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Bid Euchre

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If you enjoy Euchre you can amp it up with Bid Euchre. A trick taking game, based on the game of Euchre, played mainly in North America. The game is played with 2 Euchre decks and 2 teams of 2. Trump is determined by the highest bidder and in addition to suits as trump, bids of low and high are options. So if you end up with all of the 9s and 10s you can still take the bid and get the highest score.

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Objective:

Bid Euchre is a trick taking game where the highest bidder makes trump or no-trump (high or low). The object of the game is to score the most points. The goal of each hand is to win the bid and then win the tricks required to satisfy the bid.

To Deal:

At the beginning of the game the dealer is randomly selected. During the game the deal continues around the table clockwise. The player that wins the bid plays first and play continues clockwise around the table.

Bid Euchre uses 2 decks of 24 cards each consisting of A K Q J 10 9 in each of the four suits: hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades, for a total of 48 cards. This is a game for four players with 2 sets of 2 partners sitting opposite of each other and 12 cards are dealt to each player.

The player to the immediate left of the dealer always bids first and the bid proceeds clockwise around the table. Before play begins the players must bid in an auction style to secure the trump suit or no-trump (high or low) of their choice. The player that wins the bid plays first and play continues around the table in a clockwise direction, with the winner of each trick leading to the next trick.

Game Play:

Bidding is the process that determines the trump suit and which team are the "makers" who must win the number of tricks that they bid. First each player in turn, beginning with the player to the dealer's left, has the option of stating the quantity of tricks they believe they can win and the suit they prefer for trump, they may also call no-trump, which can be either high or low, or they may pass.

For example:

Player #1: (dealer): 9s, 10s, Qs, Ks: 9h, 10h, Qh, Kh, Ah: Qc Kc: Ad

Player #2: (left of dealer): Ks, As: 10h, Jh, Jh, Kh: Qc, Ac: 9d, 10d, Jd, Ad

Player #3: 9s, As: 9c, 10c, Jc, Qc, Kc, Ac: 9d10d, Qd, Kd

Player #4: 10s, Js, Js: 9h, Qh, Ah: 9c 10c, Jc: Jd, Qd: Kd

  • Player #2, the first player to dealer's left may bid or pass, however in this position, it is almost always a good idea to bid something. In the example above, the player might bid 3 high for the 3 aces, or 5 hearts.
  • Next player #3, the second player to the left of the dealer, and the dealer’s partner bids or passes. The bid must always be higher than the previous players bid, but may be the same suit already bid or no-trump. In this case the player may bid 4 low or clubs, but might hesitate to bid 6 depending on other variables.
  • Player #4 may or may not have an advantage based on the bid of their partner player #2, but they must bid higher than player #3 and may try to bid high enough to discourage Player #1 from taking the bid. If they cannot bid higher than player #3 they must pass.
  • Player #1, the dealer, must bid higher than the others to win the bid, but has several advantages, such as, knowing what the other players want and the highest value to win the bid.

Going Alone occurs when any player who is naming trump believes they can win all 12 tricks. When going alone a player must request their partners 3 best cards. When a player goes alone their partner does not play, and they still must win all 12 tricks to score 24 points. However, if they do not win all 12 tricks they score -24 points.

The trump suit consist of 14 cards and the ranking, of 2 each, from highest value to lowest value is as follows (unless high or low is called also known as “no-trump”):

  • Right Bower (the jack of the trump suit, if clubs is trump it is the jack of clubs)
  • Left Bower (the other jack of the same color as the trump suit, if clubs is trump it is the jack of spades )
  • Ace
  • King
  • Queen
  • Ten
  • Nine

If high or low are called as no-trump then the jacks are simply jacks, so if high is trump then aces are the highest card, kings are second highest, queens are third highest, jacks are fourth highest, and so on down the list with 9s being the lowest. When the highest bidder calls low as no-trump the highest card becomes the 9s, the second highest is the 10s, the third highest is the jack, and so on, reverse up the list with aces considered the lowest card. Again jacks are just jacks.

When 2 winning cards are played in the same round, the one that is played first wins the trick. For example, the player leading plays the right bower and their opponent plays the other right bower, in order to follow suit, the first right bower played wins the trick.

  • The play begins with the player that won the bid leading to the first trick. Any card may be led, and each player, in clockwise direction, must follow suit by playing a card of the same suit as the card led, if possible. A player who cannot follow suit may play any card.
  • For purposes of following suit the Left Bower is considered to belong to the trump suit and not to any other suit.
  • The trick is won by whoever played the highest card of the suit led, unless a trump was played, in which case, the highest trump wins. The winner of each trick leads to the next one. When high or low is bid there is no trump suit and there are no bowers. When high is called by the highest bidder then the first highest card plays wins the trick, and when low is called by the highest bidder the lowest card played first wins the trick.

Scoring:

  • If the makers take enough tricks to win their bid then they score the number of their bid only, even if they take additional tricks.
  • If the makers do not win their bid then they are euchred and receive a score minus the number of their bid.
  • If a member of the makers' team is playing alone and wins all 12 tricks, the team scores 24 points.
  • If a member of the makers' team is playing alone and does not wins all 12 tricks, the team scores minus 24 points.
  • The defenders always score the number of tricks they win.

Winning:

The first team to reach 52 points after taking the bid and making trump wins the game. If a team reaches 52 points without taking the bid the game continues and they must reach 60 points to win the game. However, the opposing team may still get the bid and reach 52 points first to win the game. Both teams could be in the situation to have to reach 60 points for the win. (This cannot happen)

Power Cards:

  • When a trump suit is named the trump cards are the highest cards, for example a 9 of trump beats an Ace of non-trump.
  • The right bowers are the jacks of the trump suit and are the highest cards.
  • The left bowers are the jacks of the same color as trump, are the second highest cards, and can only be beat by the right bowers.
  • When no-trump high is called ace are the highest card.
  • When no-trump low is called 9s are the highest card.

Modified on 10/26/16 from Wikipedia

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