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The ESG&EC, in conjunction with card master Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson (B.Eu), Dean of Trumps at the prestigious Earlwood Euchre University (EEU), safeguard the rules, traditions, etiquette and professional standards of the game of Earlwood Euchre. The two are joint authors of the game's bibles, Rules of Earlwood Euchre and it's associated interpretive text, SECE Decisions on the Rules, Traditions, Etiquette and Professional Standards of Earlwood Euchre. The later is based on the judgments of the Supreme Euchre Court of Earlwood.
The following excerpts are taken from Rules of Earlwood Euchre (1973) as amended published by Earlwood Printing, a division of the ESG&EC. This text has now surpassed Hoyle's Rules of Games to become the primary and definitive reference source for players of Earlwood Euchre.
All games must be played with the Queens Slipper brand of playing cards. Jokers, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and 6s are discarded, leaving a playing deck of 32 cards.
Euchre is not an outdoor game! It must be played indoors, preferably on licensed premises, and close to a plentiful supply of Resch's draught beer.
To start the game, players draw cards and the one with the highest card deals first. The dealer gives each player five cards (a hand), in lots of 2 and 3. The next card in the pack, the turn-up card, is exposed face up on the deck. The deal moves clockwise around the table.
If a card is found face up in the deck during the deal, or if the deck is found to be incorrect, the dealer must correct the problem, reshuffle and start the deal again. The deal is considered complete when the dealer exposes the turn-up card. From this point if any player has more or less than 5 cards the dealer has misdealt and forfeits the deal.
The suit of the turn-up card is the first option for trumps. Each player, in turn and starting with the player to the left of the dealer, has the choice to pass or call that suit trumps. An opponent of the dealer, if he wants to call that suit trumps, must order the dealer up. If the dealer's partner wants to call that suit trumps, he must turn the dealer down and go alone. If the dealer wants to call that suit trumps, he takes the card up. If everyone passes, the dealer places the turn-up card face down on top of the deck. Each player then, in turn, has a second and final chance to pass or make trumps but the call must be for one of the other three suits. If all players pass a second time, the hands are thrown in and the deal is passed on.
Only the dealer can accept the turn-up card or be ordered, by his opponents, to accept it. Both calls make the turn-up card suit trumps and allow the dealer the right to a the turn-up card to his hand. The dealer then discards a card of his choice.
The dealer's partner is the only player who can turn the dealer down. The call requires the dealer to place the turn-up card and his own hand face down on the deck. The dealer's partner must then play the hand alone against his two opponents.
Whoever calls trumps becomes the maker and, with the exception of turning the dealer down, has the right to play the hand alone. If the maker goes alone his partner must return his hand face down to the deck and stay out of the play.
Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer leading a card to start the first trick. If able, a player must follow suit on the lead. If he cannot follow suit, he may play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump or, if it contains no trumps, by the highest card played of the lead suit. The winner of the trick leads the first card for the next trick.
A player who does not follow suit when able reneges. A player may correct his renege before the trick is gathered, otherwise it stands as established. If the player corrects his renege, the cards played on the trick after his may be retracted and, in turn and if now required to win the trick, be replaced by another card. For an established renege, the opponents of the offender a 2 points to their score.
With the exception of an established renege, only the side that wins three or more tricks scores. Winning all five tricks is called a march. When the making side fails to win the majority of tricks it is euchred. The making side, when both are playing, scores 1 point for winning three or four tricks, or 2 for a march. A maker playing alone scores 1 point for winning three or four tricks, or 4 for a march. Opponents of the maker score 2 points for a euchre. It is customary for each side to keep track of the number of points it has won by use of two cards, a five and a six.
The first side to score 11 points wins the game.
Table talk falls into one of two categories - gamesmanship or cheating. The first can add to a game while the second, if not prematurely ending the game in uproar, detracts substantially from it. Determining which category a comment falls into depends to a great extent on who said it - an opponent or your partner. If you deal and turn up a bower, an opponent might pass by muttering, "I never order up a bower." This is considered gamesmanship - a bluff or a dare to the dealer. The same thing said solely by the dealer's partner would be considered inappropriate. If on the other hand your opponent says, "I never order up a bower", and your partner then replies "Nor do I", that's a gamesmanship return of serve!
An opponent of the dealer may attempt to suggest to the dealer that he holds a strong hand by hesitating before passing. That's gamesmanship - once again it should be considered a bluff or a dare to the dealer. The dealer's partner however, after checking his cards, is required to pass promptly when it's his turn. Hesitation on his part would be considered cheating.
After everyone has played a card, the team that wins the trick is expected to remove the cards from the centre of the table. This task would normally fall to the non-winning partner to allow his teammate to concentrate on his lead. The trick is then placed in front of the winning team.
When the same teams play consecutive games, the losers (mugs) are granted the first deal of the new game without cutting the cards.
Dealers must greet a bower turn-up card with a whistle and a Benny Hill style salute.