Euchre, a game of cards, usually played by two or four persons with a pack from which all the cards from 2 to 6 inclusive have been withdrawn. Before commencing the game, the players draw for the deal, which belongs to him who first draws a knave. The pack having been cut by his opponent, or, in four-handed euchre, by his right-hand adversary, the dealer distributes five cards to each player, including himself, commencing at his left, and giving first two and then three, and turns up the 11th card (in four-handed euchre the 21st). The cards have the same relative value as in whist, except that the knave of trumps, called the right bower, is the highest card in the pack, and the other knave of the same color, called the left bower, the next highest; after which come ace, king, etc. Players must in all cases follow suit, and the left bower is invariably to be considered a trump. The game consists of five points. The deal having been completed, the elder hand has the privilege of deciding whether the suit turned up shall be trumps. If he desires to retain it as such, he "orders up" the trump card, in which case the dealer rejects a card from his hand and takes that which he has turned up.
In that case, however, the elder hand must take three tricks, constituting a point, or he is, technically speaking, "euchred;" that is, his adversary is entitled to score two points. If, on the other hand, he does not choose to order up the card, he says, "I pass," and the same privilege, with similar conditions, belongs to the next player, and so on. When all the [•layers, including the dealer, have passed, the latter turns down the card, and the elder hand has the privilege of designating the suit which shall be trumps, which must however be another than that previously turned up. If he names a trump, he must score his point or bo euchred; and if he is unwilling to take the risk, he passes again. When all the players have passed for the second time, they throw up their cards, and the elder hand succeeds to the deal. A player making all five tricks makes what is called a "march," and is entitled to score two; taking either three or four tricks, he scores but one. In four-handed euchre, in which the players sitting opposite to each other are partners, as in whist, a player having good cards will sometimes desire to "play the hand alone," without the assistance of his partner.
If under these circumstances he makes a march, he scores four points; but if euchred, his adversaries score two. The game has been recently modified by the addition of a blank card, called "the yerker" or "little joker," which is the highest in the pack. The game is sometimes played by three persons, in which case any two will combine against the third who may have " taken up " the hand; if they succeed in euchring him, each of them scores two points. This is sometimes called "the cutthroat game," since either of the three players is at any time liable to be opposed by the other two. - The game of euchre is peculiar to the United States, where it is a universal favorite, being preferred by many to whist. Its origin is not known with certainty, but it is supposed to have been invented in Pennsylvania. It has been recently introduced into England.