Flip/Switch Double Deck Euchre
A Euchre variant for 2-10 players, contributed by Nathaniel Burgett
Deck: 50 or 52 cards: two each of the A-K-Q-J-10-9 of hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades, plus one or two each of high and low jokers. In other words, a Pinochle deck with high and low jokers added, or two 52-card decks with two jokers each from which the cards 2-8 are removed. cards.
Rankings: Non-trump suits have the standard ranking from high to low A-K-Q-J-10-9. The trump suit, however, is ranked Jack of suit (right bower: high), Jack of same color (left bower, is considered as belongoin to the trump suit and must be played as a trump), and then A-K-Q-10-9. Pay attention because trump can change several times a game and left bower must be played as a trump and not as its face value suit. Example. If diamonds are trump and hearts are led, a player who has no other hearts is not forced to play the Jack of Hearts; the player may trump or throw off as they wish. If they wish to play the jack of hearts, or any other trump, they must not have any other hearts in their hand before they may do so!
- Head-to-head, both players are dealt 12 cards;
- for every-man-for-himself, deal each of the four players 10 cards.
- Up to 6 players can play with 7 cards each,
- up to 8 players can play with 5 cards each,
- and up to 10 players can play with 4 cards each.
For an odd number of players, deal a dead hand, which plays by simply drawing a random top card for each trick.If the card drawn doesn't follow the suit led and is not a trump, the card is considered a throw off card. The player who scores lower than the dead hand, should never be allowed to gamble or travel within 500 miles of Las Vegas, Reno, or Atlantic City. After each player has been dealt their hand, burn the top card face down for the burn card, and deal another card face up on top of the burn card to be the calling card. The calling card designates the current trump suit. It can be changed in three ways.
- The high joker is Wild Card "Benny". It, automatically wins the trick to which it is played and can also serve as a "Match Card" and switch trump according to rule 3 below. The wild card has no suit, and can be played to any trick. When it is led, all other players may throw off any card of any suit. If any joker is turned up as the calling card, there is no trump until the trump suit is changed.
- The low joker is the Clown Card "Charlie". It automatically loses the trick to which it is played and must also flip trump, by turning over the calling card and burn card (face down underneath), so that the burn card becomes the calling card (turned face up, designating trump by its suit) and the old calling card is turned face down and becomes the burn card (which may help or hurt the player, hence this card's name). The Clown card has no suit, and can be played to any trick. When it is led, the next card player may play any card and this card determines the led suit which all other players must follow.
- The Match Card is the identical card to the calling card, and when played in normal play can be used by the player to switch trump. To switch trump suit, the player must swap from hand for the calling card on the table. So the player sacrifices a card of the desired trump suit, which becomes the new calling card and indicates the new trump suit. The old calling card is acquired in exchange for it, and becomes part of that player's hand. This kind of switch may happen several times, since each card has a duplicate. Any card may be sacrificed in a switch, even if the calling card and sacrificed card are the same suit, or even the jokers. If any joker is ever placed as the calling card (in the original deal, or when changed) then there is no trump suit until the calling card is switched or flipped by another joker.
Bidding and Scoring: After the deal, players evaluate their hands as best they can and each of them in turn bids the number of tricks they plan to take. The minimum bid is 6 tricks for 12 card hands, 3 for 10 card, 2 for 7 card, 1 for 5 card. (4 card games are always Zilch games without bidding - see below.) Bids can be any number from the minimum up to the number of cards dealt. Everyone must bid - there are no passes. A player who wins at least the number tricks bid scores 30 positive points. For each additional trick, 5 points are subtracted. A player who fails to win the number of tricks bid loses 5 points for each trick by which they are short of their bid. Example: A player who bid 3 would score -10 points for 1 trick, -5 for 2 tricks, 30 for 3 tricks, 25 for 4 tricks, and 20 for 5 tricks. The first player to reach 100 positive points wins. The player awarded the most negative points in any given round is considered euchred, having been the most prevented by the other players from accomplishing their bid. All players must bid equal to a set and in 4 card or Zilch games the scoring is changed.
Zilch Version: All 4 card games are considered to be Zilch version automatically, but any number of players may agree to the Zilch version of play regardless of the number of cards dealt. In Zilch games, all players try to win as few tricks as possible. A player who takes no tricks scores +5 points, and each trick taken subtracts 5 points - so for example 3 tricks are worth -10 points in all. The first player to reach positive 100 points wins, or first player to reach negative 100 points ends the game, and the player with the highest score at that time wins, whichever happens first.
Play: The player to the left of the dealer leads to the first trick, and play continues clockwise. The suit that was led must be followed if possible, except that a joker may be played to any trick. If no trumps and no big jokers are played, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. A player who cannot follow suit may trump. If any trumps are played, the highest trump wins the trick unless a high joker is played. If a player cannot follow suit and either has no trump or does not wish to play a trump, the player may throw off a card of any suit and forfeit the trick. You are never forced to play a trump to a trick unless trump is led or all your remaining cards are trumps. Sometimes it is beneficial to forfeit a trick. Ties are won by the first card played. The winner of the trick leads the next trick until all cards in hand are played, completing that hand.
If the trump suit is changed one or more times during a trick, the winner of the trick is decided using the trump suit in force at the end of the trick, as shown by the calling card that is then showing. A change of trump suit may change some cards which originally followed suit into discards. Example: Diamonds are trump, and the jack of hearts (left bower) is led forcing the next two players to follow with diamonds. The fourth player plays a low joker, flipping the trump suit to clubs. At this point the jack of hearts ceases to be a bower, and subsequent players will have to follow suit with hearts. The diamonds played before the trump was flipped remain played become discards, which cannot win the trick. These losing diamonds remain played, even if the player hold hearts which they would have been forced to play had clubs already been trump at that time.
If the dead hand plays a Charlie, the trump suit is flipped. If it plays a Benny or Match Card, the trump suit does not change.