THE LAWS OF EUCHRE
Adopted by the Somerset Club of Boston
March 1, 1888
H. C. Leeds + James Dwight
Do not assist too light. This is the most
common error in Euchre.
Assist with three trumps.
right and another.
left and another, and outside ace.
Assist with left and another; dependent
upon the score,
two trumps and two aces.
ace and another, and outside
ace; dependent upon
score; always, however, if
right is turned.
two medium trumps, and one
suit of three, headed by the
ace, dependent upon the
Ace and another, and king and another,
even when short of a suit, are permissible
only when justified by scores of four-all
or four-love in your favor.
Anything less than this is not good
Euchre, except, of course, at the two above-named
Do not assist the right with two small
ones. Your partner usually will know
what to do with the bower. By too light
an assistance you may tempt him into a
lone hand, under the impression that one
or two big trumps are out of his way.
Remember that to be short of one or two
suits is a great advantage to an assisting
When led through with right and another,
play the right, except when the ace is
turned,—when it is permissible to finesse.
When led through, when assisting with
left and another, play left, unless right or
ace is turned.
When assisting with three trumps, if
you take the first trick in suit, lead trumps
at once. If you take the first trick by
trumping a suit, your play is then dependent
upon the value of your remaining
trumps and the turn-up.
With two trumps and two aces, lead
trumps as early as possible, if your opponents
have not done so for you.
If your partner adopts the turn-up without
your assistance, and you hold queen,
seven; ten, eight, etc., in trumps, ruff as
early as possible with the big one, and lead
the small one.
If you take the first trick in suit, and
your partner throws away, do not lead the
suit he has shown, even if you have the
ace of it.
If your partner turn down black, make
it red if you can, especially if he has
turned down the bower.
When playing second to a small card,
do not ruff with right alone if it is the first
trick. Ruff with left alone, especially with
your partner's make or adoption.
If your partner refuses to adopt the
turn-up, and the third hand declares to
play alone, lead a card of the same suit
as the turn-down.
With one small trump, ruff as soon as
Do not finesse in lay cards.
“Another” means “a small one.”
It requires a stronger hand to order or
make the trump in this position than in
the eldest hand, since you cannot depend
upon your partner's lead, and he has displayed
weakness by passing.
However, if you have a good hand at the
turn-up, and are very strong at next, it is
better to order, since the stronger you are
at next, the greater the improbability that
your partner will be able to make it next.
It is wise to see your way absolutely
clear to three tricks before ordering the
There are certain hands, however, which
by their strength compel you to order,—the
right not being turned; and here are
most of them.
Order with four trumps.
two bowers and another.
two bowers and outside ace.
three trumps and two aces.
three trumps and one suit, headed by ace.
right, ace, and another.
left, ace, king, and outside ace.
left, ace, king, and one suit.
left, ace, king, dependent upon the score.
left, king and another, and outside ace.
left, queen and another, and outside ace.
Order with ace, king and another, and
If you ruff, it is usually well to beat the
Take up three trumps.
right and ace.
right and king.
right and queen.
right and another, and one suit.
right, another, and outside ace.
left, ace, and outside ace.
left, another, outside ace; and king, queen of the third suit.
ace, king, and one suit headed by ace; dependent upon score.
two trumps and two aces.
With the score at four-all or four-love
in his favor, the dealer may play a lighter
hand than any mentioned above, especially
if it is his best.
Scores of three-all and four to two in
dealer's favor require more than ordinary
With score four to three in dealer's
favor he may play a shade lighter than
If it comes round to the dealer to make
a trump, it is permissible to make it with
somewhat less strength than would be required
in the other three hands.
It is usually better with a fair hand to
try for a point rather than to turn down
for a euchre. If, however, the dealer is
better at next, and holds both bowers of the
cross-suit, it is good euchre to pass.
If the dealer adopts the turn-up without
assistance and has right and another, and
takes the first trick with his small trump,
he should not lead the right unless he can
follow with an ace.
Always be careful how you play your
small cards, and never play false cards.
If the dealer adopts the turn-up, he
should discard the lowest card of a
short suit; for example, with three trumps,
ace, seven of one suit, and outside king,
discard the king. Some prefer to keep
the king with score four-all with only
two trumps in the hand. With two
trumps (clubs), ace, seven of hearts, and
king, seven of diamonds, discard the seven
With three trumps (clubs), ace, king of
hearts, and ace of diamonds, discard the
king of hearts, except when playing a lone
hand, in which case discard the ace of
When your partner assists, and you take
he first or second trick, always give him a
trump if he has not played one.
Give all the information possible to your
partner by your play; for example, queen of
clubs is turned up, and you are assisted and
hold the king of clubs in your hand. If
you or your partner take the first trick
with a trump, play the king. If you hold
both ace and king of clubs in your hand,
play the ace.
If you hold ace and king of an outside
suit, throw away the ace as soon as possible
on your partner's trick, thereby showing
him you have command of that suit.
If, however, you see by the fall of the cards
that your partner has no strength in his
hand, you may conceal this information,
since it will do him no good, and can only
benefit your opponents. This, of course,
applies to all four hands.