Three-Handed Euchre - Version 1

three handed euchre
Perhaps there was a time when you wanted to play Euchre, but only had three people instead of the usual four. Don't fret if you are down a player .... you can play 3 Handed Euchre!! Three-Handed Euchre is sometimes also known as Cutthroat, because it actually ends up becoming a two against one game. There are no permanent partnerships. Players win or lose on their own. There are multiple versions, but the most common variation is with a "dummy" hand. 

This version of Three-Handed Euchre uses the standard 24 card Euchre deck which consists of 9's through Ace's of each suit. To begin a game of 3 Handed Euchre, the dealer gives each player five cards. There is also a fourth “dummy” hand dealt to the right of the dealer. The remainder of the deck is laid face down in the center of the table with the top card flipped over. 

The player to the dealer’s left declares whether or not the revealed card is the trump, or may alternately pass. If trump is declared on the first round of bidding, the dealer picks up the top card that was flipped over. If all players pass in the first round of bidding, the face-up card is turned face down and a second bidding round occurs. In the second bidding round, the first player who names a suit has chosen trump. If no player bids, all the cards are shuffled together and the next player deals a new hand or if you are playing "stick the dealer", the dealer must name trump.

Whichever of the three declares the card the trump becomes the “maker” and will be playing against the other two players for the remainder of the hand. When a player establishes trump, either during the first or second round of bidding, they must incorporate the contents of the dummy hand into their own. They do this by choosing the best cards from the dummy and blending these with the best cards in their original hand, but they are limited to holding five cards. The remaining four cards are placed in the discard pile. A game of Three Handed Euchre then follows the traditional format. 

For scoring, if a maker wins three or four tricks, they are awarded a single point. If they have won all five, they get three points. If the maker fails to take three tricks, he is "euchred" and the defenders score 2 points each. 

Have you ever tried 3 Handed Euchre?  Give it a try and post a comment below and let us know how you liked it!

Another version of Three-Handed Euchre

Text from 
Image  from



  1. Three-handed Euchre is just as fun- MAYBE MORE SO!- as the traditional four-handed version. Great times (AS ALWAYS!!) Thanks, Joanne

  2. Who gets the points if a eucker is acheived ... The one that get 2 hans or what

    1. As it says above, "If the maker fails to take three tricks, he is "euchred" and the defenders score 2 points each." Each of the other 2 players receive 2 points each.

  3. I understand ... The maker gets to choose cards from the dummy hand, but you have also stated that the maker gets to include the face-up card. Can you please explain.
    I thought the dealer would put that in their hand if that was ordered up.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out!! I have updated the text to now be accurate.

  4. Thanks for these rules. Back when i played three-hand, the dealer did not get to cherry pick from the dummy hand but worked from the hand they were dealt. I liked that.

    1. Yes, there are many different versions of Three-Handed Euchre .... keeps things interesting!

  5. I just learned to play euchre with an app on my 'vice. I wanted to play three handed and made up my own rules very similar to this. Variations to consider for different playing:
    1. leave the dummy hand face up while bidding.
    2. Cherry pick only one or only two cards from the exposed hand
    3. Leave the dummy hand face down and play in random order, ignoring "must follow suit" rules for dummy hand (I suspect it wouldn't win many tricks but might change the outcome on occasion, especially if it leads the first trick)
    4. Don't cherry pick cards into the maker's hand, but instead leave the dummy hand face up and the "maker" plays both hands (like in bridge)


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