Euchre is a unique trick-winning card game that originated in England. It involves two teams of two players each with teammates sitting across from each other at the table. The game uses only 25 of a 54-card (two-joker) deck. There is a process of choosing the trump suit, and each team has differing objectives on the number of trumps they want to win. The basics of winning tricks, however, are the same as in other such games.
Cards and Deal
The game uses only the nines through aces and one joker in the deck. The joker is called the Benny, the trump suit's jack is the Right Bower and the jack of the same color is the Left Bower. Each player gets five cards that are dealt as such: one player gets three cards at once and the next gets two, which alternates around the table. Then the players with three cards get two and the ones with two get three. The top card from what's left is placed face up and will help determine the trump. The remaining four cards aren't used.
Determining the Trump
With the face-up card displayed, players decide if that suit will be the trump. The player to the dealer's left (who is not on the dealer's team) can choose to accept the trump suit by saying "I order it up" or pass. The next player to the left (the dealer's partner) can accept it by saying "I turn it down" or pass. The next player (the dealer's other opponent) can accept it just like his teammate or pass, and then the dealer can choose to accept it by saying "I take it up." If the dealer or either opponents accept the trump, the dealer takes the face-up card and discards one from his hand. If his partner accepts the trump, the dealer is out and his partner must play alone. If everyone passes on the suit, the players select another suit to be the trump, with the player to the dealer's left making the first offer.
Before play begins, any player can choose to play alone, and then that player's partner lays his cards face down and doesn't play the round. The team that accepted the trump is the makers and the other team is the defenders. The makers' mission is to win at least three of the five possible tricks. The player to the dealer's left leads the first trick unless one player is playing alone--then the one to that player's left leads. After the lead is played, play goes clockwise around the table. The highest card of the lead suit or the highest trump wins the trick. The Benny (Joker) and Left Bower are also trumps (for example, if clubs are the trump, the Jack of Spades is a trump).
The makers get one point for winning three of four tricks and two points for winning all five. The defenders get two points if they get at least three tricks. If either team earns two points with only one player, those points are then doubled to four. The cards are then dealt again with the new dealer being the player to the old dealer's left. The first team to 11 points wins the game.