A partner-based card game similar to Rummy and Canasta where teams build melds and try to empty their hands. A popular game played around the world with many variants, including Buracco, Baraziliya, Biriba, and Perida.
The ultimate goal of Buraco is for a team to empty their hands first and score the most points.
Points are earned by creating melds, especially long melds and melds that do not include wild cards.
Points are lost for having cards remaining in a hand or by failing to empty a hand during play.
Use one standard deck of 52 cards plus two Jokers for each pair of players (108 cards for four players).
Shuffle the decks together, then have each player draw a card. The person with the highest card becomes the dealer and will immediately shuffle the decks again.
A player from a different team as the dealer takes two stacks of 11 cards each from the deck and sets them aside. These are called mortos and will be used later in the game.
Optional: if you plan on playing more than one game in a sitting, set a target point total (the standard is 3,000). See the final step under the Scoring section for how this impacts the game.
The dealer gives each player 11 cards. The remaining pile of 42 face-down cards becomes the draw pile.
The same player who created the mortos will go first. Players traditionally sit across from their teammate and play passes counter-clockwise. This virtual version seats players next to their team's table, so be sure to use the Turn Button to keep track of which player is active.
Playing the Game
For the first turn of the game, the first player begins by taking the top card of the draw pile and deciding if they want to keep it. If they do not want the card, they may place it face-up on the discard pile and draw a different card from the top of the draw pile.
After keeping either the first or second card, the player can begin creating melds on their team's table.
Melds in Buraco consist of a sequence of three or more consecutive cards of a single suit. Aces are either high or low, but they may not turn the corner (an Ace cannot be both high and low with cards on either side). The maximum meld length is 14 cards, beginning and ending with its own Ace. Jokers are wild, and any 2 can be played as a wild or as its face value and suit.
Once the player is finished laying down melds, they discard a card face-up on the discard pile to end their turn.
After the first turn of the game, a player may either draw the top card from the draw pile and keep it, or they can take the entire face-up discard pile. They then proceed to create their own melds and/or add cards to existing melds on their team's table.
The first player to empty their hand takes the first morto of 11 cards as their new hand. The second morto is then reserved for the first player of the other team who runs out of cards. When a player takes a morto while playing melds, they may continue playing melds using their new hand. If discarding a card empties their hand, they simply take the morto and their turn ends.
Two conditions can mark the end of the game:
When a team has a "clean sequence" meld on the table (a sequence without wild cards), a player on that team takes a morto, and on their teammate's turn they also empty their hand, the game ends.
When the draw pile runs out, the game ends. Note that if any mortos are unclaimed, one is converted to a new draw pile each time the final draw pile card is taken.
After one of the above conditions are met, teams tally their scores to determine a winner.
Taking a Turn
Draw a card from the draw pile or place the entire discard pile into your hand.
Play new melds or add cards to previously played melds by your team.
Discard a card.
At the end of the game, scores are tallied for each player and added up as their team's total.
For each card in a meld on a team's table, add points based on the below chart:
Joker: 20 points each
2: 10 points each
Ace: 15 points each
K, Q, J, 10, 9 or 8: 10 points each
7, 6, 5, 4 or 3: 5 points each
For every card in each player's hand, subtract its value from the team's total using the chart above for reference.
For every clean sequence (a meld with no wilds) of seven or more cards, award that team 200 extra points.
For every dirty sequence (a meld that includes wilds) of seven or more cards, award that team 100 extra points.
For a clean sequence of 13 cards, award that team 500 extra points.
For a clean sequence of 14 cards, award that team 1,000 extra points.
If a player on a team emptied their hand, award that team 100 extra points.
If a team did not take a morto, subtract 100 points. Note that if a player took a morto at the end of their turn, after discarding, and the game ends before they have a chance to play those cards, do not subtract the value of the cards in their hand, simply deduct the standard "no morto" 100 points.
The team with the highest score is declared the winner.
If a team's score is at least half of the target score (e.g. 1,500 out of 3,000), in the next round they are vulnerable. This means the first meld they put down must have a card value of at least 75 points.
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