The Columbus Book of Euchre

East Indianapolis Women’s Euchre Club

Euchre is said to have originated among
the Pennsylvania Dutch in the mid-19th
century, but that’s like saying baseball orig-
inated in Cooperstown. . . . It’s the “poor
man’s bridge” of the Northeast and Mid-
west, and perhaps nowhere more popular
than in Indiana, where genteel old ladies of
the middle and lower classes assemble in
one another’s homes on weekday after-
noons in euchre clubs.

A much rougher version is played by their
sons – it is no game for the unskilled or the
faint at heart. The purpose of this book is
to enable you to survive if you ever get into
a game with the boys from Columbus. . . .

In Columbus the dealer, instead of offer-
ing the deck for the cut, may just slap his
hand on the table. If the player to his right
manages to hit the dealer’s hand before it
leaves the table, the dealer must offer the
deck; otherwise it is a legal cut. . . .

My dad, an avid bridge player, says eu-
chre is a bullshit game. Columbus euchre
is a bullshit game – a certain amount of ta-
ble talk amounts to acceptable technique.
Do not underestimate the power of annoy-
ance at such remarks as “That’s the first
time I’ve ever been euchred!”, and
“Wrong color!” on any lead – whether
from your partner or an opponent. . . .

The Columbus Cut

Lead Your Lone Ace

“What do I lead?” is the most frequent
question of the beginner. Also a frequent
subject of dispute between experienced
partners, leading is esoteric and intuitional;
and to sum it up in a few basic rules would
be to deny the essence of euchre. A few
pointers for the beginner, however:

Lead your ace – If you have a lone ace,
or an ace with only one other card of that
suit, lead it. The point of the game is to
take tricks, is it not? If you have only one
or two cards in a suit off color from trump,
there is a fair chance your opponents will
have that suit, too. If you save the ace,
an opponent may find an opportunity to
void himself in its suit. But see also
Lead King from A-K-x” . . . .

Don’t sit between the markers, don’t
order up anything you can’t catch, don’t
trump your partner’s ace, don’t steal the
deal from your partner, and — get the
horse off the rider!
Putting the horse
on the rider is not only unlucky, it is stu-
pid. The six is the horse; the four is the
rider. Which is heavier? Do I have to
ask? Which is supposed to provide the
transportation? Do I have to ask? If
you get anywhere with the horse on the
rider, it won’t be far, and it won’t be fast.

“Sitting with the bathtub” does not apply
to euchre. . . .


Horse on Rider

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