Do you know what to Call in Euchre? Learn the 4 Basic Hands

Knowing what hands to call in Euchre can be a rather difficult decision, especially for beginning euchre players. All too often, players pass a biddable hand or calling a hand too thin. In this tutorial, you will learn The 4 Basic Hands in Euchre. By understanding these four hands, you will be able to name trump with confidence.

Each of these hands follows the principle of Euchre’s Basic Strategy, and in conjunction with reading the up-card, you should be able to win a valuable point or two.


The Standard Three Trump

Three Trumps with Right Bower

Chance of Works Best
2 Points 1 Points Euchred 2 Suited
High High Low

Whenever you have the Right Bower plus two extra trump cards, it is said you have a Standard Three Trump call. The premise of winning this hand is straightforward. Lead the Right Bower where you clear most of the trump off the table. If your second highest trump card can with the second trick, then play it, otherwise lead a non-trump card. Use your remaining trump cards to ruff any future tricks.

The Standard Three Trump call is a low-risk high reward call. The majority of the time you will win a solid point, and possibly two points if your partner holds an Ace. The chances of getting euchred are relatively low.

Basic Buck

Right Bower with Trump and Ace

Chance of Works Best
2 Points 1 Points Euchred 3 Suited
Medium High Medium

When you hold the Right Bower plus an extra trump card with an Ace kicker, it is sometimes referred to as a basic buck or basic buckeye. Its name is derived from the popular euchre playing state of Ohio, “The Buckeye State”, and from the fact that you usually earn one point or one buck.

The idea behind this hand is to win the first trick by leading the Right Bower. Since the Right Bower will clear most of the trump from the table, the Ace can win easily win the second trick. The third trick can be won by your partner, or by trumping in on the fourth or fifth trick.

The basic buck comes with some risk of being euchred, but it will usually earn you and your partner a point.


Boiler Maker

Three Trump with Ace

Chance of Works Best
2 Points 1 Points Euchred 2 Suited
Low High Medium

When you call three trump cards along with an Ace kicker, without holding the right bower, it is known as a Boiler Maker. For a beginner, this hand seems extremely risky, and regardless if you won or lost, it would more than likely make your partner’s blood boil in anger. In actuality, when this hand is played correctly, it can be a solid call for you and your partner.

It is important to lead trump first in order to fish out the bowers, likely losing the first trick. Then your opponent will either lead into your non-trump Ace, or you will be able to ruff the next trick. Depending on how the hand unfolds, you should be able to win at least two more tricks with your remaining cards.

The Boiler Maker hand is an aggressive hand to call, but with some understanding, you should be able to win more points than you lose.

Pocket Rockets

Two Trump with Two Aces

Chance of Works Best
2 Points 1 Points Euchred 3 Suited
Medium Medium High

Calling a hand with two minor trump cards and two non-trump Aces (Pocket Rockets) is the quintessential high-risk high-reward call. This may seem scary for many euchre players, but there is logic in this hand.

Again with any hand you call, you should lead trump and clear the majority of the trump off the table. This will give “strength” to the Aces. Depending on how the hand unfolds, you should be able to win 3 tricks with your remaining trump card, two Aces, and your partner.

Pocket Rockets is a risky hand, and you will be euchred a fair amount. On the other hand, if you can read the up card, you will increase the likelihood that your partner will be holding the right bower. Giving a number of hands where you and your partner will win two points.

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