How to Play the Card Game Buck Euchre

By Dana Severson

Buck Euchre is played much like Euchre. However, in this game, you’ll play alone instead of in teams of two. Each player is tasked with taking tricks--at least one per hand--unless a player has called trump. In this case, the trump player needs to take three. You’ll quickly notice that’s not enough tricks to go around. Someone’s going to get set. Everyone begins with 25 points and works down to zero as players take tricks during the game. The first person to reach zero wins.

Reduce the size of your playing deck from 52 to 24, leaving only those cards that are an A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9. All other cards are set aside and not used during the course of Buck Euchre.

Determine the order of play by dealing out the cards until one person is dealt a Jack. This player will act as the first dealer. Subsequent deals move around the table to the left in a clockwise direction.

Deal out the deck until each player has a total of five cards in his or her hand. Typically, a deal in Buck Euchre consists of dealing out sets of cards in increments of two or three.

Turn over the top card of the remaining deck. This card will indicate the possible trump suit for this hand of Buck Euchre. When a club is revealed, this automatically becomes trump. Play of the hand begins immediately, and each player is tasked with getting at least one trick out of the five available. For all other suits, continue to the next step.

Bid your hand by either electing to pass or telling the dealer to pick up the card. Telling the dealer to pick up the card makes trump the suit displayed on that card. You are now tasked with taking at least three of the five tricks available. Subsequent players will now have the option to either stay in or withdraw from the hand. Staying in means you must take at least one of the five tricks available. If no one elects to have the dealer pick up the card (including the dealer himself), the top card is turned over and play continues as described in the following step.

Call trump--starting with the person to the left of the dealer--when no one opts to have the dealer pick up the revealed card. When a player calls trump, he must still take at least three of the five tricks available.

Play a card from your hand. You must always follow suit unless you have none in your hand. In this case, you may either throw off or trump. The highest suited card wins the trick, with the exception of trumped tricks. For these tricks, highest trump card takes it.

Subtract 1 point for each trick you take during the hand. You’ll begin with 25 points at the start of the game and work down from there. If you called trump and were unable to get three tricks, you’ll add 5 points to your score. If you stayed in and were unable to take a single trick, you’ll also add 5 points to your score.

Win the game of Buck Euchre by being the first person to bring your score down to zero.

Tip

When the dealer is told to pick up the card, he will swap it out for any card in his hand. All hands may only have five cards.

Warning

Don't let the scores escalate to an insanely high amount. Your score caps out at 25 points. If you currently have 22 points and are set, you’re score may only go back up to 25, never over.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.