Stone idiots

We encountered a player called “joedes3” with a 2583 rating on Yahoo! and an 8411-8690 won-lost record. We encountered a player called “gsmintz” with a 2567 rating and an 1872-1993 won-lost record. We encountered a player called “cupcake799” rated 2642 with a 3552-3575 won-lost record. We encountered a player called “chucks4” with a 2550 rating and a 4606-4656 won-lost record. You tell us how you get a 2500 or 2600 rating losing more than half your games. We encountered a player called “tdkbacondebb” with a 2612 rating and a 2985-3404 won-lost record. You tell us how you get a 2612 rating losing 53 per cent of your games.

The dealer turned down the queen of diamonds; and BeeBop, on her left and holding the left-king of hearts, the ace of clubs, and many other cards of various pips and colors, dutifully called next and led low trump, the king of hearts. Pops, on his left, played the ten; and BeeBop’s partner, MayBee, managed to get in between with the queen. The dealer, Barbaretta, took the trick with the ace of hearts. But BeeBop cashed his ace of clubs on the second trick and his queen of clubs on the third (he had run Pops and Barbaretta out of trump on the first trick). On the fourth trick BeeBop lost his nine of spades lead to Barbaretta’s jack – as his partner, MayBee (rated 1926 on Yahoo!), sluffed the ace of diamonds. Then BeeBop trumped Barbaretta’s fifth trick lead (the queen of spades) with the left bower to salvage the point, he thought – but then out came the right bower from his partner, MayBee (rated 1926 on Yahoo!. Did I mention that?).

Tex had ordered the ten of hearts to his partner, Ugly Bill. All trump had been played except the ten and the king; Tex and Bill led two tricks to one, and Tex led the ace of diamonds to the fourth trick. And Ugly Bill (rated 2168 on Yahoo! ) trumped it, holding his ace of clubs. His left hand opponent overtrumped with the king of hearts and cashed his jack of spades (taking Bill’s ace of clubs with it) for the euchre.

Figmuffin (rated 2175 on Yahoo! ), never led trump on his call or his partner’s, and always led trump to the opponents’ call (dropping both his and his partner’s bowers on the same trick twice in the game). Believe it or not, it was a close game; but they lost. And as his partner was pointing out one of the reasons, Figmuffin booted him, with the admonition, “Learn how to play the game!”

Harry (rated 2195 on Yahoo! ) and his partner were defending against a loner in clubs. Harry sat to the right of the maker, who took the first three tricks; and he saw his partner discard the ace of hearts on the third trick, and the queen of diamonds on the fourth trick (which the dealer took also). Harry, playing last, also discarded a diamond on the fourth trick – the ten – and the maker took the last trick with the nine of diamonds, as Harry played the nine of hearts (and his partner played the king of hearts).

OK, forget that Harry did not read his partner’s signal on the third trick, that he had hearts stopped and that Harry therefore should save something else. Some signals require conventions, and even those that don’t can be misunderstood. But, what did Harry expect to take with the nine (not trump) of anything?

Had he saved a ten in preference to a nine, he would have held the maker to a point instead of four. Is that enough?

Wait! There's more!

Harry’s partner got in his shit, of course; and the maker’s partner came to Harry’s defense! “Not everyone plays the same way,” said Li’l Ida! (rated 1985. “You got that right!” said Harry’s partner. Li’l Ida’s partner, who had just stolen three points, just laughed.)

Twice during the game “Fastgamepleez” led the right bower to the opponents’ call, with no further trump. “Gotta love those leads!” exclaimed an opponent.

“Not me,” said Fast’s partner.

Later, up 8-7, Fast’s partner, left of the dealer, called hearts, holding right bower and king and queen of trump, with the queen and nine of diamonds outside. On the opening lead (of the right bower), both opponents showed out of trump. Fast’s partner then led his nine of diamonds, which Fast took with the ace. Cool, so far. Then Fast led back the left bower and the ace of trump, in succession, stripping his partner of all else he had begun with. Fast’s final lead? The queen of clubs. It was gobbled up, of course, by the opponents – who marched on the next deal and scored on their own for the game (“Fast” was rated 2028 on Yahoo!).

The maker, Fast’s partner, was booted after asking his partner the idiot, “Why lead trump when they have none?” (The host and bootor, “Naughtygirl,” was rated 2151).

The dealer turned down a club; and “BringIt,” to his left, called not “next,” but hearts – and led the jack of spades (i.e., the right bower – in next). He got away with it, even though he lost the first two tricks: His partner had the two bowers he didn’t (and between them they had a guarded bower in every suit. Rated 2017 on Yahoo!).

“Petsaver” (rated 1719 on Yahoo! – that’s “advanced,” you know) had the left bower, ace, king and queen of trump and an outside ace (off color), and the lead – and did not go alone.

Behold the first player to earn more than a paragraph on this page:

Our partner, “Colt452day,” picked up a club on the first hand; we grabbed the first trick with a suit ace, and we led the right bower – stripping the maker, our partner, of his only trump. Yes, we were euchred. “I had four hearts,” he explained. “When I’m all red, someone else is going to be all black. Perhaps it had not occurred to him that it might be his partner or the guy in third chair who was all black (chances 2 out of 3 if the major premise was correct) – or that his partner at least would have a guarded bower in both black suits, as we did.

