Cheating at Euchre Means You’re Doing It Right

Euchre is a card game popular in the Midwest. It’s a trick-taking game that plays out like a simplified form of bridge, with a smaller deck (9 through Ace of all four suits) and radically simplified process of bidding/contract and scoring. It’s the perfect combination of skill, chance and bluster, and goes quickly to boot, which makes it ideal for playing while drunk.

Anyway, Donlak at Paradigm Shift recently posted “Dispatches from the Hamster Zone,” in which he quotes from a piece which itself quotes the petty reasons women gave for breaking up with their boyfriends (or, “the moment you knew he wasn’t ‘The One.'”)

One of the reasons was truly jaw-dropping: “He told me he cheats at Euchre (a simple card game). Oh, he’s a college professor.” –lafriedland

Back up the truck. Euchre has a long and distinguished history of cheating. Euchre is in fact remarkable as a card game in that it has been so associated with cheating that cheats have become park of the regular gameplay, and looking out for cheating is a large part of the fun. Stealing the deal (dealing out of turn without the proper dealer noticing) and renege (playing cards out of suit) are two popular ways of skirting the rules, so common that point penalties are assessed if the player is caught and a statute of limitations is enforced to further incentivize the cheat.

Euchre also has a bizarre quirk where the jack of the off-suit the same color of the trump suit (e.g. the Jack of Clubs if the trump is Spades) acts as a trump-suit card. (specifically, the rank order is Jack, off-Jack, Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9). You KNOW that must have come about because somebody was drunk off his keester, played the wrong jack by mistake, and another drunk player decided it was cool to do so, just didn’t want to argue about it or wanted to challenge the player to keep up the ruse. Playing the left bower not as the trump suit (which itself can become a renege) is the most hilariously common mistake made by novice players.

The point of all this is: that woman clearly doesn’t understand Euchre, because if you’re not cheating at it, you’re not playing by the rules. But she did the guy a favor, because it’s not worth staying with someone who doesn’t understand such an important game.

(Picture from


Filed under off the donkey rails

11 responses to “Cheating at Euchre Means You’re Doing It Right

  1. FFY

    Euchre/Pepper is the shit.

    I will admit that I cheat when I play with my cuz.

    If he bids before me, I’ll hold my cards with 3 fingers showing if I have an indicator bid (but obviously can’t get it off since he goes before me). And vice versa.

    More than a few big bids have been pulled off thanks to this, and I’m not ashamed haha.

  2. mmaier2112

    Why would a gay bar website use a pic of a hot chick for its Euchre event?

  3. AnonymousDog

    “Euchre” is often used as a verb which essentially means “to cheat by some manipulation or abuse of the rules”. “Jack got euchred out of his place in line by the girl whose boyfriend was next in line behind Jack.”

  4. Bob

    It’s only cheating if you get caaught. Well, at least that’s what I tell myself.

  5. Candide

    Generally it’s the small irrelevant stuff that irritates women or attracts their attention the most, while they’d let the big stuff slide.*

    Cheat at a card game – he’s not The One.

    Deal drugs – he’s really a good man, just misunderstood! <3 <3 <3

    * I actually first read that in Sherlock Holmes as Sherlock gamed the chickas to obtain clues for his cases.

  6. ASF

    (beta) guys find “quirks” in women so endearing, meanwhile a woman will reject you if you wear purple.

  7. Ah, some of my best memories of traveling are trying to teach Euchre to groups of non-native English speakers entirely in English. Even though I gently hinted at the whole cheating aspect (“Now, you’re not suppoooooosed to this, but…”), it didn’t come into play since nobody had any clue what was going on. Good times.

  8. Point of clarification: FFY is describing bid euchre (also known as Pepper), which involves bidding on the number of tricks you and your partner plan to take, akin to bridge or spades.

    The Badger plays the simpler form of “Knock Euchre,” where the number of tricks in the contract is fixed at 3 – the offense gets a point for taking three tricks, while the defense gets two points for keeping the offense from taking three tricks (getting “Euchred”).

  9. Coded table-talk, the ability to eye the deck as you shuffle and deal cards accordingly in 3/2 or 1/4 combinations, marked cards…..the game is all about cheating.

  10. Oh, yeah. Where you trying for a large meta-point here Badger? Seems like you are suggesting that if you weren’t understand the unwritten rules of the SMP you weren’t doing it right…..

  11. Don

    Any good Euchre player can spot a cheater a mile away. The above tactics may work when playing at the kitchen table with friends. Try them at a Euchre tournament and you will be asked to leave. For more information on proper strategies on Euchre Visit OhioEuchre.Com

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