Traditional Burraco involves 4 players as it focuses on team play, basing every strategy on this aspect. However, the version that includes 2 players is also very common. What are the differences? Let’s look at them together.
For more: the rules of 4-player Burraco.
Difference between 2-player and 4-player Burraco
The rules are basically the same as for the 4-player game, except that rather than a team game, it becomes a work of personal skill.
Players sit facing each other (also to prevent either or both of them from peeking at the cards). The dealer deals 11 cards each, while the other player creates the “wells,” which is the block of cards that will be used when the first 11 are all discarded.
From this moment, each player draws a card by choosing either from the remaining deck of cards placed in the center (called the “heel”) or from the “discard pile” that is, the cards already discarded (in the latter case, however, he must take all the discarded cards present at that time).
The winner is the one who discards all the cards first thus making the closing but not without having made at least one “canasta” or a straight of at least seven cards.
Whoever reaches the final 2005 score first wins (in cases of 2-way matches, very often more matches are made because the scores are often lower but this is not always the case).
A different strategic approach
So what are the differences between playing 4 and playing 2? Essentially about strategy. A 2-player game is usually more complicated since you have no help and must make at least one canasta simply from the cards available and what you can draw from the “heel” or “discard pile.”
In the case of a 4-player game, the chance of making a canasta is doubled because there are 22 cards available and not 11, just as double is the chance of drawing a useful card. It can also happen, however, that a player has a strategy in mind and his colleague has no cards to help him or starts a completely different strategy or worse ruins the initial strategy with wrong or opposite plays.
In 2-player burraco, the game is more tactical, as you tend to uncover your cards only when you have a chance to close. Once the first player succeeds in closing out the first part of the game, the second player has only to decide whether to throw down a few points by showing his strategy, or keep his cards in his hand and risk paying negative points.
Therefore, it can be concluded that while in the game of 4, “union is strength” in the game of 2, “self makes three.”