Two hands later he called spades trump. “Watch him for diamonds!” we warned the opponents.

They laughed, but it was true: Our left-hand opponent led the queen of diamonds, and Colt45 took it with the ace of diamonds and led back a diamond. Fortunately there were enough spades in our own hand to save the point.

OK, you say; no major damage. Maybe his reasoning was not so hot, but he had reasons. Maybe, even, he had great powers of deduction or intuition as to what we held.

Three hands later we called “next,” in diamonds, and led the ten of diamonds away from our left bower; and our left-hand opponent took it with the ace as Colt45 played the queen. Colt45 trumped the next lead with the right bower, and our left was good for a second trick; but that was all she wrote: Another euchre. The opponents were ROFL at this point.

Somehow, nonetheless, we managed to be leading 9 to 5 (don’t ask) when the deal came back our way and we turned the ten of diamonds, holding nine of diamonds, king and queen of spades, ace of hearts and ten of clubs. Came three passes and, just to make sure the worst case scenario of 9 to 9 on their deal did not occur, we picked up the ten of diamonds and tossed the ten of clubs. It was easy: Colt45 held the ace of diamonds and right bower! We took four tricks to win the game as our opponents hit the floor LTAO, one more time, at Colt45’s passing up the diamond (yes, that was the only jack he had; and he had nothing significant in any other suit – his jack of diamonds was not even guarded as a left bower in hearts).

“I’m just having fun,” Colt45 explained (but, at our expense? Well, we left alive. Colt45 had a 2233 rating on Yahoo!).

We held left, ace and ten of hearts, ace of spades and ten of clubs in third chair and ordered up a right bower. Our partner, “Dimwit” (“not his real screen name,” ha, ha), led the king of clubs; and it was cut by the dealer’s partner with the queen of hearts. He led the ten of spades; it was cut by the dealer with the king of hearts, and school was out. But Dimwit had the nine of hearts. If he had simply led trump to the partner who called it, his team would have taken three tricks easily (and maybe four. “Real” screen name, “Eastcoastkid1999”; rated 2330 on Yahoo!).

“Bidhogg” (an aptly named player if ever there was one) held both black bowers and nothing else (well, king and ten of hearts and nine of diamonds), and, on the first play of the game, sitting to the left of the dealer, ordered up the queen of clubs. Fortunately his partner still had the ace of hearts after bidhogg drew trump (and the opponents were drawn out); and, fortunately, Bidhogg had sense enough then to lead his ten of hearts (had he led the diamond, he would have been crucified). But there was absolutely no reason to order: His “next” (spades) would have been every bit as good if the queen of clubs had been turned down (better, actually, since that’s one less trump for the dealer); and he forfeited an opportunity to euchre the opponents by ordering up – not to mention his opening himself up to a greater chance of being euchred by ordering rather than waiting (1949 rating, on Yahoo!).

We are sitting third hand with jack of clubs, jack of spades, queen of clubs, and ace and queen of hearts; and we order up the ace of clubs and go alone. And the dealer's parter leads the king of clubs. Four points, thank you very much (1524 rating, on Yahoo!).

On fourth trick of a marginal call, trailing two tricks to one, maker trumps partner’s ace with left bower – having seen the opponent on his left play off on the right bower, and thus knowing that that opponent is void in trump and that the left is boss. They are euchred on the fifth trick, of course. On the next hand, on defense, after taking the first trick, he leads the right bower, pulling his partner’s unguarded left and losing an almost sure bet to get the euchre back (2120 rating, on Yahoo! Thanks to Jed Taylor).

“OMGWTFRUSAYINGDI” (rated 1713, on Pogo) gets euchred on first hand, deals next hand, picks up a heart, and gets euchred again as the player on his left produces both red jacks. It is now 4 to 0 against him, and he refuses to play any more against the “sandbagger” on his left, insisting that there is a “rule” that you have to order when you have two bowers (ignoring the argument that his opponent had a loner in diamonds, and the fact that – even if he didn’t – he had at least as good a hand in diamonds as he had in hearts). “OMGWTFRUSAYINGDI”’s obstruction of the game is supported by his partner, “JmasterAY”; and there is no relief – it’s a 4-0 “draw.

The dealer’s partner orders up a right bower, and the opponent left of the dealer leads his unguarded left bower. He has no aces, and the makers score two. When his partner comments, “Of all the dumb leads I have ever seen, that was one of them,” he explains, “I thought maybe you had the ace and nine of trump. (“Maybe” he forgot who made trump! 1723 rating, on Pogo).

The lead orders the queen of hearts to his opponent and leads the 10 of hearts. His partner is sitting there with the right bower and ace of hearts, wondering what is going on; but he finesses the ace, takes the trick, and leads back the right bower, to find both opponents out of trump. He then leads the king of clubs and takes the third trick, finding both opponents out of clubs also. So he leads the queen of clubs to take the fourth trick – and his partner cuts it with the left bower – and comes back with a queen of spades, which he loses to the ace on his left (1875 rating, on Yahoo!).

