Burraco is a rummy-style card game that originated in South America in the early 20th century. The game became immensely popular in Italy during the 1970s and Italian tournament rules subsequently became the standard rules used for international competitive play. Today, Burraco remains widely enjoyed in Italy as a social game among friends and family. The game has also found a new audience online, where virtual versions allow people to play Burraco anytime against real opponents or computer-controlled players.
Burraco is played with two standard decks of 52 cards plus 4 jokers, for a total of 108 cards. There are 4 players split into two partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other. The objective is to meld all your cards into valid sets and sequences, known as burraco melds when 7+ cards. Points are scored for your melds as well as penalties given for cards left unmelded. The first partnership to reach 2000 total points wins.
|Meld all your cards in hand
|Number of Players
|4 players (fixed partnerships)
|Number of Cards
|Two 52-card decks + 4 jokers
|Rank of Cards
|Joker (high), 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
|Rank of Suits
|Spades (high), Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs
|Type of Game
In Burraco, the ranks of cards from high to low are:
Suits are ranked with spades being the highest, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
Jokers and 2s serve as wild cards which can substitute for any other card. Aces can be played high or low in sequences but not both at once.
Card values for scoring are:
To determine the first dealer, each player draws a card and the one with the lowest value card becomes the first dealer. The player to the dealer’s left goes first when playing.
The dealer thoroughly shuffles the deck and the player to their right cuts the deck before dealing. The dealer passes 11 cards to each player then places the remaining cards in a draw pile face down in the center. The top card of the draw pile is turned face up to begin the discard pile.
During the deal, the player that cut the cards deals two “pozzetti” piles of 11 cards each. These piles are placed in a cross configuration and act as additional hands that players draw later in the round.
A meld is a combination of 3+ cards placed face up on the table. There are two types of valid melds in Burraco:
Melds are built during a player’s turn by playing cards from their hand or by adding cards to existing melds already on the table. However, you can only add to your partnership’s melds, not your opponent’s.
Melds with no wild cards are called “pulito” or clean melds. Melds with at least one wild card are “sporco” or dirty melds.
Melds containing 7+ cards are called burraco melds. They score bonus points if clean or dirty. A clean burraco meld scores +200 points while a dirty burraco scores +100. The last card of a burraco is turned horizontally to indicate its status.
The player to the dealer’s left takes the first turn. On each turn, a player must:
Play continues clockwise until someone goes out or the draw pile empties.
During play, there are two opportunities to draw the 11-card pozzetti piles and use them as your new hand:
The first partnership to have a player go out gets first pick of the pozzetti. The other partnership takes the remaining pile. A partnership is penalized 100 points if they fail to take their pozzetti before the round ends.
To go out and end the round, a player must:
Going out scores +100 points for a partnership.
A round of Burraco ends when:
After a round ends, points are scored as follows:
The first partnership to reach a cumulative score of 2000 or more points over several rounds wins the game. If both teams go over 2000 on the same round, the team with the higher score is the victor.
Burraco rewards both skillful melding and strategic pozzetti taking. Here are some tips to up your chances of winning:
The traditional social game of Burraco has found a perfect home online where virtual versions allow players to enjoy a round anytime. Players can compete against friends, join open tables, or take on computer opponents.
Online Burraco offers benefits including:
Many online casinos now offer real money Burraco games and tournaments. Players can deposit funds, earn prizes for winning, and even qualify for live tournaments. Real money Burraco appeals to experienced players looking for top competition.
Playing Burraco for free is recommended for beginners who want to learn at low stakes. Free play options let you get familiar with gameplay and strategy before transitioning to real money.
As a classic rummy-style game requiring skill and planning, Burraco works seamlessly online. Veterans and newcomers alike are embracing virtual Burraco as a fun and accessible way to play this enduring Italian card game.
Burraco’s rise in popularity online has led many casinos to offer the game. With so many options, it can be tricky to identify the ideal site. Here are key factors to evaluate when selecting an online casino for Burraco:
Look for a casino that provides multiple variants and formats of Burraco such as:
More game formats allows you to find the style you enjoy most and switch things up.
Check that the casino offers suitable betting choices for your preferences:
A range of betting options enables both new and veteran players to enjoy Burraco appropriately.
Opt for a casino with a mobile-friendly platform so you can play Burraco on the go from iOS or Android devices. Navigation and gameplay should be smooth and intuitive on a smaller screen.
Read user feedback on independent review sites to gauge real player experiences with factors like game quality, bonuses, payouts, and customer service. Avoid casinos with frequently negative reviews.
Only play Burraco at reputable, licensed casinos that use proper security measures and offer fair games. Check for certifications from oversight bodies like eCOGRA which audit game randomness.
Maximize value by taking advantage of lucrative signup bonuses like free spins, matched deposits, and no deposit perks to play Burraco online. Just be sure to read the terms.
Burraco has captivated Italian card players for generations with its strategic melding fun. Now the game is delighting a global community online, where virtual Burraco makes it easy to play this rummy-style classic anytime, anywhere. With so many casinos catering to beginners and experts alike, anyone can experience Burraco’s compelling gameplay and enjoy matching wits with opponents from around the world. As Burraco continues gaining fans internationally, its future looks bright both at the physical table and in the digital realm.
The Italian tournament rules are considered the standard rules for competitive Burraco. Key elements include 4 players in fixed partnerships, 108 cards including jokers, melding sets and sequences, pozzetti pile draws, bonuses for 7+ card burraco melds, and a goal of 2000 points.
Burraco shares similarities with the card game canasta, including melding and bonuses for 7+ card melds. However, Burraco uses different cards, scoring, and features like the pozzetti piles.
Yes, adapted 2-player rules exist allowing head-to-head Burraco with adjustments like 10 card hands and shorter melds. Online Burraco sites usually offer 2-player games.
Key strategies include melding early, timing your pozzetti draw, coordinating with your partner, limiting card losses, planning bonus melds, and blocking opponents when possible.
Burraco became a sensation in Italy during the 1970s and remains widely enjoyed today as both a leisure activity and competitive sport, with thousands of clubs and tournaments.
Many online casinos now offer real money and free Burraco games. Large sites like PokerStars and SNAI feature Burraco alongside other card games.
Jim Buffer is a highly knowledgeable and accomplished author specializing in articles and reviews of casino games, with a particular expertise in gambling and crash games. With years of experience in the industry, Jim has established himself as a trusted authority, providing valuable insights and analysis to the gaming community.
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