"General tips on playing your hand"
A. The best lead in a few common situations:
1. Scenario: You are in first seat and your partner orders, or names trump.
The Lead: By all means, lead your highest trump if you have one.
I find it unfortunate, but I have come across many characters on the Internet whose player information says something to the effect of "don't lead trump when I order because I often order thin". In actuality, if their call is that thin, they will probably get euchred too often regardless of what you do. Find a better partner if you lead trump when your partner orders and he/she becomes angry with you.
Also: If you don't have trump, lead something you think your partner can ruff.
The suit that you have the most of or the same- color suit as trump, but not an Ace. Which leads us to...
Don't lead an off- suit Ace on the first trick!
There are a few exceptions (ie. You have at least two suits led by an Ace), but in general, an Ace that could potentially become a valuable trick near the end of a hand will very often get ruffed if led on the first trick. Usually, trump needs to be drawn first.
2. Scenario: You are the maker and you won the first trick with a low trump. You have two trumps left (but never had the boss) plus two low cards of a side- suit.
Lead the side- suit. Not only is this an "almost mandatory" move to prevent being euchred (remember that this is euchre, one can get lucky by blindly leading low trump and find that the higher ones are buried), it also gives your partner a chance to assist, and it might establish the side- suit for a later lead. As obvious as this play is to some of us, I frequently witness players on the Internet failing miserably in this scenario.
It's not only the cards you are dealt that will make your hand succeed, it's more often what you do with your hand that will determine victory or defeat.
A tip from the Rabbit:
When in doubt; Get the trump out, that is, when you have a side Ace. Lead an off- suit when you don't.
Evaluating a euchre hand based on position takes practice. Only after countless hours of playing euchre will a player truly develop a sound sense of knowing when the odds favor becoming the maker or passing, and then, how to maximize the hand. A few tips like the ones above are intended to help accelerate the transition from novice to journeyman.
An Interesting side note:
I have found that if you give the same hand and scenario to 5 good euchre players, you'd probably end up with 5 different directions on how to play out the hand. The euchre experts of the world argue endlessly at such forums as Euchre Science about simple questions such as; "Do you pick it up?" and if so; "What do you lead?".
The Rabbit says; "Practice makes better". Also, enjoy yourself! That's what you play the game for.
3. Scenario: You are the maker and you won the first trick by leading the Right Bower. You have two trump (but neither is commanding) plus two side- suits, one of which is a singleton Ace.
Lead trump. Although you may not win this trick, you are forcing a trump card out of your opponent's hands. You are hoping for them to be out of trump when you lead your Ace.
4. Scenario: Let's assume you have the same scenario that is described in "Calling Next"; The Jack of Spades was turned down, your hand has the King and nine of Clubs (which you call trump), the Ace of hearts and two Diamonds. One void.
The Lead: Lead your smallest trump. In this case the nine of Clubs. Note: Not all Euchre experts agree with this strategy, but I happen to accept it as fact myself.
The plan is for your partner to win the trick with the Right Bower while reserving your King for a later trick. Although you can't be sure that your partner has the Right, chances are good, especially after the dealer turned down the same color Jack. Chances are, your partner cashes in, you save your big trump and lead with the singleton Ace right after using it. I believe that this is the best way to make 2 points out of this hand when you connect with your partner. You may be accused of cheating when this hand goes smooth, but it's a fair point (or better) earned the honest way.
B. Bidding Positions Simplified:
1. First Seat:
-Pass upcard suits that you can call "next" in.
-Call "next" with two trumps and a side Ace (or better), as long as you have at least one void suit.
-Go alone in "green" (opposite color of the recently turned- down card) with any hand that looks good for a solid 3 tricks.
Always remember that you get the first lead from this position.
2. Second Seat (Dealer's Partner):
-Be cautious not to ruin your partner's chance of going alone by ordering up a Bower. Instead, go alone yourself if you can, or simply pass.
-Only order up a small card to your partner if you have at least two trump including a Bower with a singleton Ace.
It's often better to let your partner make the move when you are sitting here. The dealer position is much stronger.
3. Third Seat:
-Do not eliminate your partner's chance to go alone by ordering up the dealer. Let the dealer be Euchred, or let him turn the upcard down. This gives your partner a strong opportunity to score, quite possibly a loner.
-This is the weakest seat to become the maker from. Only order hands that you are sure of from this position, unless you enjoy being Euchred.
-Only attempt a loner with a "laydown" (or close to it) here.
4. The Dealer:
-Pick up any Jack, as long as you don't have a definite stopper in all three other suits.
-Pick up any card that gives you three trump and two cards of a second suit.
-Bid liberally from this position. You basically have a six- card hand with a choice in the elimination of one. You also have the final play on the first trick.
What a hand! Anybody for Poker?
"I. Thou shalt not pass a bidable hand."
C. The Ten Commandments of Euchre: 2000
"II. Thou shalt counteth upon thy partner for one trick."
"III. Thou shalt not trumpeth thy partner's ace."
"IV. Thou shalt trumpeth thy partner's king."
"V. Thou shalt leadeth trump to thy partner's order."
"VI. Thou shalt not leadeth trump to thy opponent's order."
"VII. When thou hath ordered trump, leadeth thy right bower to smite thy foes."
"VIII. Ordereth not the right bower unto thy partner's hand unless thou canst go alone."
"IX. Goeth alone whenever thou canst, unless thy team hath eight or nine points."
"X. Thou shalt not complaineth about the cards the Lord thy Euchre God hath bestowed upon you"