Four PlaybyAlessia Brio©
If you don't have a good partner,
you'd better have a good hand.
~ Mae West
Card games! We all love 'em: the competition, the camaraderie, the companionship. And, if a game leaves us feeling ready for a dive under the table – well, that's even better!
Euchre's my game. I grew up with it. My parents and three other couples used to get together every so often for an evening of euchre. I just adored those card parties. My brother and I would get sent to bed just as the guests were arriving, but I'd invariably creep back down the stairs to listen to their banter and, on occasion, sneak a peek into the room. They were younger then than I am now, but at the time they seemed so ancient. I learned a lot about life by eavesdropping on their games. Above all, I began to recognize the sexiness in people of all ages.
I remember how shocked I was the first time I overheard them all flirting with one another as they played. I was probably ten years old and had just learned the meaning of the word horny. I knew the word applied to me because I couldn't keep my hands out of my pants, but it certainly wasn't a word that applied to "old" people – especially my parents!
They would set up two card tables in the living room and a smorgasbord of finger food on the coffee table. Spouses never played as partners which, although I wasn't cognizant of it at the time, was undoubtedly part of the reason I typically woke in the wee hours to the sounds of my parents fucking. Those weren't the only times I overheard them having sex, but euchre nights were always the loudest.
But, I digress – and as entertaining as such digressions may be, I'm here to teach you how to play euchre. If you already know the game, then perhaps reading this will give you an entirely new perspective. (Insert wicked grin here.)
Euchre (pronounced YUKE-er) is game for four players. (Foreplayers!) The person sitting directly across the table from you is your partner. The word has such lovely connotations, doesn't it? The two seated on your left and right are your opponents. Playing with a variety of partners will hone your skills, but there's nothing quite like the rapport shared with a regular partner who knows your... um, kinks. The finesse involved in thoroughly screwing your opponents is quite exhilarating.
The game is played with only 24 cards: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A of each suit. Each player is dealt five cards and the remaining four cards form the pussy – I mean, kitty. The dealer places the kitty face down in the center of the table (Mmm!) and exposes the top card.
Moving clockwise around the table, beginning to the dealer's left (the eldest hand), each player has the option of ordering the dealer to pick up the exposed card. In so doing, that suit becomes trump for the trick. If ordered up, the dealer takes the exposed card from the kitty and discards one from her hand, placing it face down in the kitty.
I absolutely love being ordered up as dealer. If by an opponent, I get an "Oh, you think you can score on us? We'll just see about that!" rush. If by my partner, even better. I'm being told: "Take this, babe. Use it well, and we'll both get off." Being ordered up by my partner is almost always accompanied by a little shiver of sensual anticipation, but that's just how I'm wired. Your mileage may vary.
There's also something devilish about ordering an opposing dealer: "I am so sure of myself and my partner that I'm giving you a trump card. We're STILL going to get off, and there's not a damned thing you can do to stop us. So there!"
If all players pass on the exposed card, the dealer turns it down. The table is again circled and players, in turn, have the chance to declare any other suit trump. If no one does so, the dealer is fucked... I mean, stuck... and must choose the trump suit from the remaining three.
Once trump is declared, the team that called it (the makers) must take at least three of the five tricks in order to score one point. Taking all five tricks (a sweep) scores two points. If they fail, the defenders are said to set (or euchre) the makers which scores two points for the defenders. There's a delicious wickedness in pulling a switch and spanking... I mean, setting... the makers. And, seamlessly passing the lead back and forth with your partner to sweep a hand is an incredible rush, much like the give-and-take of an intensely enjoyable 69.
In addition to the six trump in the named suit, there is a seventh – deviant – trump card. It is the jack of the same color (sister) suit. The hierarchy of trump is as follows, from highest to lowest: jack (called the right bower), sister jack (left bower), ace, king, queen, ten, nine. Thus, if clubs named, the jack of spades becomes the second-highest ranking trump card. A trump card, of course, tops all cards in the other suits and can only be taken by a higher-ranking trump card.
Let's talk tricks. There are, of course, five tricks in each hand. The eldest hand initially leads. Players must follow suit. In other words, if a diamond is led then you must play a diamond if there is one in your hand. Failure to follow suit is called reneging (pronounced ree-NEGging) and is cheating. Online and electronic euchre games will not allow players to renege, but in face-to-face games it's obviously possible. If no trump cards are played, the highest card in the suit led takes the trick. The player turning... I mean, taking... the trick then leads.
Most hands result in either one or two points for the makers or two points for the defenders. The exception being a loner, which is worth four points to the makers. This is when your hand is so fucking amazing that you announce you're going to do it all – take all five tricks – without your partner's help. Going alone is much like exhibitionistic masturbation while simultaneously spanking the sass out of your opponents. (Don't be surprised to see your partner's hands slip under the table in symbiotic ecstasy.) Defending against a loner is almost, but not quite, as enjoyable. And setting a loner is, in my opinion, a mind-blowing orgasm of defensive play – but it still only results in the defenders scoring two points (unfortunately).
The deal travels clockwise around the table and play continues until one team reaches or exceeds ten points. Thus, a game could consist of as few as three hands or as many as nineteen. (When's the last time nineteen hands were involved in your foreplay?)
There you have the basics. It gets sexier still when the intricacies of strategy are added. Table talk (i.e., revealing information about your hand) is prohibited, so communication with your partner must take place via the cards you throw – keeping in mind, of course, that your opponents are voyeurs to this nonverbal communication.
Now, are you ready for some four play?