Card games are a popular pastime enjoyed by people of all ages. There are countless variations of card games, from classic games like poker and blackjack to newer games like Cards Against Humanity.
Some of these card games have specific cards known as “bowers.” But what exactly are bowers, and which card games feature them? Let’s dive in and find out.
First things first – what is a bower? In traditional playing card decks, a bower is a specific type of card that serves as the highest trump in the game.
The most common type of bower is the Jack of the trump suit – for example, if hearts were the trump suit, the Jack of Hearts would be the bower. Some decks may also include a second bower, typically the other Jack of the same color as the first bower (so in our example, it would be the Jack of Diamonds).
One of the most well-known card games that features bowers is Euchre. This game is typically played with four players split into teams of two.
The deck used in Euchre only includes cards 9 through Ace in each suit (so no 2s through 8s). In addition to these cards, there are also two bowers – the Jack of Spades and the Jack of Clubs. These bowers serve as the highest trumps in the game.
In Euchre, players bid on how many tricks (or rounds) they think they can win with their current hand. The team that wins the bid gets to choose which suit is trump for that round. If one player has a bower in their hand and that suit becomes trump, they can use their bower to beat any other card played (except for another bower).
Another popular game that uses bowers is Sheepshead. This game is often played in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states, and is typically played with five or six players. The deck used in Sheepshead includes all the cards from Ace down to 7 in each suit, as well as the two bowers – the Jack of Diamonds and the Jack of Clubs.
In Sheepshead, players bid on how many points they think they can win with their current hand. Points are earned by winning tricks that contain certain cards – for example, the Ace of Trumps is worth 11 points. If a player has a bower in their hand and that suit becomes trump, they can use it to capture any other card played (except for another bower).
Bowers are an important element in certain card games, serving as the highest trumps in the deck. Games like Euchre and Sheepshead rely on these cards to add an extra layer of strategy and excitement to gameplay. Whether you’re a seasoned card player or just starting out, these games are definitely worth checking out if you want to experience the thrill of playing with bowers.