This is a complete guide to the rummy game Buraco.

I will explain how Buraco is played.

I will tell you all about its rules and variations.

Sounds good? Let’s dive in…


1. What is Buraco?

In this chapter I will show you what Buraco is all about.

I will tell you how the game was created.

And you will see some of Buraco’s particularities.

Buraco is a type of Rummy card game that belongs to the Canasta Family. It is a game for four players in fixed partnerships. This means that usually two players play together against the other two players.

Of course, there are possible variations, since not always all four players are available for the game, so sometimes you have to play with 2 or three people. However, if you have a group of four people, including you, then the game is just great for you!

The goal of the game is to make combinations in groups of cards of the same rank and suit sequences. So, the goal is the same as in all other rummy games. It is necessary to make certain combinations, whether it would be melds or sequences.

In Buraco you can have both standard melds and sequences.

Melds would be groups of cards of the same value while sequences are cards in numerical order in the same suit.

The game Buraco originally comes from Uruguay and Argentina, from the mid-1940s.

The name of the game comes from the Portuguese word “buraco” which means “hole”. This applies to the minus score of any of the two partnerships. Buraco is also popular in the Arab world, especially in the Persian Gulf. However, in the Persian Gulf the name is called Baraziliya (Brazilian).

The Buraco game is played with two decks of cards which makes a total of 104 cards.

Before the game starts, the players cut the deck to determine who will be the first dealer. The person who got the lowest card should deal to the player of the other team who has cut the highest card.

The dealer shuffles and the player to their right cuts the deck.

After this, an interesting thing follows. The player sitting to the right of the dealer (the opponent) cuts the deck and thus tries to get exactly twenty-two cards. If he or she manages to do this, then his or her team immediately wins 100 extra points.

Then, this person uses these cards to make two hands of eleven cards each, and the first Hand is crossed over the second and they are both stacked in a corner of the card table. These two hands are called the “Pots” (which in Portuguese means “the dead”).

While these Pots are being made, the dealer deals eleven cards to each player. Dealing always continues clockwise.

2. Card Combinations

In this chapter I will show you the possible card combinations.

I will show you how to make melds.

And then in later chapter you will see how scoring is done in Buraco.

Teams make their Runs which means that runs are shared by both players in the team. To make a run, you have two ways.

Sequenceis one possibility of making a run. A sequence is made of three or more cards of the same suit in a numerical order.

Groupsare made of three or more face-cards of the same value (for example all jacks, all queens, all kings, or all aces).

Runs of seven or more cards earn extra points for the team. They can be classified in two groups:

  • Clean Run: Seven or more cards without a Wildcard. A Clean Run is shown by the last two cards placed face up across the others in a horizontal position.
  • Dirty Run: Seven or more cards with a Wildcard. Every Group with a Wildcard will always be Dirty. A Dirty Run is shown by the last card placed face up across the others in a horizontal position.

As for the wildcards, all deuces are considered wild and they are used to substitute any card in a Run. However, of course a deuce will not be considered a wildcard if it represents its face value of 2 in the run and is of the same suit.

If a deuce is used to represent a face value of 2 in a Sequence and is not used as a Wildcard, then the Run is still Clean.

If a Wildcard is played on a Clean Run, then the Run becomes Dirty and reduces the value of the additional points earned.

So there are two special rules regarding wildcards in runs.

First, a 2 in the same suit as the run is not counted as a wildcard if it is in its correct place. This has effects on scoring and opens the run to allow a wildcard on a run already containing a two. As an example you may legally play a run consisting of (AS, 2S, 3S, 2D, 5S). Here the two of spades does not count as a wild allowing the two of diamonds to be played as a substitute for the missing four.

And second, a special fourteen card run is allowed by playing all thirteen cards of a suit (ace to king) including a two of the correct suit and then an extra wildcard as the fourteenth card.

A Sequence may have two deuces only.

One deuce is used as a wildcard (not a face value of 2), and the other deuce is used to represent its face value of 2 in the Run. For example, these are valid Dirty Runs:

      • A-2-3-4-5-6-2
      • 2-2-3-4-5-6-7
      • A-2-2-4-5-6-7


3. Points in Buraco

In this chapter I will explain how scoring is done in Buraco.

You will see how the cards are valued.

And you will see what it takes to win the game.

Like other rummy games, in Buraco you also need to accumulate a certain amount of points to win the whole match.

The team that accumulates 3 000 or more points wins the match. There are several games during a match. Points are won by making runs of three or more cards face-up on the table, and each card played in a Run earns a point value for the team that played the card.

Now let us take a look at point values of cards. Cards numbered 3,4,5,6 and 7 have value of 5. Cards 2,8,9,10,J, Q, and K have a value of 10. Ace brings 15 points and Joker 20.

When the game is finished, players with cards in their hand that were not melded count negatively against their team’s total score for the match.

Every Clean Run is worth two-hundred additional points.

Every Dirty Run is worth one-hundred additional points.

If a run has 7 clean cards in a row plus a deuce, it is worth 150 points, but this rule is valid only for one of the eight Italian “Burraco Federations”.

Furthermore, if a team did not take a Hand from the Pot, then they must subtract 100 points from their total score for the match.

If the Game ends before any cards are played from a new hand picked up from the Pot, then the player with that new Hand will either subtract the combined point value of all the cards against their team’s total score for the match or subtract 100 points from their team’s total score for the match.

If one of the players plays all the cards in their hand and the team has taken a hand from the pot while the team has at least one clean run) and if thus a team ends the game, then that team wins 100 points to their total score.

The first draw in the game is different from other draws in every game since there is no discard pile at the beginning of the game. The first one to play is the person sitting to the left of the dealer. After the player draws the first card, he or she can take it or put it down face-up beginning the discard pile and then the first player can draw another card from the stock.

