FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When asked how long a typical Euchre game lasts, Tori Burke backtracked on her original answer of “30 minutes.”
“Well, whenever I play,” she confessed, “we typically talk a while so probably it takes longer than it could.”
Together with fellow senior Ellie Villaruz, Burke leads the Euchre Club at Homestead High School. The group meets after school and draws more than 50 students weekly.
“You always play it with your friends,” Burke said to explain the game’s appeal. “Some games, you go against everyone. But in this game, you’re playing along with your partner. It’s not just all you alone. I enjoy that.”
Burke learned the game from her family. So did Bud Hockemeyer, who is more senior citizen than senior in high school. Hockemeyer helped start the weekly Euchre Club at the New Haven Community Center.
“My grandma and grandpa back then had a big farmhouse table and that’s where everybody would get together and we played Euchre,” he recalled. “They were big Euchre fans.”
Many in the New Haven club play bid-Euchre.
“You have more cards,” Hockemeyer explained. “It’s a lot more fun, more people.”
When asked if it was a social or card playing group, Hockemeyer had a quick answer.
“Well, there’s a lot of both. A lot of laughter. A lot of good friends. We have a good time.”
None of that surprised Randy Wilson, a self-described “gaming guru” and the driving force behind “Legends of Nerdvana,” a game review site and YouTube channel. Wilson doubted any game is more prevalent in the Hoosier state than Euchre.
“If you’re in an environment where you just want to talk and socialize, maybe a drinking environment (if you’re into that), Euchre is a good game to play, It’s very low key. You don’t have to stress over it.”
“We’ve noticed this really strong feeling of Euchre nostalgia,” said marketing manager Molly Joyce. “Lots of families played at family parties. College kids played in their dorms with their friends. Any kind of gathering where there’s a game in the Midwest, everyone knows how to play Euchre.”
Do the shirts bring luck?
“I don’t have any concrete stories for you, but I’ve been told that your cards are supposedly better whenever you’re wearing a shirt.”
The regular Euchre players at the Towne House Community Center – Joyce, Rem, Doris, Tom, Lois and Dave – have also played the game for decades, but they disagree on how much conversation is right.
“The women like to gossip,” the men said while the women countered, “The men don’t like to talk.
“But they do.”
Euchre in Northeast Indiana