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11 Most Popular Euchre Variations

Updated: Oct 10, 2023
Euchre variations
Euchre has been played for many years in several parts of the world. Because of its popularity, the game has multiple different variations. This includes variants played with a standard deck, 32 cards, or even a double deck.

It is also possible to play Euchre with 2 to people. Other game versions have applied slight changes and tweaks to the initial rules. Here are our picks of common Euchre variations.

1. North American Euchre

This is the classic Euchre, played with a standard 24-card deck by 4 people. Two teams compete against each other, and the winner is the first that reach 10 points.

We won’t dive into details because the North American Euchre is the game mode at Euchre.com with a dedicated rules page. Read the complete Euchre rules.

2. British Euchre

The British variation of Euchre is played with 25 cards – a joker is added to the regular deck. So the cards used in the game are 9, 10, J, Q, K, A plus one joker.

The Joker is considered the highest-ranking card of the trump suit. Players often referred to the joker card as Benny or Best Bower.

The trump suit consists of 8 cards. For example, if Hearts are trumps, the ranking will be:

  • The Joker (Best Bower)
  • Jack of Hearts (Right Bower)
  • Jack of Diamonds (Left Bower)
  • Ace of Hearts
  • King of Hearts and so on.

When someone leads with the Best Bower, other players must play a card of the trump suit.

If the dealer’s partner accepts the trump in the first round of bidding, that player must play alone.

3. Canadian loner

The North American Euchre rules apply with one change. If you decide to make the trump and your partner is the current dealer, you must go alone.

Unlike the British Euchre, this rule is valid for both bidding rounds. So it doesn’t matter if you decide to accept the turned face-up card as a trump suit or make a trump of your choosing. If the dealer is your partner, you play alone. Read more about Going Alone in Euchre.

4. Stick the dealer

This is the perfect solution for the game to advance faster.

If all players pass in the second round of bidding, the dealer must make trump. Players are put in a difficult situation where they have to play a hand they don’t want to.

5. 32-card Euchre

32-card Euchre is a variant that uses a deck of 32 cards, which includes the 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A cards of each suit). At Euchre.com, you can choose whether you will be dealt 5 cards or 7 cards. When 5 cards are dealt, the scoring is the same as with the North American Euchre.

If you play the variant of holding 7 cards, the score changes. For example:

  • If the Makers win more than half but not all tricks they score 1 point. This means winning 4 to 6 tricks.
  • If the makers win fewer than half of the tricks then the defenders score 2 points. This means winning 3 tricks or less.
  • If a defender is playing alone (only possible in custom games) and wins more than half of the tricks, the defenders score 4 points. This means winning 4 or more tricks.

For matchmaking rooms, the team that reaches 10 points first wins the game session. For custom rooms, the user can configure the number of points needed to win a session.

6. Partner’s Best

In “Partner’s Best”, if a maker goes alone, they have the option to exchange one card with their partner. They must first discard a card from their hand before trick-taking starts. After discarding, their partner gives them one card in return. This exchange allows the maker to potentially improve their hand or tailor it to their strategy for the round.

After the card exchange, the maker plays the hand as a solo player, aiming to win all five tricks.

7. Euchre for 2 players

Playing Euchre with 2 people can be fun too. The rules are very similar to the classic variation.

Each player receives a standard hand of 5 cards. In addition, they also get 3 more cards but are not allowed to see them. After naming the trump suit, players can use all 8 cards to make the best possible 5-card hand.

A player can still decide to go alone and try to win more points. In that case, they aren’t allowed to use the additional 3 cards.

We have another article that covers a different variant of the Two-handed Euchre.

8. Euchre for 3 players

In the three-handed Euchre, there is a single “dummy” player position. Each participant, including the dummy, is dealt a hand of cards. The Maker is the player who names the trump suit. That player always goes alone, and the other two form a team – the Defenders.

The Maker can pick the best five cards to play with using the dummy hand. They will get 3 points if they manage to win all 5 tricks. The dummy hand can’t be used if the Maker decides to go alone.

9. Euchre for 5 players

For a game of Euchre for five players, you’d need the standard deck by including the 8s and a pair of 2s (or alternatively the jokers). In this variant, the 2s or jokers serve as the highest trump cards for any suit. This one is not a game of partnerships, since teams change for each hand.

The game involves dealing five 5-card hands, with the top card of the kitty upturned. The dealer cannot view their cards during the first round of bidding, during which any suit can be called. Read more about the five-handed version of Euchre here.

10. Euchre for 6 players

When six people play Euchre, they form 3 teams of 2 players. The card deck consists of 32 cards – 7s and 8s are added to the regular deck. Players can use and 2 jokers, making the deck of 34 cards. In that case, the jokers are always the highest-ranked trumps.

There is one Maker and two Defenders teams. If the Makers are unsuccessful, both Defenders teams score points.

If one of the players chooses to go alone, their teammates do not participate in the current round.

Six-handed Euchre can also be played by 2 teams, each consisting of 3 players.

11. Euchre for 7 players

The seven-handed variant is played with a full pack of cards, plus the Joker. Seven cards are dealt to each player, leaving four on the table. The player to the left of the dealer makes the first bid and names the suit. No matter which suit is called, the Joker is always the strongest card. Each hand consists of seven cards. Other than that, the rules of the five-handed variant apply.

There are many Euchre variations, and no matter which one you play, you will always need a solid plan to win the game. Knowing what to do in specific situations may help to accomplish your goal. So you should check our list of the most commonly used Euchre strategies. Create a free account and start mastering the game.