Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#29. Deal a Game of Euchre

For years I avoided euchre due to its strange spelling and intricate rules. This was difficult considering that my mom regularly hosted a euchre night for approximately 20 giggling high school girlfriends. Euchre seemed to surround me, whether it was at family functions, at home, or even hanging out with friends. I could not escape it, so I finally caved in and learned the game. It was a good choice.

Before I get any further, a bit of explanation is in order for those unfamiliar with the definition of this odd word. Euchre (pronounced yoo-ker) is a four person card game. The four people split into teams of two and compete against each other. The goal of the game is to be the first team to win ten points. Like many card games learned after 'war,' euchre has a complicated set of rules that are best learned by playing. I am not especially skilled at giving directions, so if you are unfamiliar with the game and really clueless, continue to this link before I confuse you with my bumbling attempts at instruction. Or check out this video by a store clerk on his lunch break:

Once one gets over the initial overwhelming learning stage, play euchre is tons of fun. In Indiana, it is basically required to know how to play. Real life evidence: yesterday at my New Student Orientation for Indiana University, my group was playing one of those horrifically mind-numbing icebreaker games. The instructor was really peppy and sweet, but the apathetic silence of my peers was starting to dampen her enthusiasm. No words or emotions passed between the group members until one brave girl told our group that she enjoyed playing euchre. Every face lit up and energetic chatter broke out as we traded our euchre stories. Everyone, that is, except for a girl from St. Louis. When she asked what euchre was, scoffs and cries of disbelief erupted from nearly every Hoosier group member. As children of euchre, we Indiana natives simply cannot fathom those who not only do not know how to play, but have never heard of the game.

Icebreakers: Awkward Embarrassment for Everyone!

I can trace the roots of my euchre snobbery to family vacations. Nearly every year, my dad's side of the family vacations together in South Carolina. Days are spent on the beach and nights consist of board and/or card games. It was in South Carolina, not Indiana, that I first learned to play euchre. Continuing the tradition this year, an intense euchre game broke out amongst me, my mom, and cousins. I was partnered with my 21 year old cousin Morgan. Our power duo took on my mom and 13 year old cousin Nick. 

At first, the outlook was grim for me and Morgan. We took few risks and luck was not on our side. The score reflected this: their 9 points to our 2.  Out of nowhere, Morgan became a euchre maverick. She took risks that a base jumper would envy. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but her recklessness was rewarded; before our opponents realized what was happening, Morgan and I came back from a seven point disadvantage to win the game. It was truly a game for the Euchre Hall of Fame, if such a thing exists.

Even in South Carolina, I was able to bring some of Indiana with me thanks to the convenient portability of euchre.

No comments:

Post a Comment