Burraco is one of the most fun, bonding and exciting games, as well as one of the most popular on the entire planet, that can be played with cards. With a very large and complex tradition behind it, there are many constantly evolving versions played just about everywhere.
The changes implemented-with particular attention toward those in Italy or Brazil, countries where the number of burraco devotees is particularly large-are the result not only of the tradition, but also of the players’ willingness to have fun in an alternative way than the standard rules, often not even too well known by locals, but passed down as a common heritage.
The different variants can have various names, various scores, objectives, number of people, and obviously a more or less prolonged length of the game.
Basically, we are talking about variations to the main regulation, not radical upheavals. Knowing them well could help to come up with a new vision of the game, or to be ready when faced with a game of Tarca, rather than Andromeda, or Cassiopeia.
Tarca, Cassiopeia and Andromeda
Among some of the more interesting variations to the standard burraco rulebook, let us recall three of the most entertaining: Tarca, Cassiopeia and Andromeda.
As for Tarca, it is a game that, like regular burraco, involves two decks of French cards, including pins and jokers. It is played by two or four players, and each player will receive 11 cards in his or her hand.
The goal is to finish one’s cards by trying to create combinations between cards of the same value but different suit, or cards in sequential order but with the same suit, trying to accumulate the highest possible score (or a score to be reached decided before the game)
The variant called Andromeda is played with an always even number of players, again two or four. The ultimate goal of the game that determines victory is to end up with only one card in the hand, excluding wild cards or the pinella.
As for the Cassiopeia variant, on the other hand, the goal of the game is to run out of cards, stay with a pair of cards in your hand-as long as they are in scaled succession-or stay with only one card.
The variations listed are obviously some of the most fun, but often burraco players make variations from the standard rulebook based on other factors.
For example, the value of the wild card, in some games equal to 50 in others to 20. Another variation is the score given to the dirty burraco of 150 compared to 300 for the clean burraco. Several players tend to give higher scores to clean burras obtained with eight cards of the same suit. Also not infrequently, all results are rounded to a multiple of ten, for example, a score of 485 is rounded to 490.
As is evident, variations can be numerous and not necessarily ascribable to rigid regulations, burraco being a game with a strong folk tradition. For example, on scores there are several variations that change often, and the most common counts may be 2000, rather than 3000, or even 3500 points.
Experimenting and trying different variations, even inventing new ones, is entirely possible with a game as dynamic and fun as burraco.