Once popular pub game Euchre faces dying out unless new players join in

Bob Boggis who is hoping to drum up some interest in the old pub card game Euchre.Picture: James Bas

Bob Boggis who is hoping to drum up some interest in the old pub card game Euchre.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Players of a once popular pub game fear it could be resigned to history unless new people take it up.

Bob Boggis, 73, has been playing euchre for just over 50 years and he has been chairman of the DP Leisure Great Yarmouth Euchre league for four years.

It is played in very few places across the UK today, and traditionally, the trick-taking card game, is associated with Devon, Cornwall as well as Great Yarmouth.

But league members fear euchre could go the same way as other once popular pub games like solo, cribbage, dominoes and whist, which have been dwindling in support as pub-goers prefer to play pool or on quiz machines.

He said: 'Pub culture has changed, and a lot of local pubs have changed. When I started going as a teenager they were family pubs, with a wide range of people some quite elderly people, and middle-aged people and then younger folk.'

Mr Boggis, of Common Road, Gorleston, learnt to play euchre from older punters at the pub he used to go to in his early-20s. Back then you had to have a minimum of six players to a team, playing on three tables, and there were two Yarmouth leagues.

Today, there are normally only enough players for three to a game and just the one league remains, with six teams involved.

Most Read

Despite the falling numbers playing, the father-of-three and granddad to six said he still enjoys the game.

'You have to make a lot of calls that are a lot weaker than the perfect hand, and you do not know what other players have. There could be three or four ways of playing the same hand. You think 'how the hell did I get euchered with that hand?' That is what makes it the game it is.'

He added the best way to learn the game was to have the rules explained and then play along and learn from mistakes.

'It has been great to go around different pubs and meet different people. It is a lot better to be out mixing with real people than to be sitting at home.

'The game we have at the Wheelwright on a Sunday is not the most orderly game. Everyone has a few drinks and enjoys themselves.'

The administration of the league is being taken over by Debbie Beavers, the landlady of the Wheelwright Arms in Gorleston.

The Great Yarmouth Euchre League is sponsored by DP Leisure, which is based in Deneside, Yarmouth.

Mr Boggis said: 'Without their support and sponsorship over the years, the league probably would have folded a long time ago. Everyone who has played in the league, past and present, is grateful.'

The six pubs which are still in Yarmouth's Euchre League, which has matches on Tuesday, are the The Lion in Euston Road, Yarmouth; The Windmill in Cobholm; Kevill Arms in Church Road, Gorleston; The Sun Inn in Bradwell; the Duke of Wellington in St Peters Road, Yarmouth; and the Wheelwright Arms in Beccles Road, Gorleston.

'We are all trying to keep the league going as long as we can,' said Mr Boggis.

Did you used to play euchre and would like to take it up again to help the league survive? Or would you like to learn to play? Call in at any of the pubs in this report for details about who to contact.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter