Euchre if the most popular card game in Cornwall and has become part of traditional Cornish Culture. A whist based game which may have come back from America with migrant miners of vice versa. It is played in competive pairs and was the first game in the world to use the joker as a gaming card. The joker in the Cornish version of the game is the highest trump known as the “benny” the highest jacks from the same colour suit are known as the right and left bower. Cornish Euchre is played with every card above and including the 9 (including ace) and is scored 9, 10,jack, queen, king, ace and in a trump suit 9,10,queen, king, ace jack (other suit same colour), jack (from the same suit), joker (benny). Extra points can be earned for “going alone”.
These are rules used by the St Austell Euchre League.
The first deal is for who starts the play. There is no hard and fast rule as to who deals first but whoever deals will offer the cards to the player on the right to cut.
(This can sometimes be a bit of a grey area as some Euchre schools allow tapping of the cards’ or bumping. We prefer the cards cut well into the pack to keep them well mixed up)
The dealer will then deal a single card face up to each player starting with the player to the left until a Jack of any suit is turned up. The player receiving the Jack is the person who starts the main play.
The start player or dealer offers the cards to the player on the right to cut and then starting with the player on the left deals each player 3 cards on the first round and two cards on the second round.
The remaining cards are placed face down on the table and the top card is turned face up.
The card turned up is now the active card on which players can make trumps. In the St Austell League the dealer is always the first player to call or shout.
The dealer can now pick up his/her cards and look at them. The rest of the players cards remain face down on the table.
The dealer can now choose to pick the card up with a partner, or turn their partner down by saying “I’ll go alone “or “Pass” if the card is not wanted. If the dealer decides to pick the card up he cannot now be turned down as the card picked up must be played.
If the dealer passes, the opposition player to their left can now pick up their own cards and either order the dealer to pick up the card and play, with or without a partner or say “Pass”
If this player also passes, the dealers partner can now pick up their own cards and decide to either pass or turn the active card down. If the active card is turned down the player will have to go alone.
If this player also decides to pass, it is up to the final player to pick up their cards and choose to either order the dealer to pick the card up and play with or without a partner, or pass.
If all the players pass on the first round the active card is turned face down on the pack or (sleeping hand) and each player, starting with the dealer can decide to pass or make trumps of any suit they wish, except for the suit that was passed on the first round.
If all players pass on the first and second round that deal is finished and the deal goes to the player on the dealers left.
The object of the game is to be the first pair to reach 21 points and the following is how the points are scored.
A lone shout making all 5 tricks = 4 points.
A lone shout making 3 or 4 tricks = 1 point.
A lone shout making less than 3 tricks is a euchre and 2 points are awarded to the opposing team.
A shout with a partner, making all 5 tricks = 2 points.
A shout with a partner making 3 or 4 tricks = 1 point.
A shout with a partner making less than 3 tricks is a euchre and 2 points are awarded to the opposing team