Rules for Six-Handed Euchre

by Alane Michaelson, Demand Media

    In traditional the Euchre rules, the card game's four players are split into two teams and the game is played with 25 cards. Fortunately for Euchre enthusiasts who have extra friends hanging around, the rules of the game can be modified to accommodate six players. Understanding the rules of six-handed Euchre is easier with familiarity with the game's traditional rules.

    Teams and Cards

    In six-handed Euchre, the players must be divided into two teams of three. The game is traditionally played with the Ace through nine cards, totaling 25 playing cards. In six-handed Euchre, play with the Ace through seven cards, totaling 33. Dealing cards is exactly the same in traditional and six-handed Euchre. The dealer must deal five cards to each player in two passes, for example, two cards in the first pass and three in the second.

    Calling Round

    After dealing, the dealer flips the top card of the five remaining cards to begin the calling round. Going clockwise around the table starting at the dealer's left, the players decide whether the suit of the flipped card should be trump or not. Trump cards are the highest cards in the game. If a player wants the flipped card to be trump, the dealer gets to pick up the flipped card and discard one non-trump card. If no one wants the flipped card's suit to be trump, then players go around the table again and can pick any suit to be trump. If it gets to the dealer again, the dealer is stuck calling trump.

    Trump

    The trump cards are the highest cards in the game. In traditional and six-handed Euchre, the Jack of the trump suit is the highest card of all, followed by the Jack of the same color, the trump suit's Ace, King and so on. The Jacks are known as the left and right bowers in Euchre, with right bower referring to the trump Jack and left bower referring to the off-suit Jack.

    Game Play

    Each round is divided into five tricks for each of the five cards in the players' hands. For the first trick, the player to the dealer's left places a card in the center of the table. Clockwise around the table, each player must play a card of the first card's suit. If a player does not have a card of that suit, any other card may be played. After each player plays a card, whoever played the highest card of the original suit or the highest trump card wins the trick and gets to play the first card of the next trick.

    Scoring

    Traditional Euchre and six-handed Euchre is scored nearly the same. In the basic rules, if the calling team wins the most tricks but not all tricks, they get one point. If they win all five tricks, they get two points. The defending team gets two points by winning the most but not all tricks, and four points by winning all five tricks. A player in the game can also decide to go alone, playing without teammates against the entire opposing team. If the player calls trump and wins all the tricks, the team earns four points. If the player calls trump and wins three or four tricks, the team receives one point. In six-handed Euchre, successfully going alone and getting all five tricks is worth five points. Whichever team gets to 10 points first wins.

    About the Author

    Alane Michaelson began writing professionally in 2002. Her work has appeared in Michigan publications such as the "Detroit Free Press" and the "Flint Journal." Michaelson graduated from Oakland University in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

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