Trump Your Partner’s Ace

A very common expression is “never trump your Partner’s Ace”. In fact, it is the Third Commandment in Euchre. But in this lesson, I will teach you an exception to the rule, where in fact you should trump your partner’s Ace.

Let’s look at an example of when you use this rule breaking strategy.

North

Up-Card 10

West

 K J
 void
A
 K Q

Euchre Table

East 

 Q
 10 J A
 void
 9

South (Dealer)

 A 9
 K 9
 void
 J

 

After the cards were dealt, West, North, and East passed. South examines his hand, and he sees that he will have 4 trump after he picks up the 10.  He is only two cards away from 4 points. South decides to go alone, and discards the 9.

West leads with A, and East shocks the table by throwing down the Q, trumping his partner’s Ace.

One could only imagine what is going through South’s mind, if never saw this scenario before. Many questions are going through his head like “why would you knowingly waste an Ace and a trump? Does East know how to play Euchre?” South takes the trick with A.

South then plays the J, forcing him to know the location of the Right Bower. West plays Right and East lays off with the 9.

West, keeping track of which trump cards that have been played, plays the K. East plays the 10 and South follows suit with the 9.

West then plays Q, East his J, and South Trumps in with his 10. The score is 2-2.

South plays his last card, the K, and it does not hold since East has the A. South is Euchred.

Since East trumped his partner’s Ace, South was forced to play a card he couldn’t afford, the left bower and A. By disrupting South’s hand, it was impossible for him to win three tricks.

Could have South played better?

The simple answer is no. South was Euchred when East trumped his partner’s Ace.

Even if South gave up all hope of earning 4 points and played the K instead of A, he still could be Euchred. East would likely play his A, and South would play one of his trump cards.

If South trumped with the  9 or 10, West would easily win the trick with his K, and then Euchre South by playing the J.

If South trumped with J or A, West could secure the 2 points, by playing K or Q. Playing one of these cards is not easy to find over the table, but it is not impossible to either.

If South led with 9 or 10, West would easily with the trick with his K, then Euchre South by playing the J.

If South led with left bower, West would trump with right bower, and Euchre South by playing the K. In all cases, South is Euchred with best play.

Conclusion

You should trump your partner’s Ace on two conditions.

1. your opponent goes alone

2. you should only trump with the Queen, King, Ace, or Left Bower.

If you trump your partner’s Ace with the Right Bower, 9 or 10, you won’t likely change the outcome of the hand. Therefore, you should play another card.

This Euchre strategy looks illogical, but if you play this lesson several times at home with a deck of cards, you will quickly learn that East played the only card that allowed his partnership to win.

 

Trump Suit and Card Rank

The trump suit plays the most pivotal role in the game of euchre.  When a suit is named trump, any card of that suit outranks any card of a non-trump suit.  The highest ranking card in euchre is the Jack of the selected suit, referred to as the Right Bower.  The second highest card in euchre is the other Jack of the same color, referred to as the Left Bower. If spades where trump the Left Bower should be treated as a spade throughout the hand.  The remaining cards of the trump suit rank A, K, Q, 10, and 9.  The other three off-suits rank A, K, Q, J, 10, 9. Please note, if the jack is the Left Bower, it is considered part of the trump suit.  Thus, it is not a part of the off-suit. The table below shows the rank of the cards from highest to lowest if that suit is called trump.

Spades Trump
Clubs Trump
Hearts Trump
Diamonds Trump
Right Bower Jack of spades
Jack of Clubs
Jack of Hearts
Jack of Diamonds
Left Bower Jack of Clubs
Jack of spades
Jack of Diamonds
Jack of Hearts
Ace Ace of Spades
Ace of Clubs
Ace of Hearts
Ace of Diamonds
King King of Spades
King of Clubs
King of Hearts
King of Diamonds
Queen Queen of Spades
Queen of Clubs
Queen of Hearts
Queen of Diamonds
Ten Ten of Spades
Ten of Clubs
Ten of Hearts
Ten of Diamonds
Nine Nine of Spades Nine of Clubs Nine of Hearts Nine of Diamonds