Bid Euchre
Bid Euchre, is the name given to a group of card games played in North America based on the popular game Euchre
Euchre or eucre, is a trick-taking card game most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing cards. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern packs; this was invented around 1860 to act as a top trump or best bower...

. It introduces an element of bidding in which the trump suit is decided by which player can bid to take the most tricks. Bid Euchre is very similar to Euchre
Euchre or eucre, is a trick-taking card game most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing cards. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern packs; this was invented around 1860 to act as a top trump or best bower...

, the primary differences being the number of cards dealt, absence of any undealt cards, the bidding and scoring process, and the addition of a no trump declaration. Local rules may allow a low no trump declaration. It is typically a partnership game for four players, played with a 24, 32 or 36-card pack, or even two decks of 24 cards each. The game is also known as Hoss or Pepper, a delineation which comes from "Hasenpfeffer
Hasenpfeffer is a traditional German stew made from marinated rabbit or hare, cut into stewing-meat sized pieces and braised with onions and wine in a marinade thickened with the animal's blood...

", a German
German cuisine
German cuisine is a style of cooking derived from the nation of Germany. It has evolved as a national cuisine through centuries of social and political change with variations from region to region. The southern regions of Germany, including Bavaria and neighbouring Swabia, share many dishes....

 dish of marinated and stewed trimmings of hare
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...



A pack of 24 cards containing 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A in each suit. The rank of the cards in the trump suit is: J (of trump suit, also known as the right bower; high), J (of the other suit of the same color as the trump suit, also known as the left bower), A, K, Q, 10, 9 (low). In the plain suits the rank is: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9 (low). When playing with no trumps, all four suits follow the 'plain suit' ranking.


Cards are dealt one at a time to each player, clockwise, starting with the player to the dealer's left. Each player receives six cards.


Bidding is the key to the game, as it is essentially what makes it different from Euchre. Starting at the person to the left of the dealer, each player "bids" how many "tricks" he or she thinks it is possible to get in partnership with his/her partner (sitting across the table). Players may pass or bid, and a "one" bid is generally not used. Common bids are 3, 4, and 5.

There are some variations, but in most traditional pepper games the bidding only goes around the table once. That is, each player only bids once. At the end of bidding, he or she who bid the highest wins the bid and gets to name the suit which will become trump. Bidding does not generally exceed 5 (6 is maximum), as there are two special bids.
  • A small pepper, also called "shooting" or "give me your best", is where the bidder gets to exchange one card with his/her partner (but does not get to choose or say which card he/she wants...he/she may only say the suit that is trump) and then plays alone against the other two players. He/she must get all six tricks. If all six tricks are won, the team with the winning small pepper receives 12 points.

  • A big pepper, also called "loner", is the same as a small pepper, except the bidder does not get any cards from his/her partner, and, if successful, receives 14 points.

Note: In another variation of this game, known as "hawsy" (also short for Hasenpfeffer), the little pepper is known as "hawsy" and there is no big pepper. If one player bids hawsy, the next player can bid "double hawsy" for an attempt at 24 points.

The "two" bid

To delineate a "two" bid, the terminology "a couple" is used; this is because of the special meaning given to the word "two." If a player holds two jacks of the same color (both "black" jacks or both "red" jacks), he/she can bid "two" to indicate to his/her partner this special possession. This gives the partner useful information when placing his/her bid. The only catch is when one wants to bid "two" but someone has already bid "a couple" or "three" or "four." It has often been the case for the player with the "two" bid to promptly say (after the higher bid was made), "Well, that shoots a two bid!" This technique was for a time successful at still communicating the "two" information to the partner; however, it is generally considered grounds for a misdeal and is therefore not allowed.

Leading and taking tricks

At the end of bidding, the winning bidder then makes the opening lead and may lead any card. The other players each play a card (playing clockwise) and must follow suit if possible. If a player cannot follow suit, he/she may play any card. There is no rule about who may play trump first. The trick goes to the highest trump or, if there are no trump cards, to the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick.

For example, if spades are trump, the jack of spades is the highest trump, followed by the jack of clubs (the other jack of the same color) which is considered a spade for this hand, the ace of spades, K, Q, 10, 9. The ranking follows the same pattern for the other suits when they are trump.


The contracting side scores one point for each trick taken if it makes at least its contract, but is set back (loses) six points if it fails to make its contract, regardless of the value of the contract or the tricks actually won. A side is "set" when it fails to meet its contract (the term "set" also functions as a verb in this game: a side playing defense "sets" the other side by preventing it from meeting its contract). As such, a side can have a negative score. If the side playing defense (that is, the side that does not win the bid) fails to get any tricks, it goes back six points. An exception to this is in cases of a 'pepper' bid. With this contract, if all the tricks are taken, the contracting side wins 14 or 12 points (for the big and small pepper, respectively). However, if the contracting side fails to take all six tricks, it is set back 14 or 12 points (for big and small, respectively). The opposing side always scores one point for each trick taken. If the defensive side does not get any tricks in a small or big pepper, it loses just six points.


