What Is the Euchre Card Game?

euchre-card-game Credit: ccarlstead/CC-BY 2.0

Euchre is a card game in which the main objective is to win tricks. It is usually played with four people playing in two partnerships.

The game is known for introducing the joker card to standard card decks, which acted as the ultimate trump card in early versions of the game. Hoyle's modern rules exclude the joker from the game, however. All of the two to eight cards are removed from the deck as well. The aces are retained.

The game begins with five cards being dealt to each player, and the remainder of the pack placed face-down in the center of the table with the topmost card face-up. The topmost card determines the trump suit for the deal. Players take turns choosing to either accept the trump card or pass. If a player accepts the trump, the dealer discards one card which is placed sideways under the card pile. If all players pass, the first player names the trump suit. Players then follow the suit of the lead card and attempt to win at least three tricks with the highest card of the suit led or the highest trump.

The exact origins of Euchre are unclear, but it may have developed from the similar French card game Ecarte.