euchre (yōˈkər) [key], card game, played usually by four persons (two sets of partners). The game originated among the Amish and was a popular card game in America in the late 19th cent. The pack has 32 cards, from 7 up to ace in each suit. The jack of trumps, called the right bower, ranks highest, and the jack of the other suit of the same color, called the left bower, ranks next. The dealer gives five cards to each player, in two rounds, first three cards and then two or vice versa and turns up the next card for trumps. The player to the left of the dealer (eldest hand) may accept the turn-up for trumps ("I order it up") or may pass, in which case the option goes to the next player and so on. If all four pass, then the eldest hand may name trumps or pass. A second round of passing calls for a new deal. A trick is won by the highest trump or by the highest card of the suit led. Five points make a game. By making all five tricks (march), the combination that has made trumps scores two points (four if the trump maker plays alone). They score only one point by making either three or four tricks, while if they fail to make three tricks they are euchred and the opponents score two points. The game is similar to écarté and five hundred.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.