Passing Dirty

Passing Dirty is when a player passes a biddable hand in hopes to euchre the opposing partnership. This strategy is in direct violation against one the most basic principles in euchre: Never Pass A Biddable Hand. The main idea behind Passing Dirty is that it is easier to earn two points by euchring an opponent, than it is collecting 5 tricks.

The player sitting first seat, the player left of the dealer, is in the best position to employ this tactic, because if the up-card is turned down, that player has the first right to name trump. While players sitting 2nd or 3rd seat are at a greater disadvantage to use this strategy, there are certain hands that make it possible. Oddly enough, the dealer is the second most likely to Pass Dirty, because the dealer is technically playing with 6 cards.

Let’s look at an example with a player sitting first seat.

Jack of ClubsAce of ClubsAce of SpadesKing of SpadesTen of Diamonds

The up-card is Nine of Spades

In this example hand, the player is quite comfortable with either spades or clubs as trump. If the 9 was ever ordered up, the player would be guaranteed at least 2 tricks, and leaving the A as a possible 3rd trick. If clubs were trump, the player would have 2 powerful clubs, an off-suit ace, and a partner to earn at least three tricks.  In this situation, the player sitting first seat would be in great position to pass dirty.

If one player from the opposing team, especially the dealer, held the J and Q with an off-suit ace. They would be hard-pressed to turn down spades.

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