How to Play Three-Handed Euchre

By Contributor

A popular game around the world and a Midwestern United States staple, Euchre is a challenging, strategic game commonly played in two teams of two players. Though regional variations exist, a common and practical change to the game involves reducing the usual four players to three. Aside from providing an interesting change of pace to your normal euchre routine, knowing how to play three-handed euchre comes in handy when you're down a player.

Separate a normal 52-card deck of cards into the usual euchre deck-nines, tens, jacks, queens, kings and aces (24 total cards). Set three "six" cards and three "four" cards aside for score keeping.

Determine who will deal by shuffling the cards and flipping one in front of each person until the first black jack is exposed. The person with the black jack is the first to deal.

Shuffle the deck and deal a hand of five cards to each player plus a hand to a dummy, fourth player in clockwise order. Typically euchre hands are dealt in two rounds of two or three cards each.

Establish trump. This is done the same as it is in traditional euchre with the option first given to the player immediately left of the dealer and continuing clockwise.

Incorporate the dummy hand. The player that calls the trump suit gets to pick up the dummy hand, combine it with their own and form the best five-card hand out the ten cards. The other five cards are discarded. If the calling player wishes to go alone, he can do so by not using the dummy hand.

Continue the game with the player that called trump playing alone with his best hand and the other two playing as partners as in normal, four-player euchre.

Score the game by using the sixes and fours set aside earlier, one of each given to each player. Unlike classic euchre, each player in the three-handed variation keeps their own score. Winning the game is the same, however. The first player to score 10 points wins.