“What’s trump?”

A poem about euchre.

“What’s trump?”
“No, what is trump?”
“It’s the strongest suit.”
“So spades is the strongest suit?”
“Right now it is.”
“Trump changes?”
“Pretty much every round.”
“What’s a round?”
“We’re dealt a hand, and we bid to take tricks.”
“What’s a trick?”
“A successful bid.”
“How many tricks do you need to win?”
“Three outta five for a point in the round. Take all five tricks and it’ll earn ya two points. First team to ten points wins.”
“So you bid to take tricks to earn points to win?”
“But what’s trump?”
“It’s the suit that’s ordered up.”
“So trump changes suits? And it’s the strongest suit?”
“All the time – well, unless you’ve got a Joker.”

by Kailey Ann


Poetry as an exercise in concise language, explaining my favorite card game.

Two pairs of partners play
a four-person trump game.
The deck consists of 24 cards:
A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9
in each of four suits:
Spades, Hearts, Clubs, and Diamonds.

First player dealt a black Jack is the dealer.
Offer a cut to the right,
and drop what’s left over on top.
Each partner gets a hand of five,
doled out in two rounds going clockwise:
The four-card “kitty” is placed
face-down in front of the dealer,
who turns up the card on the top.

Let the bidding begin to the left;
players can pass or tell the dealer to
“pick it up,” or ‘order up trump.’
If the dealer gets a bid,
they can decide to pick it up,
put the card in their hand,
and discard a card to the kitty.

If the dealer picks up,
its suit is called “trump”
and is now the strongest suit in the round;
except, for the two cards of highest rank,
all that matters is color.
Two Jacks,
red or black,
have become the right and left bowers.
For example:

Call a Jack of Spades a Spade,
unless the trump suit is Clubs.

Now, the cards’ rank takes effect:
J and J of the color of trump, then
A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9
in descending order of power.

Let the trick-taking start to the left
of the player who named trump.
How will they lead?
No table-talk.

by Kailey Ann