,
Ace, king of hearts,
8 of spades.


King and 10 of clubs,
Ace, 9 of spades,
9 of hearts.


Ace of clubs,
Queen, 8 of hearts,
Knave of diamonds,
10 of spades.


7, 8, and 10 of diamonds,
Queen of spades,
10 of hearts.

Score, love-all. A adopts the trump.

First Trick.—B leads knave of diamonds, C plays the seven, D ruffs with the ten of clubs, and A throws away the eight of spades.

Second Trick.—D leads the ace of spades, A ruffs with the nine of clubs, and both B and C follow suit.

Third Trick.—A leads the right bower and catches the ace and king from B and D, while his partner throws his small diamond.

Fourth Trick.—in this case A will win whether he leads the ace or king of hearts; but his play should be the king, since his partner cannot help him in any way, and B might hold the left bower and pass the king of hearts, when he would ruff the ace.

Remarks.—If A goes over the ten of trumps with his right in the first trick, he will be euchred. This is the simplest coup, and is in constant use. It is not good euchre to do this when your partner has assisted.


Leading through assistance. When to continue with trumps.


King of hearts (turn-up),
Queen of hearts,
Queen, knave of spades,
Queen of clubs.


8, 9, 10 of diamonds,
10 of clubs,
7 of hearts.


Knave, 8 of hearts,
Ace of clubs,
King, 9 of spades.


Knave of diamonds,
Ace of hearts,
Ace, 8 of spades,
7 of diamonds.

Score, love-all. C assists.

Remarks.—B leads the right through the assisting hand, C plays the ace, D the seven, and A should play the king. If A plays the queen to give information to his partner, B should at once continue with the eight of hearts, and thus effect a euchre. If A plays the king, B's natural play would be to lead the ace of clubs, whereby A and C make their point. Few cases arise when you should conceal information from your partner, but this is one of them.


Ruffing a winning card in order to draw trumps and score two.


9 of hearts (turn-up),
Knave of diamonds,
7 of hearts,
Queen, 8 of clubs.


Ace, king of hearts,
King of spades,
King of diamonds,
10 of clubs.


Queen, 10 of hearts,
Ace of diamonds,
King of clubs,
9 of spades.


Right, 8 of hearts,
Ace of clubs,
Ace, 10 of spades.

Score, four to three in favor of A and C. C assists.

First Trick.—B leads the ten of hearts, C plays the right, D the king, and A the seven.

Second Trick.—C leads the ace of clubs, D plays the ten, A the eight of clubs, and B the king.

Third Trick.—C leads the ace of spades, D plays the king, A ruffs with the nine of hearts, and B plays the nine of spades.

Fourth and Fifth Tricks.—A leads the left, thereby drawing all the trumps, and continues with the winning club.


Leading a trump up to the right.


Knave of hearts (turn-up),
King of hearts,
Ace of clubs,
Ace, king of spades.


9 of hearts,
7, 8 of spades,
King, 8 of clubs.


Knave of diamonds,
Ace, queen of hearts,
9 of spades,
Ace of diamonds.


10, 7, hearts,
Knave, 10 of spades,
King of diamonds.

A adopts the trump. Score, four to one in favor of A and C.

First Trick.—B leads the left, C plays the seven of hearts, D the nine, and A wins with the right.

Second Trick.—A leads the ace of spades, B follows with the nine, C with the ten, and D with the seven.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Tricks.—No matter what A plays, he is euchred, since B wins the last three tricks.


Under-play in fourth hand with a large tenace.


Ace of diamonds (turn-up),
Queen, 7 of diamonds,
9, 7 of hearts.


King, knave of clubs,
Queen, 10 of spades,
8 of hearts.


Knave, king, 10 of
Ace, queen of hearts.


Knave of hearts,
King, 10 of hearts,
King, 10 of spades.

Score, three-all. A adopts the trump.

First Trick.—B leads ace of hearts, C plays the ten, D the eight, and A the seven.

Second Trick.—B continues with the queen of hearts, C covers, and wins with the king, D throws the ten of spades, and A the nine of hearts.

Third Trick.—C leads the left bower, D throws the queen of spades, A the seven of diamonds, and B refuses to win by playing under with the ten of diamonds, thereby making a certainty of establishing the euchre with the tenace of right and king in the fourth and fifth tricks.


