Every single time my family gets together, Euchre is involved. I remember being a little kid sitting at the corner of the table watching the adults play. As I sat there trying to learn how to shuffle a deck of cards, I was also trying to keep up with both the rules of the game and the conversations.
With my family, a game of cards is a way to have fun. It is where all squabbles, differences of opinions, and disagreements are put aside in order to have a good laugh. There is always, always laughter around the card table.
Funny thing is, I have a hard time playing Euchre with anyone outside my family. No one knows the rules of how to play or how to win. When Giant was in 3rd grade, a bunch of 3rd grade moms got a Euchre night together. We played about once a month, and while I had a great time, I was kinda frustrated by the card-playing.
There are rules to Euchre, and not just the written ones that you'd find when looking for instructions on how to play. I have no idea from where they came, but they are memorized by every single member of my extended family. And followed religiously. Unless, of course, you have a hand that requires you to not follow the rules. If it works, it will be called a fluke, but you'll be OK. If it doesn't work, you will be berated by your partner.
Just so you know. If you ever play with my family.
Regardless of whether you play with us or not, take heed. If you want to win at Euchre, follow these rules.
1. Trump high, lead low.
No one wants to be they guy who trumped with a 10, then was overtrumped by his opponent. It's especially bad if you then get Euchred because of that dumb move.
2. You will never go set on a nine.
If a nine is turned up, and your team has dealt, go for it. Even if you only have two trump, give it a whirl.
3. You will probably go set on a 10.
If a ten is turned up, and your team has dealt, do not pick it up. Avoid tens like the plague.
4. Where there's hearts, there's spades.
If hearts are trump, the team who made it hearts will have spades in their hands. If you, as the opposing team, are first to lead, lead with a spade and recite the rule as you put your card down. Your teammate will not have spades, so he will be able to trump it and get the trick.
The same works with diamonds and clubs.
5. When dealing, deal 2 or 3 cards at a time.
Dealing one card at a time like you would do in almost any other game of cards is not allowed. It messes up...something.
6. Don't sit between the markers (aka score cards).
If you sit between your team's markers and the other team's markers, you will lose. It is bad luck of epic proportions. My family is mighty sneaky, trying to get their opponents between the markers. Be vigilant. Move your markers immediately if you notice you are between them.
7. Call next.
This is one of the most important rules of the game. If the opposing team deals, then turns down the card (and chooses not to make it trump), you must call next. "Next" means the suit of the same color. So, if the dealer turns down the spade he had turned up, you must call clubs. If you only have one club in your hand, you must say, "Clubs...for my partner". That phrase clears you of all responsibility if the rule doesn't work and your team gets set.
8. Do not lead your partner out of trump.
You may lead trump once, and once only. If you lead twice, you may take all of your partner's trump, in which case he will get mighty annoyed with you when he is unable to trump a trick later in the hand.
9. Sit with the flow of the bathtub.
No joke, this is huge. Before you sit down to play, go to the bathroom. Make sure you know in which direction the water flows. When you go to sit at the card table across from your partner, make sure you sit with the flow of the tub. I'm pretty sure it's karma.
10. Do not, under any circumstances, play like Inez.
My grandparents used to go to Bingo early on Sundays to play cards with a group of friends. One of those friends happened to be Inez, one of the worst card players to ever hold a deck of cards. When our family plays and someone really messes up, Grandma will go into a story about how that play was just like something Inez did. It is much better to table talk and ask for help than play like Inez.
If you have never played Euchre before, these rules may not make the most sense. I'll be happy to give you some lessons the next time I see you! If you have played Euchre before, some of these rules may sound a bit bizarre. Don't know them until you've tried them.
This post was inspired by two hops going on today. Josie is hosting her 101st week of Two Shoes Tuesday (I am so bummed I missed the big 110!) in which the blogger chooses one of the two prompts to write a post. Today's words are card and drawing. The second is Lisa's Tuesday's Ten. Today we are supposed to give some advice.
Thank you, Ladies, for coming up with prompts that help me lighten things up around here.
Have a lovely day!