Although the "magic number" may vary from tradition to tradition, the standard winning number is 42 (32 in "hawsy"). The first team to reach 42 (or more) points wins. However, to win, a team must reach (or exceed) 42 on offense, meaning that a team with a point total near 42 must win the bid, meet its contract, and exceed 42 points to be considered the winner. This also means that a team with 41 points cannot play defense and, by winning one trick, get 42 and win (in a hand where the contracting side meets its contract). The exception to this rule is when the defensive side "sets" the offense (or contracting side) and, in doing so, meets or exceeds 42 points. It is thus possible that a team will have more than 42 points before the game is over, for only when a team meets its contract and, in doing so, reaches (or exceeds) 42 is it crowned the winner. Other variations of the game do not use a winning number and instead allow players to set a time limit such as one or two hours, at the end of which time the team with the highest point total wins.


Sometimes a scoring variation is the "big pepper" bid is worth 24 points. In these cases, the ending score is usually higher than the traditional 42.
Another variation is calling High or Low instead of suit. In this variation, there are no trump jacks and everything must follow suit and order. If a player cannot follow suit (even if he/she has a lower card), he/she cannot take the trick.


Play begins when the lead table rings a bell. The lead table plays 8 hands, the deal revolving to the left with each hand, so that each player has dealt twice, then rings the bell again. When the bell rings, players at each table finish their current hand, record their team score on an individual tally. The losing team at the head table moves to the tail table; otherwise the winning team at each table advances to the next table, and one member of the losing team changes seat so that partners in one game are opponents in the next game. Play begins on the next game immediately without waiting for another signal. After 10 games, players total their tally sheets, to determine high score and low score for the tournament.

The Game

Each table of four players use a 24-card deck containing A K Q J 10 9 in the four suits
Suit (cards)
In playing cards, a suit is one of several categories into which the cards of a deck are divided. Most often, each card bears one of several symbols showing to which suit it belongs; the suit may alternatively or in addition be indicated by the color printed on the card...

 ♠ ♣ . Players bid once each, clockwise around the table, starting at the dealer's left. Bids of one to six are made by stating the number of tricks to be taken. A bid of "pass" is most often shown by knocking on the table. A player must either bid higher than any prior bid, or pass.

A pepper consists of winning all six tricks with a passed card. Typically, a pepper bid is signalled by holding the pass card face down and wagging it. If no succeeding player wishes to play a loner, the bidder declares suit by saying, "Give me your best heart", "Give me your best club", etc. His partner gives the requested card to the bidder, face down, before seeing the bidder's passed card, and sits out the rest of the hand.

As loner bids - asserting that one will win all six tricks without assistance - are pre-emptive, they are typically made by declaring suit and leading out the first trick.

High bidder declares suit as he leads out the first trick. The winner of each trick leads the following trick.

Only suits may be declared trump; no-trump and low-no-trump declarations are not permitted.


Teams score one point for 3 or 4 tricks, 2 points for all 5 tricks, 4 points for a loner. A team failing to achieve their number of tricks receives no points for any tricks won, and 2 points goes to other partners score. Deal passes around the table, clockwise, after each hand.

Strategy and etiquette

  • Conversation is welcome in Progressive Euchre, as long as it does not slow play.
  • While the lead table consists of winners versus winners, rarely will someone who has spent the tournament at the lead table have a particularly high score, as that table is the first to stop playing in each game.
  • It is considered rude to deliberately lose while at the lead table, but failure to aggressively bid is simply considered conservative play.
  • On the team which remains at the table, the person who has been longest at the table is the one who remains seated, and the other person is the one who moves. Players advancing to a table may select either available seat.
  • Repeatedly going set will tend to make one unpopular, but so will playing so conservatively as to never go set.
  • Players who consistently have high scores are permitted to make innocent math errors to avoid always winning. It is considered unsportsmanlike for those who consistently have low scores to make innocent math errors that give them a higher total.

Dirty clubs

Dirty clubs, also called buck euchre, is the name given to a number of variations on euchre
Euchre or eucre, is a trick-taking card game most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing cards. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern packs; this was invented around 1860 to act as a top trump or best bower...

 popular in the midwestern United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is also like the 500 card game, which is another variation. Like euchre, these games are trick-taking card games; unlike euchre, the players must bid on how many tricks they will take. In this respect, dirty clubs bears a superficial resemblance to contract bridge
Contract bridge
Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard deck of 52 playing cards played by four players in two competing partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other around a small table...



