• Convenience: Play from anywhere with an internet connection, without the need to physically gather players.
  • Availability: Online platforms often have players available around the clock, making it easy to find a game.
  • Variety of Players: You can play against a wide range of players from different skill levels and regions, enhancing the challenge and experience.
  • Automated Game Management: The online system manages scoring, card dealing, and rule enforcement, ensuring a smooth gameplay experience.
  • Learning Tool: For beginners, online Burraco can be a great way to learn the game at their own pace without pressure.
  • Social Interaction: Many platforms have chat features, allowing social interaction with other players.
  • Reduced Skill Development: Relying on automated features may hinder the development of certain skills like shuffling or reading opponents.

Burraco: The Classic Italian Rummy Card Game Now Played Online

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.

Gameplay Overview

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.

ObjectiveMeld all your cards in hand
Number of Players4 players (fixed partnerships)
Number of CardsTwo 52-card decks + 4 jokers
Rank of CardsJoker (high), 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
Rank of SuitsSpades (high), Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs
Type of GameRummy
AudienceAll Ages

Card Values and Rankings

In Burraco, the ranks of cards from high to low are:

  • Joker
  • 2
  • Ace
  • King
  • Queen
  • Jack
  • 10 through 7

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:

  • Joker – 30 points
  • 2 – 20 points
  • Ace – 15 points
  • K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8 – 10 points
  • 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 – 5 points
  • The Deal

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.

Making Melds

A meld is a combination of 3+ cards placed face up on the table. There are two types of valid melds in Burraco:

  • Sets – 3+ cards of the same rank, up to a maximum of 9 cards. Can include wild cards.
  • Sequences – 3+ cards of the same suit in consecutive order. Can include one wild card as a substitute. Aces high or low but not both.

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.

Burraco Online

Playing a Round

The player to the dealer’s left takes the first turn. On each turn, a player must:

  • Draw either the top card from the draw pile or the top discard
  • Meld cards from hand if possible
  • Discard one card

Play continues clockwise until someone goes out or the draw pile empties.

Drawing the Pozzetti

During play, there are two opportunities to draw the 11-card pozzetti piles and use them as your new hand:

  1. Direct Draw – A player immediately draws a pozzetti after melding all cards from their original hand. This is the top priority pozzetti draw.
  2. On Discard – If a player cannot meld all their cards, they can meld down to one card then discard it to go out “on the discard”. This player has second priority to take a pozzetti.

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.

Going Out

To go out and end the round, a player must:

  • Take a pozzetti pile
  • Make at least one clean or dirty burraco meld
  • Meld all remaining cards except one, then discard the final card

Going out scores +100 points for a partnership.

Ending the Round

A round of Burraco ends when:

  • A player goes out by melding all their cards down to one and discarding it
  • Only two cards remain in the draw pile
  • The players reach a stalemate and agree to end the round

Scoring Points

After a round ends, points are scored as follows:

  • Cards melded – Gain card point values
  • Cards remaining in hand – Lose card point values
  • Clean burraco – +200 points
  • Dirty burraco – +100 points
  • Going out bonus – +100 points
  • Failing to take pozzetti – -100 points

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.

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Strategies for Success

Burraco rewards both skillful melding and strategic pozzetti taking. Here are some tips to up your chances of winning:

  • Make melding your first priority. Try to meld early and often to limit card losses.
  • Avoid holding wild cards too long, especially jokers. Their high point value can hurt you.
  • Pay attention to the melds your partner plays and try to extend them when possible. Work together.
  • Time your pozzetti draw carefully. Draw too early and you miss out on melding opportunities. Too late and your opponents may draw first.
  • If you can’t meld out, discard a high value card to try to lure your partner into going out instead.
  • Making a clean burraco meld gives a huge 200 point bonus. Start planning your 7+ card melds early.
  • Study opponent melds to block their burraco plans by holding key cards they need.

Burraco Online

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:

  • Play 24/7 – No need to schedule times with friends
  • Learn rules/scoring – Tutorials teach gameplay basics
  • Matchmaking – Get matched with players of similar skill
  • Solo practice – Play against computer AI
  • Tournaments – Compete to top the leaderboards
  • Statistics – Review your win percentage and results
  • Mobile access – Play on your phone or tablet on the go

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 at Starcasino

How to Pick the Best Online Casino for Burraco

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:

Game Variety

Look for a casino that provides multiple variants and formats of Burraco such as:

  • Classic Burraco (4 players)
  • Short Burraco (faster version)
  • Burraco with passing
  • 2-player Burraco
  • Single-player vs AI

More game formats allows you to find the style you enjoy most and switch things up.

Betting Options

Check that the casino offers suitable betting choices for your preferences:

  • Free play – Practice without wagers
  • Low stakes – Ideal for casual gaming
  • High stakes – For serious, experienced players
  • Tournaments – Compete for prizes and jackpots

A range of betting options enables both new and veteran players to enjoy Burraco appropriately.

Mobile Compatibility

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.

User Reviews

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.

Signup Bonuses

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.


What are the standard rules for Burraco?

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.

Is Burraco like canasta?

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.

Can you play Burraco with 2 players?

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.

What strategy tips can help you win at Burraco?

Key strategies include melding early, timing your pozzetti draw, coordinating with your partner, limiting card losses, planning bonus melds, and blocking opponents when possible.

How popular is Burraco in Italy?

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.

Where can I play Burraco online?

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
AuthorJim Buffer

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.

As a specialist in gambling and crash games, Jim possesses a deep understanding of the mechanics, strategies, and dynamics of these games. His articles and reviews offer a comprehensive and informed perspective, guiding readers through the intricacies of different casino games and providing valuable tips to enhance their gameplay experience.