Rules of the Card Game Bid Euchre

By Joyce Blake
Jack, hearts, hearts
Jack O knave of hearts. playing card. Gambling. Game image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

The rules of Bid Euchre differ from area to area, and according to the preferences of the players. There are no "standard" rules, but there are rules that are used by most players in most games.

Basic Rules of Bid Euchre

The basic rules of Bid Euchre call for two teams of two players each--partners who sit opposite each other at the table. A standard Bid Euchre deck consists of the ace through 9 of each suit. All the cards are dealt. Each player receives the same number of cards.The order of rank is ace high to 9 low, with the exception of the jacks of the trump suit and the suit that is the same color as the trump suit. For example, if hearts is the trump suit, the jack of hearts is the highest card in the deck and is called the "right bower." The jack of diamonds is the "left bower" and ranks above all other cards except the jack of hearts. The left bower is considered a trump-suit card rather than a card in its own suit. In a no-trump bid, all suits rank ace high to 9 low, and there are no bowers.

Bidding Rules

Each player bids once, starting with the player sitting to the dealer's left. A bid consists of the number of tricks a player believes his team can take, and a "trump" suit or "no-trump." For example, a player might bid two hearts or four "no trump." Passing is allowed, but if a player passes he will not be entitled to bid later during that hand. Unlike Bridge, suits have no rank. Therefore, a bid of "four" must be overbid by a bid of "five" or "six," regardless of the trump. In a single-deck game, there are six tricks per hand. Therefore, a bid of six is the highest possible bid.

Rules of Play

The person who bids the highest is called the "declarer." She leads a card. The player to the declarer's left plays next, and so on, until each player has played a card. It must be of the same suit if she has it. If she is void, she may discard any card she chooses, or play a trump. The highest card played wins the trick. A trump wins any trick unless a higher trump is played. The winner of each trick leads the first card of the next trick.

Scoring Rules

Scoring is simple: If the bidding team takes at least the number of tricks as the bid calls for, each team receives one point for each trick taken. If the bidding team does not take the required number of tricks, it is "set" and receives no points. One point for each trick the team bid is deducted from its score. The "setting" team still receives one point for each trick it took. A team can have a negative score.

Winning the Game

A game is played to whatever total score the players decide. A common goal is 32 points. A team can win by either: 1) reaching the goal when it wins a hand on which it was the bidding team; or 2) reaching the goal when it sets a bid. A team cannot win, even if it reaches the goal, after a hand in which the opponent is the bidding team and reaches its bid.