Saturday, April 08, 2006

Euchre Ponderings--Going Alone With 8

I've been reacquainting myself with life on Case's Ladder, playing Euchre in the Yahoo! advanced room. There is a lot less activity than there used to be.

I joined Case's in 1998, and it was a zoo. The amount of cheating was astronomical, but the competition was fantastic. I eventually made it to #1 in the Fall of that year, the week before starting a full-time job.

These days there appears to be about 20-50 active players, though there are a few more who pop in from time to time. Most of the people are friendly, but the playis uneven. As a result, I thought I'd write down some ponderings.

Back in the early days, there somehow developed this idea going around that calling alone with 8 points was considered rude or bad etiqueete, the equivalent of rubbing someone's face in a bad loss.

Let's see if I can put that myth to rest.

First up, if a hand is a lay-down, then who cares? But if it is a losable hand, then I don't care if my opponent goes alone. Makes it easier to stop him/her on those 1 in 1,000 times where it is a misclick or mistake.

But more importantantly, there are hands in which a loner can make it but the partnership might not march. In these cases, why should a person be penalized for utilizing strategy? Let's look at the following hand, for intance:

North
9, 10 Clubs
VOID Diamonds
A Hearts
K, 10 Spades

West..................................... East
J, A, K Clubs........................ VOID Clubs
A Diamonds......................... K, Q, 10 Diamonds
VOID Hearts......................... 9 Hearts
J Spades............................... 9 Spades


South
Q Clubs
Diamonds
KQ Hearts
AQ Spades


Now imagine North is dealing and the 9 of Diamonds is turned up. It is quite possible that it would be turned down (if N/S called it, they would be set). Now everyone passes to West, who calls Clubs.

GGA? Not so fast.
If East leads Diamonds, North trumps and the hand makes one point. South has no diamonds; this hand would get four points if called alone, but 1 if called as pairs.

Yes, West could be reasonably sure his partner would lead trump, if she has it. Absent that, it is conceivable that one might lead the suit one has three in, assuming it is best chance to hit partner's void.

So the next time someone goes alone at 8 and the other team complains, call it what it is...sour grapes.

2 comments:

Q_q said...

just one comment Ken,

how did theologian from NC learn the game of Euchre? College games, the service? Just curiosity, but it is uncommon to find many, outside NY, PA, OH, IL, and the lower Canadian provinces that understand this quick little game we play with just 1/2 a deck!!

Kenneth R. Morefield said...

Hey Quiver:

It's a long story. I was born in 1966, the son of a career diplomat...

Oh, not that long?

I'll give a full answer in a further blog entry.

Ken