You are sitting just left of the dealer and he turns up the Jack of Spades.
You look at your hand and realize that you must pass.
Much to your surprise, everyone passes and the dealer turns the black bower down. You are first to act. What would you do?
Although it might look too risky at first, making Clubs trump in this scenario is actually a reasonable and recommended bid. Plus, with the black bower turned down, your opponents are likely to destroy you in a red suit!
Making the suit of the same color that was turned down trump is known as NEXT or HOYLE in many euchre circles. Mathematically, it is a proven winner.
The concept of Next is simple.
If a black upcard (in this case Spades) is passed and then turned down by the dealer, the dealing team for the most part indicates that they do not have the Left Bower and/or side-ace help, otherwise they would probably try it. It also works the same of course for the red suits with a red upcard.The higher the upcard that is turned in fact, the stronger the chance that the dealing team is dry. When the dealer turns down a black bower, and you sit in first seat without the other black Jack, there is a good reason to believe that your partner has it.
In the event that it is buried, the next highest trump out there would be the Ace (the Left was turned down).
In this example, the dealer turned down the Jack of Spades. You are holding the King and Nine of Clubs. Clubs are the NEXT color. Although you risk being euchred, the odds are actually in favor of your partnership scoring a point.
It is also important to note that having the side-ace is a must when calling with only two trump, preferably the opposite color of trump. Your hand has a singleton Ace of Hearts in the example above, which is a very likely winner after all the trump is out.
Note: It is imperative that you are void in at least one suit, otherwise PASS. This is the suit that you cut into with trump when it is led.
There are many different ways to play this hand which could work, and you can only reasonably expect to take two tricks yourself, that is, as long as you don't screw it up by leading the Ace of Hearts first, which would allow the opponents a cheap shot at it! Count on your partner for at least one, and expect it to be big!
The bottom line is, the score dictates how much you are willing to gamble. If you are likely to lose the game without calling "next", you could sometimes score a point with only a single small trump and a prayer.
Any euchre neophyte can figure out what to call when they are dealt three big trump and two side aces. It's the mediocre cards which gather in the meantime that separate the apprentices from the journeymen.
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