Trumping your partner's trick to put the lead through the strong hand.


Ace of diamonds (turn-up),
Knave of diamonds,
10 of diamonds,
King of spades,
10 of clubs.


King, 8 of hearts,
9, 8 of clubs,
Queen of diamonds.


Ace of spades,
7 of spades,
Knave of hearts,
King, queen of clubs.


Ace, 10 of hearts,
Knave, 7 of clubs,
Queen of spades.

Score three-all. A adopts the trump.

First Trick.—B leads the king of clubs, C follows with the seven of clubs, D with the eight of clubs, and A with the ten of clubs.

Second Trick.—B continues with the queen of clubs, C plays the knave, D the nine, and A wins with the ten of diamonds.

Third Trick.—A leads the king of spades, B covers with the ace, C plays the queen, and D trumps, and wins with the queen of diamonds.

Fourth Trick.—D leads the king of hearts, A ruffs with the ace, and is euchred by B's left bower.

Remarks.—C in the third trick perceived that his queen was useless, unless used to trump his partner's trick and put the lead through A, with the hope that his partner had the left and might be able to get it in. The ace was turned up, and A could have no card lower than the queen, since he had ruffed fourth hand with the ten.


Refusing to ruff when you hold the high trump.


Queen of clubs (turn-up),
Right, ace of clubs,
King, queen of spades.


Ace, 9 of spades,
King, queen of diamonds,
Knave of hearts.


Knave of spades,
8 of clubs,
Ace, 9, 8 of hearts.


King, 10, 9 of clubs,
7, 9 of diamonds.

Score, three to one in favor of B and D.

C assists, and A plays alone.

First Trick.—B leads ace of hearts, D follows with knave, and A ruffs with queen of clubs.

Second Trick.—A leads the right, B plays the eight, and D the nine, of spades.

Third Trick.—A leads the king of spades, B refuses to ruff, having the highest trump, thereby euchring A.

The opportunity for this coup of refusing to ruff occurs very frequently.

The following coups, which occurred recently in play, serve to show the possibilities of the game. They are offered here for the inspection of experienced players only, and not for the emulation of beginners.



9 of diamonds (turn-up),
Knave of hearts,
Queen of spades,
Queen, 9 of hearts.


Ace, queen, 10 of clubs,
King of hearts,
9 of spades.


Ace, king, 10 of diamonds,
Ace, 10 of spades.


Queen, 7, 8 of diamonds,
Ace, 8 of hearts.

Score, game-all and four-all.

First Trick.—B very properly orders up, and leads the ace of diamonds; C follows with the seven, D throws the ten of clubs, and A takes with left bower.

Second Trick.—A leads queen of spades, B covers with the ace, and C wins the trick with the eight of diamonds, D playing the nine of spades.

Third Trick.—C leads the eight of hearts, D plays king of hearts, A plays nine of hearts, and B throws ten of spades (not a sure winner) on his partner's trick.

Fourth Trick.—D leads ace of clubs, A ruffs with the nine of diamonds, B covers with the ten, and C wins the trick and scores a euchre with the queen of trumps.

Remarks.—C makes the coup by leading the eight instead of the ace of hearts. C recognized the fact, after the fall of the cards in the second round, that B must have had three trumps to order with, and they must have been the ace, king, ten; and after he had taken the second trick he must throw the lead into D's hand, thereby making his queen against the king, ten.



Queen of clubs (turn-up),
Right and left bowers,
Queen, knave of diamonds.


9 of clubs,
10 of diamonds,
King, 7 of spades,
7 of hearts.


Ace, king of clubs,
Ace, king, 7 of diamonds. King, 7 of spades,
7 of hearts.


Score, A C one; B D three; and one game. A plays alone.

First Trick.—B leads the ace of diamonds, D plays the ten, and A the knave.

Second Trick.—B leads the seven of diamonds, D trumps with the nine of clubs, and A plays the queen of diamonds.

Third Trick.—No matter what D leads, A is euchred.

B here makes the coup by recognizing what A must have for a trump-hand, and leads his small and losing diamond, making it imperative for his partner to ruff, thereby putting the lead through A, and establishing the euchre.

Transcriber's Note
turn-up” was misprinted “turn up” in Case VI; this typo has been corrected for this electronic edition.

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