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Encyclopedia Dubuque



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EUCHRE. Dubuque's favorite card game. The game is thought to have started among the Pennsylvania "Dutch" (actually German immigrants), who brought the card game west with them as they moved. The name may have originated from the German word "euch" meaning "to you." The jacks, the highest cards in the trump suit, are called bowers that come from the German word bauer meaning "farmer." The "jack" in ancient Europe was a farmer.

Six variations of the game have been listed by the U.S. Playing Card Company. The four-handed variation is most commonly played. The "Worldwide Euchre Tournament," organized by Roy Wemmer, was held in Dubuque during 1986 and 1987 as part of WINTERFEST. The tournament attracted one hundred forty participants from throughout the Midwest in competition for cash prizes and a trophy.

In February 1885 the Dubuque Sunday Herald described the end of the seasonal "progressive euchre" by saying:

               It is a wearing game, too, as hard on a person's 
               nerves and physique as dancing, if not more so... (1)



"A Slim Week-Progressive Euchre on Its Last Legs--Cooking Clubs--Fashion," Dubuque Sunday Herald, Feb, 15, 1888, p. 2