Planning a game night? Specifically, are you planning one for four people? Don’t let your deck of cards go to waste without playing these classics. Bridge and Euchre are easy to pick up, hard to master, and designed for gatherings of four. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of these old standbys, and keep your friends entertained for games nights to come.
The goal of bridge is to score points by bidding and winning tricks. The game is played in teams of two with a standard deck of 52 cards, with aces high and 2s low. During the game, players must follow the suit of the card on the table and attempt to win the trick by placing a card higher than their opponents’. Each round, during bidding, a trump suit is determined that outranks other suits and can be played at any time.
The game starts with each player drawing a card from a shuffled deck in order to determine the dealer. Whoever draws the highest card deals a hand of 13 to each player. The player to the left of the dealer starts the bidding, which proceeds clockwise around the table.
When bidding, you declare a trump along with the number of tricks you and your teammate will win. Bidding starts over 6, so bidding “1” means that you will take 7 tricks. Each suit is ranked in the order (from lowest to highest): Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and no trump. When it is your turn to bid, you may either pass or bid higher. In order to raise a bid, you must declare more tricks from the same suit or an equivalent or higher number from a higher ranking suit.
When the game starts, the player who won the bid becomes the declarer. The player to the left of the declarer starts the trick by laying down a card of his choosing. The declarer’s teammate lays his hand on the table face up and sits out for the game. The declarer plays for both of them using his own hand and his teammate’s hand.
Teams are awarded points based on the number of tricks they won. Teams receive a bonus for scoring tricks above the bid. The declaring team receives a penalty for scoring below the bid. The first team to reach 100 points wins the game.
Euchre is played by four players in teams of two with a deck of 24 cards consisting of 9 through ace of each suit. The goal of the game is to win more tricks than the opposing team. Ranking goes from nine (low) to ace (high). However, the rankings change for the trump suit. Once a trump suit is declared, the jack of that suit becomes the highest-ranking card, while the jack of the same color from the off-suit becomes the second highest ranking card. For example, if spades are trump, then the jack of spades is the highest ranking card and the jack of clubs is the second highest ranking card.
When the game beings, cards are dealt clockwise in sets of three and then sets of two, so that each player has five cards. The remaining four cards are set aside with the top card flipped over for players to see.
The player to the left of the dealer is the first to choose the trump suit. They may either choose the suit of the card that was flipped from the deal, or they may pass to the next player. If all players pass, then the player to the right of the dealer may declare any trump he/she wants. If trump is declared as the suit of the flipped card, the dealer takes the flipped card and replaces it (face down) with a card from that person’s hand.
The player to the left of the dealer leads the first trick. Players must play within the suit of the lead and may only use another suit (including the trump) if they do not have any cards from the lead suit. The player who wins a trick leads the next trick.
At the end of the game, the teams are scored. The team that declares the trump are the “attackers.” The other team are the defenders. Attackers are awarded 1 point for winning 3-4 tricks and 2 points for winning all 5. Defenders are awarded 2 points for winning 3-4 tricks and 4 points for winning all 5. The player who determines trump also has the option to play alone, in which case the player’s teammate places his/her hand face down and the game is played with only three players. If a player wins a game alone with 3-4 tricks, the team is awarded 1 point. If they win with 5 tricks, they are awarded 4 points. Scoring does not change for the defenders in this scenario. The first team to score 10 points wins the game.