Bacon (card game)
|Alternative names||American Euchre|
|Playing time||15 min.|
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Bacon is a trick-taking card game that resembles a simplified version of Euchre.
History and precedents
Bacon originated in the United States the early twentieth century. It is based on the older game of Euchre, but differs mainly in using a full 52-card Anglo-American deck, has a slightly modified scoring system and trump selection system, and adds the aspect of permission.
The object of Bacon is to be the first player to reach a predetermined threshold of points, usually 10 or 15. Players work together with their partner, who sits across from them, to collect more tricks than their opponents. In each hand, the team that wins the majority of the 5 tricks receives 1 point, or 2 if all 5 tricks are won. The score received by a team is doubled if they were not the team to declare trump or if one of the team members won the tricks "alone" (see below).
At the beginning of a hand, the dealer deals 5 cards to each player and deals a single card face up in the center. The trump selection process is colloquially called the auction, though it does not actually involve bidding as in some other games, such as bridge.
During the trump selection process, each player in turn is offered the suit of the face-up card as trump, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. When a player is offered the card, he may choose to either pass and thus offer the card to the next player, or declare the suit as trump, usually by stating "pick it up". When a player declares, the player to his left draws the face-up card (which is now a member of the trump suit) into his hand, discards a card to reduce his hand total to 5, and begins the hand by leading the first trick. The player who draws the trump card into his hand is not on the same team as the declarer, giving a slight disadvantage to the declaring team, though not enough to outweigh the advantage of declaring trump.
When a player declares, if he has a particularly good hand, he may choose to "go alone". This player believes he will be able to win all of the tricks without the help of his partner, thus dismissing his partner from the hand. The risk of going alone is no different than the risk of declaring normally, though it may be easier for opponents to win more tricks, while the reward of winning all of the tricks is double the reward when playing with a partner.
When a player chooses to declare a suit as trump, his partner may deny him permission to do so. When this occurs, trump selection continues as though the declaring player has passed. A player should only deny his partner permission to declare a suit as trump if he has very few or none of the declared suit and believes his partner is relying on his having some cards of the declared suit. After a trump has been declared, a player may also refuse his partner permission to go alone. A player should only do this if he believes that his partner is greatly overestimating his hand. In general, it is very rare that a player denies his partner permission.
Follow-up offers and acquitting
If no player chooses to declare the face-up card as trump, the card is removed from the game and another card is dealt face-up in the center as a follow-up offer or just a follow-up, which is once again offered to each player, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. If four cards go by and no player has declared it trump, the hand is acquitted and a new hand is dealt.
The team that declared trump is known as the declaring team, while the other team is known as the defending team, or more simply the defense. If a player chose to go alone, he is known as a loner. Although it is the goal of both teams to win the majority (3 or more) of the 5 tricks, the defending team receives more points for doing so (as they are at a disadvantage for not declaring the trump suit).
The leader of the first trick is the player left of the declarer, who drew the trump card into his hand; the leader of each subsequent trick is the winner of the previous one. The leader of a trick may play any card from their hand, and the suit of the played card becomes the lead suit. Going clockwise, each player must play a card of the lead suit from their hand, or a card of any other suit if they have none of the lead suit. If any card of the trump suit is played during a trick, the player of the highest trump card wins the trick. Otherwise, the player of the highest card of the lead suit wins the trick.
If the declaring team wins 3 or 4 tricks, they receive 1 point. If the declaring team wins all 5 tricks, they receive 2 points. If the defending team or a loner win 3 or 4 tricks, they receive 2 points. If the defending team or a loner win all 5 tricks, they receive 4 points.
|3 or 4 tricks||5 tricks|
|Declaring||1 point||2 points|
|Loner||2 points||4 points|
|Defense||2 points||4 points|
The first team to reach a predetermined threshold of points, usually 10 or 15, is the winner.
- Euchre game variations
- Euchre variations
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