Euchre is a card game that is best played with four people, but when you have more than four people, you can set up a home tournament. This format picks up the pace and varies the partners. Because you have different partners, you have to adapt to different playing styles. It is a true test of who is the best euchre player.
Only the nines through the aces are used in the playing deck. There are four people per table with the players sitting across from their partners. Each player is dealt five cards. The remaining cards are placed on the table and the top card is turned over. Whatever card is turned over is the first suit to be offered trump. After trump is declared, the team naming trump must get three out of five tricks to earn a point. If they are stopped or “euchred,” then the other team gets two points. Normally, the first team to 10 points wins.
With tournament style, you keep your own points instead of teams. Each table plays with partners. If you have eight players, you have two games of four players. At each table, everybody plays with a partner.
Each table plays for 10 hands and you record how many points you earned. After that, everybody rotates one seat, and you start over with 10 more hands. You continue that format until you have had everybody as a partner one time.
At that point, you add up your points and the person with highest point total is the winner.
If you have enough people to have two tables going (eight players) and want to keep the same partners, you can have a different kind of tournament. Each table plays until a team has a victory (10 points). After that, you rotate teams and play another game to 10 points. You would do this until you have played every team at least once or you can go twice in a round-robin format. After you play the games, you see what the record is for each team and a winner is declared.
If you do not have eight players or a group that can be broken down evenly into groups of four you can fill as many tables of four as you can. The excess players would have to sit out a couple of hands until they can be rotated into the tournament. This gives the players a built-in break while playing the tournament.
Mal Van Valkenburg has been a journalist since 1986 and is working in Nevada. He was the sports editor of the "Niagara Gazette" in Niagara Falls, N.Y. During this time, he covered such events as the Super Bowl, World Series, NCAA basketball, Buffalo Bills and the NHL. Valkenburg holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications at the University of South Florida.