Bid Euchre is a variation on the card game Euchre. There are many versions of Bid Euchre. This document describes the rules used to play one of these versions. Our version is known to be played in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
Bid Euchre consists of six players in teams of three. Team members are seated alternately so that each person is seated beside an opponent.
Cards are dealt evenly to each player, and the deck used is a double Euchre deck, also known as a Pinochle deck. This includes four suits (Spades, Diamonds, Clubs, and Hearts) of each face (9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace). Since we use a double deck, there is a duplicate of each card. Each player received 8 cards. There is no 'correct' way of dealing, but the program will always deal 3 cards, then a second three, then a final two to each player. Dealing is clockwise starting with the player to the left of the dealer and ending with the dealer his/herself.
At the beginning of each round of play (after the cards are dealt), the players begin a round of bidding for the trump suit and number of tricks. Starting to the left of the dealer, each player makes a bid. Bids consist of a number of tricks (1-8), and a suit (i.e. 4 Spades). No-trump bids are also permissible, with the cards being ace-high or ace-low. So a bid may be 3 Low or 5 High, for example. A final kind of Bid is the 'Best' bid. In this Bid, the bidder asks his/her partners for their 'best' of a certain trump (no-trump also being permissible). Each partner gives one card to the bidder, their 'best' in the declared trump (or no-trump). The partners of the 'best' bidder do not participate in the following round. The bidder must get all 8 tricks without any assistance from the partners save the single card they gave. A player may pass if he/she does not wish to make a bid. Bidding ends either when a player makes a 'best' bid, or when the dealer has bid or pass. Each bid must surpass the previous bids in number of tricks. If someone has bid 3 tricks, the subsequent players must bid at least 4 or pass. A bid of 8 tricks can only be surpassed by a 'best' bid.
The player who made the bid leads the first trick. Subsequent tricks are led by the person who captured the previous trick. Tricks are captured by playing the highest card on the trick. In no-trump ace high, or a suited trump, the cards are ordered from ace being the highest card, to nine being the lowest. Suit is important in two ways. First, the lowest trump card is higher than any non-trump card. This means a nine of the trump suit is always higher than the ace of any other suit. The jacks are also special when trump is declared. The jack of the trump suit is the highest card, and is called the Right Bower. The jack of the suit which matches the color of the trump suit (spades/clubs and diamonds/hearts) is called the Left Bower, and is the second highest card. When playing non-trump cards, the Ace is only highest if it matches the lead card's suit. In other words, if the lead card is the king of clubs, only the ace of clubs is higher. Players must follow the lead card suit if they have it, otherwise they may play as they wish. When no-trump ace low is bid, nines are the highest card and aces are lowest. Finally, since we are playing with a double-deck, the first played card is always higher than its duplicate.
A team scores points by capturing tricks. The bidding team must capture minimally the number of tricks they bid, otherwise they are 'euchred'. If the bidding team is 'euchred', they lose points equal to the number of tricks they bid. If they are not 'euchred', they earn points equal to the number of tricks captured. The opposing team always earns points equal to the number of tricks captured. In addition to tricks, 'best' bids come with an 8 point bonus if you make them, or an 8 point penalty if you get 'euchred'.
A team wins by reaching 54 points. Since both teams can earn points, if both teams reach 54 points simultaneously, the winning team is the one who made the bid. Conversely, if a team gets 54 points 'in the hole' (-54 points by being euchred), they lose automatically.