When To Play Alone, page 4

Minimize the risk of being euchred

A major concern for most new euchre players have is getting euchred on a hand. They feel more confident when they take their partner along. So they tend to think they may need help making their point. This same fear keeps many new players from trying to play a hand alone. In this article I'll show you a safe way play a lone call with almost no chance of being set.

Here is a typical lone hand

Table Position
Ace High Lone Call

In this hand you are the dealer and sit in the South position. The bidding gets passed around and you pick up the nine of hearts, calling "going alone".

Ace High Lone Call 2

West leads the queen of diamonds (their lead of diamonds was the correct play, next is most always the best lead against a lone call). East plays their ace and you take the trick with your smallest trump. One trump is now out of play. (That's one trick down, four more to go.)

Now you lead the right. West throws off a spade and East plays the left. The fact that East showed void in trump is a warning sign: proceed with caution! Three trump have now been played and you still have one in our hand. That leaves three possible trump that may be out against you, including the ace. Yes, West played the left, but many players will do this and hold the ace of trump back. If they do have the ace and hold no spades, leading the king could be an invitation for a euchre. (Two tricks down, three tricks to go)

Lone Example 2b

You're not worried about West as they don't have trump. The safe way to play this is to go fishing for any remaining trump by playing your ace of spades. If East still has any they would have to use one to take your ace. Then the only concern would be that East is void in spades and holds two trump, one of them would need to be the ace.

Your ace of spades walks the board. Okay, that's your third trick, now you can relax knowing you've made your point.

Since this is alone call, and knowing your point is secure, it's time to if East has any trump left. Many euchre players play in mysterious ways just to confuse their opponents. Here is where you would play your last trump. What you're hoping for is to pick up any small trump East may have, or if they don't have any then maybe they have a stopper spade and will play it on this trump lead.

Everything has worked out as planned and you have made a successful lone call.

However things don't always go as planned

Euchre is a game of chance because you never know what cards are out against you. There are hands where even though you do everything right you're still going to be euchred. Yes, it is a little humiliating when it happens on a lone call. But cards can be fickle and turn on you at any time. There are times when even the most promising hands can go wrong.

Look at the following example:

Lone Example 2b

You are dealer sitting at the top of the screen in the North seat. Everyone passes and you and pick up the jack of diamonds, then call alone.

Lone Example 2b

West leads the ace of spades, East follows suit and you trump in with the ten.

Lone Example 2b

Now you lead the right, East plays the nine of trump and West shows void. When you're trying a lone call and one of the opponents shows void while the other follows the trump lead, proceed with caution.

Realizing there could be high trump out against you, it's time to play it safe. The correct play is to lead the off-suit queen of clubs, hoping it holds up or that East wins the trick. East taking this would set the hand up for an end play

Lone Example 2b

You lead the queen, East correctly throws off, giving his partner a chance to take the club trick. No matter what you do next you are euchred.

You played the hand correctly, but as they say 'the deck was stacked against you'. These things will happen once in a while. All you can do is shake it off and play the next hand.

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?

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