Euchre variations – not cheating if it’s part of the rules

Euchre variations – not cheating if it’s part of the rules

All’s fair in love and Yuker.

Euchre is a trump-based card game believed to be a derivative of the French card game Ecarte popularized by early Pennsylvania settlers. It has since spread nationally and globally, although it is most commonly played in the Midwest of the United States. Euchre is played only with cards nine (9) and higher, resulting in a deck of twenty-four (24) cards. Euchre pits two (2) teams of two (2) people against each other, each trying to be the first team to ten (10) points. Trump is twisting every hand along with the deal. It’s a fast-paced, ever-changing game that has so many variations that you’d be hard-pressed to find two Euchre games that play by the same rules.

Some such variants include rules that might otherwise be perceived by an outsider as outright fraud. This article will discuss some of these options to show how much fun a game can be with a little creativity and open-mindedness.

Stacking the deck

In Euchre, each five (5) card hand is dealt in only two (2) rounds, usually dealt clockwise, starting with the player to the dealer’s left and dealing two (2) or three (3) cards to each player in the first round and the remaining three (3) or two (2) cards in the second round. This is different from many games where only one (1) card is dealt at a time. This provides a unique opportunity to “stack the deck” and give you or your partner the best cards in the deck (such as jacks and aces in Euchre).

Although generally frowned upon, some circles consider it perfectly acceptable to stack the deck as long as certain guidelines are followed. A typical example is that as long as you offer a player on the other team the right to cut the deck, then stacking is tolerated. This means that after shuffling the cards, the dealer must present the shuffled cards to a player on the opposing team, who can then split (or “cut”) the deck in two. This is done to prevent deck stacking.

However, some experienced deck stackers will anticipate clipping and include it in their shuffle or stack. One strategy to counter this is to cut the deck unusually thick or thin, or simply delay your right to cut the deck (done by simply tapping your hand on the shuffled deck).

A steal of the deal

As with many games, there is a clear edge to dealing in Euchre. This is because after the cards are dealt, the dealer will turn over the top card of the remaining undealt cards (there are 24 cards in a deck, but only 20 will be dealt to the four players). This card (“Up Card”) is turned over to determine Trump. If a player wants the suit of the Up Card to be a trump, he must tell the dealer to take the card. The dealer will then take the card and discard the least desirable card in his hand, thus greatly improving his hand for that particular round.

The deal’s strong upside has led some circles to include it as a “steal of the deal.” Stealing the deal can be achieved in a number of ways, depending on the rules each round is played by. Some rounds again require you to offer a reduction to the other team and then either start dealing the cards or deal both rounds and flip the Up Card. Other options usually include some of the above factors. This move will benefit the team that stole the deal and punish the other team for not paying enough attention. Either way, it’s a fun way to mix things up and reward sneaky and shrewd Euchre players.


Euchre, like many card games, requires each player to follow suit. This means that after the first active player plays a certain card, each subsequent player must play a card of the same suit as the suit of the card that was led, if they hold a card of that suit in their hand. However, there is a strong incentive not to follow this rule if your team might lose the round if you follow suit, so many players will instead pretend they don’t have a card of that suit and instead use a trump to win a hand. Whether done intentionally or unknowingly, this is called a “rejection” or “opt-out.”

Generally speaking, this is against the rules in Euchre, but as with many situations in life, it’s not cheating unless you get caught. Depending on the replay penalties, the risk is worth it in the eyes of many players. For example, consider the situation where your team may lose two (2) points to the other team because you called a trump and will not take the required three (3) out of five (5) tricks if you follow suit and lose the hand. If the penalty for repeating is only the loss of the two (2) points for that particular round, it may be a good strategy to take the risk and repeat (where you will be able to earn the tricks necessary to gain one (1) point).

This covers just a few of the many variations of the Euchre card game. The countless variations are what make Euchre such an enjoyable game, as the rules are constantly changing. Some variants are more useful, but rules that reward cunning can be even more fun.

Visit our site to learn more about the exciting, fast-paced, constantly evolving game of Youker.

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