When To Play Alone, page 5

Should you go alone on 8 points?

There are many old sayings in euchre. Don't trump your partner's ace. Count on your partner for one trick. Take a trick whenever you can. And many others. Most of these give sound advice to the novice player. But there is one saying that's patently wrong: "Don't go alone on 8". This refers to considering a lone call when your partnership has 8 points - why go for four points alone when taking your partner along will surely help you win all five tricks and earn the necessary two points to win the game? Right? Actually, there are many hands where not going alone on 8 is not just wrong, but it will cost you a point and possibly the game. Most skilled players know this. Yet many inexperienced players will never play alone in this situation, insisting that it is wrong, rude or maybe just because they were told not to.

Look at the following hand

This screen shot is from a game where the score is 8 to 9, in favor of the east-west team. The dealer is in the east position.

Table Position

You're sitting in the South positon and order the nine of diamonds into the dealer's hand. The fact that your partner holds the ace of clubs does not help your hand, in fact it hurts it. If you take your partner along you will only make one point on this hand. This is because the ace will take the lead away from you and this will allow them to take a trick. This will make the score 9 to 9. Yes, you will have the next deal, but as this hand shows, having the deal doesn't always guarantee you'll make a point. By going alone this assures you of the win.

Example 2

Go Alone on 8 points

You are the dealer and are in the South Position. You have just the turned up the jack of spades, and naturally pick it up. Again, the score is 9 to 8, in favor of east-west team. West leads the nine of diamonds. Your partner(N), thinking this is his only chance to help out, trumps in with left. As hearts are the only suit still in his hand, he has no choice but to lead one. You play your ace, but it gets trumped by West. Both of your aces have been wasted and the chance of winning the game has been greatly reduced.

Example 3

Euchre Why go alone on 8 pic-1

The jack of clubs is turned up, everyone passes and the dealer(E) picks it up and discards the king of spades.

Euchre Why go alone on 8 pic-2

South starts the hand by leading the ten of hearts. West seat (the dealer's partner) trumps in with king. North follows suit with the 9 and the maker's(E) ace is wasted.

Euchre Why go alone on 8 pic-3

Now West seat leads the ace of spades, North seat follows suit with the 9. Now no matter what the maker does, this becomes a one point hand.

Euchre Why go alone on 8 pic-4

By the way, I do realize it's a no-brainer that this hand should have been played alone. Still, it does show that there are times when a partner can unintentionally hurt your chances to take all the tricks.

Remember This:
Anytime you hold a strong hand and your partner cannot significantly improve it, you need to play it alone. The score should not be a factor.

Suggested Further Reading:

When To Play Alone, page 1
What is the minimum hand needed?

When To Play Alone, Page 2
Do you try all possible lone calls?

When To Play Alone, Page 3
Ace High Lones: Are you will to try one?

When To Play Alone, Page 4
Minimize the risk of being euchred

When To Play Alone, Page 5
Should you go alone on 8 points?

To keep the 'Alone on 8' comment section manageable, posts of general interest and older than 6 months
have been moved to their own page.

Here's what our viewers are saying

6 comments so far

If your hand is already so strong that you feel you can go alone...what would make it different if you play with your partner? Even if they are inept it would be pretty hard to screw up a really strong hand. Unless you yourself are also inept. ;)

Posted by Jerome  on Tuesday, 07.28.15 @ 14:24pm| #3447

Gotta love the trolls that can't read the article. Inept at reading perhaps.

Posted by Don  on Tuesday, 07.28.15 @ 20:28pm| #3448

As the article says. Your partner with a solitary trump should always use it at first opportunity because you brought them along you obviously need help. By trumping a trick you would have taken then leaving you vulnerable to being overtrumped it may cost a point. Plus that hand where you have the trump and king nine kicker your partner has no choice but to take your king then lead low in another suit.

Not to mention I have been euchred because I didn't go alone before. Yes there was no chance of me getting all five but my partner trumped q tick I would've had with my ace. He then led into my void low. I attempted to trump but got overtrumped. They then led into my other offsuit with the ace. They both had a Bauer needless to say I was euchred.

Posted by Ron  on Tuesday, 06.27.17 @ 15:52pm| #3846

Follow up to my previous post. They each had a Bauer bare. If I could've taken first trick I would've led trump and won the hand.

Posted by Ron  on Tuesday, 06.27.17 @ 15:55pm| #3847

I just got euchred again by not going alone. I held king, 10,9 of trump and two side aces. Partner trumped with the ace on first trick which I would've had with an ace. They then led into my other ace. It got trumped with the queen. They then led previously led suit and got their Bauer's out separately.

Posted by Ron  on Tuesday, 11.14.17 @ 05:36am| #3905

Gotta love people thinking they know it all

Posted by Ron  on Tuesday, 11.14.17 @ 05:37am| #3906

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