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Texas Euchre

A free for all game with two phases, a draw phase, and a trick taking phase.

The goal is to have the highest hand as early as possible, and take tricks with that hand.

Accumulate points over the course of several rounds and you'll end the game, and lose. Avoid points to win.

Recommended number of players: 4

What You'll Need

  • A standard deck of playing cards, Jokers removed.
  • A way to keep score (counters, pen and paper, a smartphone, etc.)

Setting Up

Deal five cards to each player. Players take turns being the dealer.

Note: if playing with three or five players, deal 4 and 6 cards, respectively.

Place the remaining cards in the center. This is the draw deck.

Drawing Up

Starting on the player to the dealer's left, lay down up to all of your cards face up in front of you. Replace that number of cards from the draw pile into your hand. Your turn is now over. This continues until a player lays down their hand, signaling the end of the draw phase, moving into the trick taking phase.

The objective of the game is to have the highest cards (on average), as quickly as possible, so discard your lowest cards.

Laying Down

At the beginning of your turn, if you feel you have the highest hand at the table, lay your cards face down in front of you. This is called throwing down, and signals the last turn until the end of the draw phase.

You cannot throw down on your first turn. See the FAQ.

Last Draw

This is the last turn until the beginning of the trick taking phase.

Players do not have to draw cards on the last draw phase turn.

Facing Off

When the player who originally laid down is reached, they are the first to lead in the trick taking phase. They lay down a card from their hand, giving each player, starting on the left of the lead, a chance to beat it. Higher cards win. Ties are resolved to whomever threw the tying card last.

Whoever has the highest card takes the trick, and leads with the next card. That player should take the cards played that turn, and keep them in a pile next to them to signify one trick taken. Play continues until all five tricks are won.

Whoever had the least amount of tricks takes as many points as they had laid down during the draw phase. Ties for last place all take points.

If the player who originally laid down takes the least number of tricks, they take double the points in front of them. Players who tie for the most tricks are all considered as taking the most tricks that round.

If the player who threw down takes all five tricks, all other players take double the points in front of them.

Next Round

The player to the left of the previous dealer is now the dealer.

Game End

The game ends when any player hits a specified number of points, for instance, 100.

When this happens, the player with the least number of points wins.

Example Round

Four players, A, B, C and D somehow choose Player A to deal the first round.

Player A deals five cards to all players. Play begins with Player B.

Draw Phase, 1st Round.

No players may throw down this round.

Player B: 2♣ 10♦ 10♠ J♥ A♣

  • discards the 2♣, and draws a new card, 4♥.

(Player B discards by placing the 2♣ face up, in front of them.)

Player C: 6♦ 8♥ 9♥ 9♣ Q♥

  • discards the 6♦, and draws a 5♠.

Player D: 5♥ 7♥ J♦ J♠ Q♣

  • discards the 5♥ and the 7♥, and draws a 4♦ and a 5♣.

Player A: 4♠ 8♦ 9♠ K♥ K♦

  • discards the 4♠, and draws a 7♣.

Draw Phase, 2nd Round.

Player B:

Chooses to throw down. They draw no cards, and instead place their hand face down on the table.

Player C:

  • discards the 5♠ and draws a 3♣.

Player D:

  • discards the 4♦ and the 5♣, and draws a 7♦ and a 3♠.

Player A:

  • chooses to draw zero cards.

Trick Phase, 1st Round

So far the points in front of each player are as follows:

Player Cards Possible Points
Player A 4♠ 4
Player B 2♣ 2
Player C 5♠ 6♦ 11
Player D 4♦ 5♣ 5♥ 7♥ 21

For reference, here is each player's hand:

Player Hand
Player A 7♣ 8♦ 9♠ K♥ K♦
Player B 4♥ 10♦ 10♠ J♥ A♣
Player C 3♣ 8♥ 9♥ 9♣ Q♥
Player D 3♠ 7♦ J♦ J♠ Q♣

Player B leads, plays an A♣.

Player C plays a 3♣

Player D plays a 3♠

Player A plays a 7♣

Player B takes the trick, and so collects these cards and places them in a single stack, face down by them.

Trick Phase, 2nd Round

Player Card Winner?
Player B 4♥
Player C Q♥
Player D 7♦
Player A K♦

Player A takes the trick, and leads next round.

Trick Phase, 3rd Round

Player Card Winner?
Player A K♥
Player B 10♦
Player C 8♥
Player D J♠

Player A takes the trick.

Trick Phase, 4th Round

Player Card Winner?
Player A 8♦
Player B J♥
Player C 9♣
Player D Q♣

Player D takes the trick.

Trick Phase, Final Round

Player Card Winner?
Player D J♦
Player A 9♠
Player B 10♠
Player C 9♥

Player D takes the trick.

End of Round Results

Player Tricks Taken Points Earned
Player A 2 0
Player B 1 2
Player C 0 11
Player D 2 0

Player B takes the points in front of them for not winning first after throwing down.

At this point, the next round begins exactly as the first, except that Player B becomes the dealer.

FAQ

Can I lay down on the very first round?

No, you have to draw at least one card the first round. You can lay down the second round, though.

Can I play my cards in any order during the trick taking phase?

Yes. You should save your best cards for when you're last to take action. This will reduce your chances of taking zero tricks that round.

What if I don't lay down, but I take all five tricks?

You don't force the table to take double points.

What if I throw down, but come in second?

You take the number of points in front of you.

What if I don't throw down, but I don't come in last, either?

You take zero points.

What happens if a game ends with two players who both have the lowest score?

Whoever took points last loses. If both players both took points in the same round together, the one who took the most points that round loses.

What happens if all players exhaust the deck during the draw phase?

All players forfeit the trick taking round. Everyone is considered to have 0 tricks, and take all points in front of them.

Variants

Three Players

All rules are the same except starting hands are four cards.

Five Players

All rules are the same except starting hands are six cards.

Six Players

A second deck should be used to accommodate for that many players. Deal seven cards to each player.

Reverse Texas Euchre

All rules are the same except trick taking becomes a "loser-takes-all" affair.

Instead of trying to have the highest card, players are only concerned with not having the lowest card. Players who played the lowest card that turn take the trick, and the loser is the one with the most tricks.