Dirty clubs can be played by 3 and 6 players, depending on the variation. The game uses the same cards as euchre: the 10, J, Q, K, and A of each suit (three players), with lower cards (9, 8, 7, etc.) added if necessary for more players. The first hand, the dealer is chosen at random, then the deal proceeds clockwise.
  • Each hand, one suit is trump; trump cards are higher than non-trump. The order of cards for the trump suit is the same as euchre: J of the trump suit (right bauer)-J of the other suit of the same color (left bauer)-A-K-Q-10-etc. The order of cards for non-trump suits is A-K-Q-(J)-10-etc.

  • Each hand, five cards are dealt to each player; the remaining cards are placed face down (the blind), except the top card, which is flipped face up. If this face up card is a club - this is called dirty clubs - there is no bidding and clubs is automatically trump. Otherwise, each player in clockwise order bids a number of tricks they think they can take. The bid can go around a second time, giving players the chance to raise their bid. The high bidder gets to call trump.

  • Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer. This player leads with a single card, and play proceeds clockwise. Players must follow suit if possible. The player who takes the trick gets to lead for the next trick.


Each player starts with the same number of points, which may be 15. The goal is to get to 0. Each player subtracts the number of tricks taken from his score each hand. However, the high bidder must take at least the number of tricks he bid. If he fails to take this many tricks, instead of subtracting points, he must add 5 to his score. Therefore, being the high bidder is helpful in that it lets you call trump, but it is also dangerous as you are the only player held to your bid.

One popular variation is that a player who takes no tricks is penalized 5 points, regardless of his bid. When this rule is in place, the players are usually given a chance to drop out after trump is called. A player who drops out cannot be penalized, but also can not take any tricks.
Another popular variation is that if the call goes all the way around without a bid, there is no trump. Players do not get a chance to drop out.


A five-handed variation played in Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 with two decks with nines removed. Each player competes against all the others. This variation can also be played by six, seven or more players, following the same rules. For each player above five, eight cards must be added to the deck. If six play, eight nines are added, four from each of the two decks; for seven players, add the nines and eights from both decks.


Unlike standard Euchre
Euchre or eucre, is a trick-taking card game most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing cards. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern packs; this was invented around 1860 to act as a top trump or best bower...

 in which each player receives five cards, each player receives eight cards. The cards are dealt clockwise starting with the player sitting to the left of the dealer until all cards are dealt; there are no remaining cards and hence, no kitty. By tradition, cards are dealt in groups of two or three to each player.


Bidding begins with the player seated clockwise next to the dealer. Each player, in turn, bids the number of tricks they believe they can win. Each bid must be a "pass" or a higher number of tricks than already bid. The minimum bid is one trick and the maximum is eight tricks. Bidding proceeds once around the table and ends with the dealer. The player who has bid the highest number of tricks wins the bid and becomes the bidding player.

The bidding player then names the trump suit and selects their partner by naming a card. The player who is the first to play the selected card becomes the bidder's partner for the hand, and if the card is not played, there is no partner. Players, including the bidder, are unaware of the partner's identity until the selected card is played. The remaining players become the opposition, sometimes called the defense.

Playing the hand

Each hand consists of eight tricks. The hand starts with a lead from the bidding player. Following the lead, each player must follow suit if possible. If suit can not be followed, the player may play any card. A player with the card selected by the bidder must play it at the earliest opportunity in the hand (typically, on the first trick) unless it has already been played by another player. After all players have played a card, the player who played the highest ranking card is declared the trick winner and the trick is cleared faced down. The highest ranking card is determined as: the highest ranking trump played, if no trump was played then the highest ranking card in the suit initially lead. If there are two highest ranking cards on a trick (because a double-deck is used), the first one played wins the trick. The trick winner then leads a card for the next trick. Players may ask to see the last trick played.

Scoring the hand

Since teams shift from one hand to the next, each player maintains an individual score. Each player on the bidding team (bidder plus partner) receives one point for each trick taken, unless the team takes fewer than the number of tricks bid. In that case, the bidding team is "euchred" and the number of tricks bid is subtracted from their score. Each player on the defense receives one point for each trick taken by the defense, that is, the number of tricks not taken by the bidding team. Each player's score is calculated at the completion of each hand.

The game ends when the deal has passed around the table twice, that is, ten hands have been played. The player with the highest number of points is declared the winner. Another way of ending the game is by specifying the number of points, mutually agreed before the game started. Twenty-one is a common game-winning score.


  1. Avoid helping the player in the lead (or any other player for that matter).
  2. During bidding, you can usually bid one trick for each jack or ace of trump in your hand.
  3. If you have at least one jack of each suit, you may decide to "pass" during bidding, because it is more advantageous to become the bidder's partner.
  4. Most of the time, when making trump, you will ask for the highest trump card not in your hand as your partner.
  5. The bidder usually names a trump in which they have the right bower.
  6. If the bidder has only one right bower, it is good to ask for the right bower and then lead a small trump on the first trick. Your partner will then take the trick with the right bower, allowing you to save your right bower for later in the hand.
  7. The defense should work together to take tricks. It is generally not good strategy to overtake a trick on which the defense already has the highest ranking card.