As for the melding, a team can only start to place runs on the table if they meld a minimum number of initial points. This minimum number actually varies depending on the total number of points already won by that team in the match. For instance, a team with less than 1500 points must initially meld a minimum of 50 points. A team with 1500 or more points must initially meld a minimum of 75 points.

If a team fails to meld the minimum initial number of points, then all the Runs are placed back into the Hand of the player and fifteen more points are added to the initial number to meld for that team during that Game.



4. The Course of the Game

In this chapter I will explain how exactly the game is played.

I will show you how specific steps in the game are conducted.

After this you will know how to play the game!

Although very similar to general Rummy game conduct, there are some specific rules when it comes to Buraco. These rules apply to drawing cards, making melds and determining turns of players.

Buraco game is always conducted clockwise. Each player’s turn begins with drawing a card. However, there is an exception for the first draw of the game.

When you are the first one to draw, you can either take a single card from the top of the stock or you can pick up all of the cards in the discard pile. And before drawing a card, players can examine the discard pile and re-arrange it in any way.

Keep in mind that within one team a player still cannot advise his or her teammate on whether they prefer a draw from the stock or from the discard pile.

After a player draws a card, he or she can meld for more points by simply putting any new runs on the table and adding cards onto their own team’s runs that are already placed on the table. Keep in mind that a player is only allowed to meld during his or her turn.

When a card is melded into a run, the card then cannot be moved into a different run. Furthermore, it cannot be picked up and placed into a player’s hand.

However, wild cards can be moved within a run.

Just as for the dealing, the same rule applies when it comes to advising your team’s player. Hence, a player is not allowed to advise his or her teammate on how they prefer them to meld any of their cards.

As already mentioned above, aces can have dual point nature. They can rank high or low and more than one ace can be played in a run.

One player’s turn is over the moment he or she discards a card from their hand.

After throwing away a card to the Discard Pile, no other move (e.g., putting down more cards, substituting cards, changing the discarded card) is permitted until the player’s next turn.

If a player plays all the cards in their hand and their team has not yet taken a Hand from the Pot, then the player picks-up the next Hand from the Pot.

The player who has melded all their cards will take a hand from the pot and if the player has not discarded, he or she continues to play from the new hand. If, however, he or she has discarded, then the game play from the hand will begin at that player’s next turn. This new Hand may only be played at the player’s next turn and must not even be looked at until the player’s partner has taken their turn.

If a team has picked up a hand from the pot, and they have not managed to make a clean run, then that team cannot play all the cards in either of their hands.

If a player plays all the cards in their Hand and the team has taken a hand from the Pot and the team has at least one Clean Run, then the Game ends.

In case the stock is empty and there are cards in the pot, then the next hand from the pot will be moved into the stock. Then, certainly, at least one team will need to subtract points from their total number of points that they have won for the match.

If the Stock is empty and there are not any cards in the Pot, then the Game is over without either team earning additional points for ending that Game.



5. Playing Buraco Online

In this chapter I will explain how this great game can be found and played online.

You will see some of the benefits of playing online.

And you will some useful websites.

Buraco can be easily found on the internet as well and it can be played with much joy. Perks of playing Buraco in such a manner are known to anyone who has ever enjoyed playing any game online. You can play it for free and learn about the game much more.

It is possible that your friends are not near, or that you do not possess decks of cards at the moment you wish to play. This is when playing online steps in. You can play with the computer or you can play with your friends from other parts of the world. Everything is arranged and randomized through the computer program.

You can try different Buraco websites where you can play the game and become familiar with the rules and the course of the game. You can practice playing with the computer, or you can play with your friends online. This is great since if you are a beginner or if in general you are not completely certain about all the rules or particularities of the game, you can simply get reminded through online games.

In the last couple of years, Buraco game has become increasingly popular and this is especially thanks to the platforms that allow games to be comfortably played from PC, tablet or cell phone. Thousands of people enjoy playing Buraco on the internet since it is very convenient and practical.

Of course, there are a couple of versions of Buraco that can be found online and the most widespread would probably be the four-player version where they challenge in two pairs. Yet, as already mentioned at the beginning of this guide, there are also variations with odd players.

You should know that Buraco is generally widely accepted since it is not only a game of entertainment. Many people enjoy playing it as Buraco is also a game that trains the mind and stimulates the strategic vision. In general, rummy games are typically seen as great for those who love strategic games and playing with combinations. Buraco is similar to other rummy games and as such it is very much appreciated by those who love making melds and exercising some game strategies.

Furthermore, the most important thing is that the game contributes to the social side, since people highly enjoy playing it together and thus having fun. This is why there is also Burraconline community that has thousands of active members. These members share their opinions, give advice, and exchange information on the Forum every day. This is also how you can make new friendships and meet many people who share the same passion for these card games as you do. Playing online is also an excellent way to relax and have fun. Therefore, even if your friends are not near or if you are feeling lonely because there is no one to play with, remember that there is plenty of web sites where you can find people who share your love for the game. You can play the game you love and chat with people about anything.

There are some great websites where you can play Buraco. Some of them require downloading software or an app to play it, while some allow you to simply play it from your browser. In general, you will see that most of these websites ask that you be registered, but registration is not an issue since you can register with any social media profile.

For instance, you can check http://www.y8.com/games/buraco where you need to register to play buraco and many other games, or you can try https://www.gamedesire.com/game/buraco where you can not only play, but also talk to other people since there is a forum. You can also register with Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter or Yahoo.

It is similar for https://www.playspace.com/en-gb/play/buraco where you can also find many other games.

On this page you can play buraco without having to download anything: http://www.burraco2.com/en/.