This guy has been chastising his partner for leading trump to his call. Then, at 6 to 6, one of his opponents goes alone; and “Mr. No Trump” has the lead. And he leads the 9 of trump, to the loner, who leads back the right bower, taking Mr. No Trump’s now unguarded left bower and the game (1780 rating, on Yahoo! Thanks to Harvey Lapp, of Euchre Central).

Dealer’s partner calls clubs on second round. After three tricks, all taken by makers, the dealer has the lead; and the opponent to his right has shown out of trump. The dealer leads the ace of hearts; the opponent to his left follows suit, and the dealer’s partner trumps – with the right bower! He leads back the 10 of spades, which the opponent to the dealer’s left takes with the ace of clubs. “Oh!” says the idiot to his partner, the dealer. “I thought you had another trump!” (Earlier he had complained to his partner, “Let’s try to take 2 points instead of 1 for a change. 1853 rating, on Yahoo!)

Sitting to the left of the dealer, he holds the two red jacks and one little heart, one little diamond and one little spade, and he orders up a heart. His partner is sitting there with three diamonds. And they get euchred, of course. His partner suggests that when you have both bowers, you must wait for next (unless you have a fistful of the suit turned). “Oh,” he says. “I never heard that before” (1704 rating, on Pogo).

Ahead 9 to 5, he orders up a right bower – to his opponent – and declares alone. The dealer happens to have the left bower as well, and the orderer is euchred in three tricks (we don’t know if he loses the game; we call it “perhaps the dumbest call” we have ever seen and get booted by unanimous vote for being “rude”) (1490 rating, on Pogo).

“I don’t pull” (1630 rating, on Pogo).

We’ll call them Dick and Jane – not high rated (1582 and 1316, respectively, on Yahoo!) – but this is too good to let go unreported. The dealer picks up the jack of spades and holds right, left and queen of spades, with nine of clubs and jack of diamonds outside – that’s the best he could do with his discard (he threw the nine of hearts), and he just does not feel comfortable going alone with that, and he doesn’t. Dick leads the ace of diamonds, the dealer’s partner has to follow suit (as will the dealer), and Jane trumps it with the nine of spades. Jane leads back the ace of clubs, and Dick trumps it with the ace of spades. Dick leads the king of hearts; the dealer’s partner aces it, and Jane trumps it with the king of spades, forcing the dealer to overtrump with a bower. Whew! All of a sudden that near loner became a squeaker: When the dealer leads his remaining bower, Dick coughs up the ten of spades. The dealer thanks Dick and Jane profusely for getting the trump out for him as he cashes his queen of spades for the point. (“I dunno why I did that!” Dick had exclaimed after he trumped his partner’s ace on the second trick. “I thought you were just getting even with your partner!” the dealer commented.)

Dealer picks up a bower. His partner is fortunate enough to take the first trick and leads back the nine of trump, on which the dealer lays the queen – which he loses, of course, to an unguarded left bower (and he is euchred, of course). “I didn’t know where the ace was,” he explains (1845 rating, on Yahoo!).

Third hand orders a diamond. His partner has no trump but leads a small spade, which the maker manages to take with the king (the ace is buried. The maker has no aces, not even the ace of trump). The maker does have three trump – king high – but fails to lead one. The dealer has the right bower, and his partner has the left, unguarded; they cash the bowers separately, and they euchre, of course (2728 rating, on Yahoo!. This was not a situation of desperation; the score was 1 to 1 before the euchre).

“Metew68” (rated 2041 on Yahoo!) ordered a heart from third chair. I, her partner, had none; so I led my queen of clubs. “Metew68” took the trick with her ace of clubs. But that’s the only trick we took. “I always call when I have two trump,” she explained. We lost, 10-0.

    The score was tied 6 to 6, and our opponents had the deal. Earl, my partner (rated 3480 on Yahoo!), had the right bower and nothing else; and he ordered up! I had nothing, either; and we were euchred, of course. The opponents then marched on the next hand. End of game, end of story. The moral? (if it's not perfectly clear already): If you feel you have to get euchred to prevent a lone march, do it on “next,” not when you have the stopper and control of the call.

 Herb, rated 1948 on Pogo, and I, his partner, led 9 to 7; and Herb was in the lead.  Holding both red jacks, the queen of diamonds and the ace and 9 of clubs, he ordered up the king of hearts.  It just so happened that I had the queen, ten and nine of hearts; and, of course, we marched, to win 11 to 7.

But it was a stupid order.  What if the dealer had had my three hearts?  that would have given him a hand with four hearts (possibly five, and, if not, probably a ruff of my partner's ace of clubs).  Had my partner passed, he still would have been in a great position for a euchre; and if the dealer turned down, my partner had an even better hand in diamonds – "next" – a loner, even.

Granted, we did not need a loner, or even a euchre; but why order up when your odds are even better passing?
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