Pfeffer, is a variation of Pepper and is played in the Midwest. Its primary difference is that the dealer is forced to make a 4 Trick Bid when all players pass in front of the dealer. This allows for a strategy of forcing teams to have to make bids, or stick the dealer. In addition, there are variations on No Trump Bids that force bidders to reconsider this type of bid.

Bidding & Naming Trump

Each player, beginning at dealer's left, may either bid or pass. A bid is the number of tricks
Trick-taking game
A trick-taking game is a card game or tile-based game in which play centers on a series of finite rounds or units of play, called tricks. The object of such games then may be closely tied to the number of tricks taken, as in plain-trick games such as Whist, Contract Bridge, Napoleon, Rowboat, and...

 that a player wagers for his or her team to win and each bid must be higher than preceding it. Trump Bids are the numbers Four through Six, and Pfeffer a/k/a Double - Pfeffer (a bid to win all six tricks, alone). No Trump Bids are the numbers Five, Six, and Pfeffer (a bid to win all six tricks, alone).

When three consecutive players pass, the dealer is stuck and gets to name any suit as trump, or may declare no trump. The minimum bid for a dealer is four tricks.


Declarer (the player who wins the bid) declares trump. For Trump Bids, the player to the left of the dealer leads to the first trick and each player must follow suit if possible, otherwise may play any card. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit led, or by the highest trump if any were played. Note: Left Bower is not in the suit printed on its face, but of the trump suit. Winner of each trick leads to the next and play continues until all six tricks have been played. For No Trump Bids, the player to the right of the Declarer leads. Note: This is different than most, if not all, Pepper and Bid Euchre variations.

Scoring & Winning

For Non Pfeffer Bids, the team that declared trump scores one point for each trick taken if they took at least as many tricks as were bid. If the declaring team takes all 6 tricks, they get 6 points and the opposing are "set", lose 5 points and receive a Hickey. If the declaring team takes less than the number of tricks bid, they are "set", lose 5 points and receive a Hickey.

For Pfeffer Bids, if the declaring team takes all 6 tricks, they get 12 points and the opposing team are "set", lose 5 points and receive a Hickey. If the declaring team fails to take all 6 tricks, they are set, lose 10 points and receive 2 Hickeys.

In all cases, the opposing team simply scores one point for every trick they take. Deal then passes clockwise around the table. Game is to 42 points. In cases of a tie at 42, the bidding team wins. Negative scores are allowed and are referred as being in the hole. For purposes of betting, amounts are set for Game and Sets (Note: Sets are the total number of Hickeys on the scoresheet for the losing team), with Game generally twice the amount as Sets. Games ending with the losing team at 0 points or below, pay double.


Hasenpfeffer, also called Pepper, is a four-player partnership variation of Euchre played with a 24-card pack plus Joker, very popular in the Midwestern U.S.

Six cards are dealt in batches of 3 and the rest are laid face down to one side. Bids are made numerically for the naming of trump, and declarer may name no trump in place of a single suit. If no one bids, the holder of the best Bower is oblidged to bid three, and if it then proves to be the card out of play, the deal is annulled. The highest bidder announces trumps before play. The bidder's side scores 1 point per trick won, if this is not less than the bid, otherwise it loses 1 point per undertrick. The play goes up to 10 points.

Competition to secure a call is very keen, since one stands to gain more than one stands to lose, but for that very reason the bidding is frequently pushed beyond the level of safety.

Double Hasenpfeffer

A variant for either 4 or 6 players divided into two teams and using the 48-card pinochle
Pinochle or Binocle is a trick-taking game typically for two to four players and played with a 48 card deck. Derived from the card game bezique, players score points by trick-taking and also by forming combinations of cards into melds. It is thus considered part of a "trick-and-meld" category...

 pack. Double Hasenpfeffer, or Double Pepper, is played without bowers, so all cards rank A K Q J 10 9 in each suit, and there are no bids of Little and/or Big Pepper. All cards are dealt out and bidding goes around the table only once, the minimum bid being 3. If all pass, dealer names trump at a minimum bid of 3 tricks. In a 4-player game, high bidder may opt to play alone and exchange any two cards with his or her partner and then play solo against the opposing team. Scoring is as 24-card pepper above, with a forced declaration by the dealer losing only half (rounding up) if not made. Playing alone scores double, positive if bid is made, or negative if not.

External links

  • Rules of Card Games: Bid Euchre and Pepper on is a website containing rules to hundreds of card games from all over the world. Maintained by John McLeod, it contains information for traditional, commercial, and newly invented card games from all over the world....

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