Designed & Written by Mark S. Ball
Haus Euchre distinguishes itself from the standard American rule set by including 32 cards in the deck as well as a joker. During the second bidding phase, players also have the option to call for no-trump which will make it an ace-high round. These three changes open the game up and allow for more maneuverability during play.
The Haus Euchre deck requires cards 7 - A in each suit as well as one joker. To keep score in the traditional way, one team uses a red 6 and 4, and the other team uses a black 6 and 4. The rest of the cards are set to the side unused.
Cut the deck to determine teams. The two players who cut the highest cards are on a team against the players who cut the lowest cards. Partners sit across from each other at the table.
Whoever cut the lowest card deals first. Each player receives five cards. The remaining cards, known as the kitty, are placed face down on the table near the dealer. Turn the top card over. This turn-up card is used to determine trump.
The player to the left of the dealer begins the bid. If they want the suit of the turn-up card to become trump, they say pick it up. If they don’t want that suit to become trump, they say pass, and the next player gets to bid.
PICK IT UP
Once a player says pick it up, the turn-up card’s suit becomes trump for the round. The dealer adds the turn-up card to their hand and replaces it with any card from their hand face down on top of the kitty. The round then begins.
If a player passes, the next player gets to say pick it up or pass. If the bid gets to the dealer who also passes, the turn-up card is turned down. A second round of bidding then takes place.
SECOND ROUND OF BIDDING
The player left of the dealer begins the second round of bidding if it occurs. In this round, a player may name the trump suit they want, call for no-trump, or pass.
STICK THE DEALER
If the second round of bidding reaches the dealer, that player must pick a trump suit or call for no-trump. They are not allowed to pass.
If no-trump is chosen, the round is played without a trump suit. The joker becomes the lowest ranking card in the deck. It can only be played when the player holding it is unable to follow suit.
The player who orders the pick-up, names the trump suit, or calls for no-trump may also choose to go alone. This must be declared immediately. Their partner places their cards face down on the table and does not participate during that round.
THE TRUMP SUIT
Three things happen to the ranking structure of the trump suit:
The jack that is the same color as the trump suit becomes the third highest ranking card for the round. It also becomes part of the trump suit. This card is called the left-jack. For example, if hearts are trump, the jack of diamonds becomes a heart for the round, and it must be played as one.
From low to high, the trump suit becomes:
If the joker is turned up at the beginning of the round, spades automatically become trump. There is no bid. Play begins with the person seated to the left of the dealer.
The player left of the dealer begins the round by leading the trick with any card from their hand. Play then passes left. Each player must match the lead suit if they can. If they cannot, they may play any card.
Whoever plays the highest card in the lead suit or the highest trump card wins the trick. That player collects the cards and begins their team’s collection pile. The trick-winner then leads the next trick with any card from their hand.
This continues until all five tricks have been completed. After the fifth trick is collected, it’s time to tally up the score.
The teammates that determine trump (or call for no-trump) are known as the bid-winners, and the opposite teammates are known as the defenders. The bid-winners must capture three or more tricks in order to earn points. If they fail to do so, the defenders will earn points instead.
If a player goes alone, they must capture at least three tricks without their partner’s help. Their partner sits out for the round and does not play.
If the bid-winners:
Capture three or four tricks, they earn 1 point for the round
Capture five tricks, they earn 2 points for the round
Go alone and capture three or four tricks, they earn 1 point for the round
Go alone and capture all five tricks, they earn 4 points for the round
If the defenders:
Once the score has been tallied, collect the cards and pass the deal one player to the left. The first team to earn 10 points or more wins the game.
Free PDF of Haus Euchre
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