Sunday, June 07, 2020

How to play proper Euchre with friends while isolating

Two couples in different places playing Euchre together
Step 1: Using laptops, all the players link up through Skype, Zoom or another video calling App. I leave that to you to figure out what is best for your gang. You could play without video chat, but if you did that, you might as well play against robots. When you beat your opponents, you want to hear their lamentations.

Step 2: Using smartphones or tablets, the four players play Euchre with the Karman Games Euchre App.

The Karman Games Euchre App

  1. Every player has to download and install, the Karman Games Euchre app onto a smart phone.
  2. And sign in. I don't remember doing this, but I think it was straight forward.


One tricky part is getting a good avatar. The app will give you a default image that looks like a Sith lord. Before opening the app, I took a picture of my face with an appropriate expression with my phone and used that for the avatar.

  1. At the opening screen, tap "Play Online"
  2. On the next screen, tap on the avatar picture. Choose one of their pictures or tap the empty square. 
  3. If you tap the empty square, you'll see pictures on your phone. Tap on one of them and use the green square to frame the part of your picture you want as your avatar.

      Play Online - click the Avatar to change
      The Play Online Screen
      Avatar picture=Get a new face. 
      The App's avatar selector
       Blank square=choose your own
      This avatar pre-dates my full pandemic beard
      Make an appropriate Euchre face

Host Sets the Rules

One person has to act as the host. If you're going to be the host, you must set the rules. Do not go with Karman's default rules. They are wrong. This is critical. It came as a surprise to me that there are enough people who play Euchre wrong that an app on the internet not only accomodates them, but sets their madness as the defaults.

The Correct Default rules:
  1. Final Score = 10 (Unless you need to be some kind of weirdo.)
  2. Benny = Off (A "Benny" is apparently a joker that is the highest trump. Common in southwestern England. If you need to play with jokers, play Kanasta don't muck up the noble game of Euchre.)
  3. Stick the Dealer = Off (Unless you want to force dealers to call trump even when they have terrible cards. It's probably fun when the dealer is not you or your partner. But it's not proper Euchre.)
  4. Go Under = Off (This seems to be some way for whiners with bad cards to exchange some of them.
  5. Canadian Loner = On (Perhaps part of why the world outside of Canada is so messed up is that Euchre players do not have to go alone when they order their partners up.)
  6. Need Suit to Call It = On (Yes, this rule is tough when you're the dealer, you turn over the Jack of Hearts and you can't pick it up even though you have the Jack of Diamonds. But that's  Euchre, not some game where the world has gone crazy.)
  7. First Lead on Alone = Left of the Dealer (You could go with the other option of "Left of the Loner" if you want to do it wrong.) 
    "Friendly Game"- "New Table"
  8. There are at least two things missing with these rules that you will have to accept:
    1. When one team loses a game and a new game starts, it doesn't seem to be the losers who get first deal. 
    2. You cannot call "ner ace, ner face, ner trump" and have an automatic misdeal. You just have to play the miserable hand.

Host starts a new game

The Table screen - no kidding turn off the Timer!
Turn off the timer!
The host goes to "Play Online", then "Friendly Game", then "New Table".

In "New Table":
  1. Type a Table name your friends will recognize.
  2. Type an easy password. This isn't your bank account.
  3. Hit "done" to remove the little keyboard.
  4. Be sure to turn the "Turn Timer" off. Seriously.
  5. Turn off "Allow Observers" if you don't want observers. Leave it on if you do. But they'll need the password.
  6. Hit "OK" when you're ready. 
  7. Wait for the other players to arrive.

Other players join

  1. The other players go to "Play Online", then "Friendly Game" and scroll to the name the host has given and tap it. They put in the password and they're in the game.
  2. When the other three players have signed in, the host will see their avatars and be asked to choose which one in their partner. With my foursome, I choose a different partner each night we play.
  3. The app will artibitraly pick who deals and will tell each player when it is their turn. 
  4. The app will only let you call trump if you have one of that suit in your hand. 
  5. If you can call trump, the app will let you go alone, even if it would be a bad idea. 
  6. Important: to go alone, you have to touch the go-alone checkbox before you touch the suit to call trump.
  7. You can only call suits in your hand
    Click "Alone" before the suit!
  8. When a game ends, a new game with the same partners will start if everyone clicks "Yes."

I'll be happy to answer questions in the comments!

1 comment:

Eric Promislow said...

My dad's been playing on (or something like that). They also have 500, if you're playing with aussies & kiwis. And he says they have video built in.