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Euchre variations

Origin United States
Family Trick-taking
Players 2-6
Skills required Tactics & Strategy
Cards 24, 2x24, 32, 36
Deck Anglo-American
Play Clockwise
Playing time 20 min.
Random chance Medium
Related games
Five Hundred, Poker

Euchre is a 19th-century trick-taking card game and has many variations.

Dealing variations

The addition of extra cards like 8 and 7, can usually add more uncertainty as for which trump cards are still in the opponent's hands during the course of the game. This uncertainty may be increased with the addition of the 2s.

In some Euchre circles it is considered acceptable to "steal the deal" from the other team if they are not paying attention when it is their turn to deal.


This variation of Euchre is played with a regular deck and 4 players. The player left of the dealer calls trump before the cards are dealt. If the top card matches what the player has "predicted" that is automatically trump and that player gets the card and discards one, not the dealer. If any other suit comes up other than the "predicted" trump the 2 other players and dealer have the option of either "ordering it up" or "pick it up". Game continues as normal. When calling trump ahead of time you can decide to "go alone" but you can not change your mind after you see your cards. If you get all 5 tricks you receive 5 points. If you call trump ahead of time and call "for the game", you are going alone plus you play all your cards face down. If you get all five tricks (good luck) you receive 10 points and win the game. If at anytime you go alone and do not at least get 3 tricks it is called getting "Larried".


If a player is dealt a hand consisting entirely of 9s and 10s, they may declare a 'McEvoy', resulting in a re-deal by the same dealer. The McEvoy must be declared, and the cards must be displayed immediately after the deal, before any player calls trump or passes. All players' cards are returned and re-dealt. Only one McEvoy is allowed per player per match.

Farmer's hand

Certain weak hands (usually those containing either three 10 cards or three 9 cards) are designated as "farmer's hands" or "bottoms." After inspecting the hand dealt, a player may call out "farmer's hand" and is then allowed to show the three cards in question and exchange them for the three unexposed cards in the kitty (also called "going under" or "under the table").

One variation allows that a player with any combination of a total of three 9 and/or 10 cards may exchange them. This is generally referred to as "farmer's hand mixed" while the prior example is called "farmer's hand clean."

Another variation dictates that none of the low cards being exchanged may match the suit of the turned-up kitty card. If more than one player wishes to call farmer's hand, there is generally no structure for determining who will take the cards other than a first-come first-served method, although some players only call "farmers" on the player's turn to bid for trump. Otherwise, the person closest to the deal will sometimes be given priority.

Some variations allow for multiple farmer's hands to be called out, but those exchanging cards with those left behind in the kitty after the first exchange are essentially guaranteed very poor cards.

Picking up the top card

Making trump

Going alone


These variations (often referred to as "House Rules" - reflecting their non-standard acceptability) allow a player dealt one of several types of poor hands to "throw in" their cards and initiate a redeal. In some circles, these are considered a form of "misdeal," causing the deal to be passed to the original dealer's left. In standard play, these are considered just part of normal play, and the player must play the hand they are dealt, regardless of how bad it might be; in the long run, things will even out.

Lay-down hand

A "lay-down hand" is a similar to a throw-in, where a player may lay down his entire hand before a single card has been played. Rather than a poor hand, this is a perfect or unbeatable hand, and is scored as if it were played normally. The definition of a perfect hand will depend on the exact rules in use, but in most rules both bowers (jacks of the trump color) and 3 trump cards are needed, as in the perfect hand pictured at the top. However some players might lay down a hand that is not strictly unbeatable under the assumption that nobody has the set of cards required to beat them. For instance, someone might lay down a hand that can only be beat on one trick (one bower, A, K, Q, 10 in trump suit). Since there is only one trick this player could lose (if someone has the other bower) they bypass playing the hand and simply ask if anyone has the other bower. Lay downs are an advanced skill reserved for veteran players to expedite game play, when everyone at the table can recognize that a hand is unbeatable.

Scoring variations and rituals

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