OBJECTIVE OF CINCINNATI EUCHRE: The first team to reach 32 points or more wins the game
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players in partnerships of 2
NUMBER OF CARDS: 24 cards
RANK OF CARDS: 9 – Ace, Trump 9,10,Q,K,A,Same Color Jack, Jack
TYPE OF GAME: Trick Taking Card Game
AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults
INTRODUCTION OF CINCINNATI EUCHRE
Cincinnati Euchre is a form of Bid Euchre once played in Cincinnati, Ohio. The rules are recorded in the now out-of-print Official Rules of Card Games from Bicycle. There are a few key differences that make this game different from the Bid Euchre that is reportedly played in Northwest and West Central Ohio.
Each round, players will bid on how many tricks they think they can capture. The bid-winner gets to name trump for the round. If they wish, they may call no-trump instead. Be careful while bidding! If a player bids too high and fails to capture enough tricks, their team will be set back a number of points equal to their bid.
The first team to reach a score of 32 points or more wins.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Cincinnati Euchre requires a 24 card deck made up of cards (low) 9 – Ace (high). It is important to remember that the ranking of the suit chosen as trump changes. It becomes 9,10,Q,K,A,Same Color Jack, & Jack. For example, if Diamonds is named trump, the ranking of the Diamond suit becomes (low) 9,10,Q,K,A, Jack of Hearts, and Jack of Diamonds (high). These two Jacks are known as the Left Bower and Right Bower respectively.
It is also important to remember that the Left Bower counts as part of the trump suit for the round. So if Diamonds are named trump, the Jack of Hearts becomes a Diamond for the round. It must adhere to the rules of following suit when Diamonds are led.
Euchre is a partnership game. Partners sit across from each other at the table. Determine a dealer. That player shuffles the deck and doles out six cards to each player. The cards should be dealt three at a time.
The round begins with a bidding phase.
Each player has an opportunity to bid on how many tricks they think their team can take if they win the bid. The player that bids the highest will either name a trump suit or call no-trump.
Bidding begins with the player to the dealer’s left. This player is referred to as the eldest hand. The eldest may either bid or pass. The minimum bid is three tricks. From there, a player may bid 4, 5, or Moon (meaning six tricks). If a player bids Moon, they will have to play the round without their partner’s help.
The next player may bid Double Moon which doubles the stakes for the round. Once the Moon is doubled, the next player would have to bid Triple Moon in order to win. The highest bid possible is Quadruple Moon. Bonus points are earned for going Moon.
|3||Capture 3 or more tricks as a team|
|4||Capture 4 or more tricks as a team|
|5||Capture 5 or more tricks as a team|
|Moon||Capture 6 tricks alone (12 points)|
|Double Moon||Capture 6 tricks alone (24 points)|
|Triple Moon||Capture 6 tricks alone (32 points)|
|Quadruple Moon||Capture 6 tricks alone (48 points)|
There is only one round of bidding. If each player passes without bidding, the dealer is forced to play with a bid of 3 or more.
The player that wins the bid calls the trump suit for the round. If they wish, they may call no-trump instead. If no-trump is called, Aces are high in all suits.
Whichever team wins the bid is on the hook for capturing at least that many tricks. For example, if Team A wins the bid with 4, they must capture four or more tricks. Failure to do so means the team has been set, and they will lose points from their current score.
THE FIRST TRICK
The eldest hand leads the first trick. If a Moon bid was made, and the player left of the dealer is sitting out for the round, the next player to the left leads.
Players must follow the suit that is led. If a Spade leads the trick, following players must play a Spade if they have one. If a player cannot follow suit, they may play any card. Remember, the Left Bower counts as part of the trump suit. If the trump suit is led, and the Left Bower is the only trump card in hand, it must be played.
Whoever plays the highest card in the lead suit or the highest trump card wins the trick. That player collects the cards and leads.
Continue playing until all six tricks are complete. At that point, it is time to tally up the score for the round.
The defending team (the team that did not win the bid) always scores one point for each trick they capture.
The bid-winning team only earns points if they meet or exceed their bid. Points are earned as follows:
|3, 4, or 5||Must capture at least 3, 4, or 5 tricks depending on the bid.||1 point per trick|
|Moon||Must capture 6 tricks without partner.||12 points|
|Double Moon||Must capture 6 tricks without partner.||24 points|
|Triple Moon||Must capture 6 tricks without partner.||32 points|
|Quadruple Moon||Must capture 6 tricks without partner.||48 points|
If a team fails to meet their bid, they are set back that number of points. Failing a bid of 4 means that team loses four points from their score. Failing a bid of Moon, means that team loses 12 points from their score. It is possible for a team to have a negative score.
After the score has been tallied, collect the cards. Deal passes left each round. Continue playing until one team reaches a score of 32 points or more. That team wins!