Trick-taking card games are pretty popular amongst card game lovers because the rules are often easy to understand and learn quickly by adults and kids. Some trick-taking card games like Call Break, Spades, and Euchre are popularly played across the globe. As a card game lover, you too, may have played at least one trick-taking card game.
For all those card gamers who adore trick-taking card games but are a little bored of playing those games, here’s another game from the same category that you may have never played before. Quickly learn the easy rules below for the Bray game and get started.
What is Booray?
The Bray game, also called Bourré and commonly known as Booray, is a gambling card game that involves trick-taking and is popular in Louisiana in the USA and the Greek island of Psara. The gameplay of Booray is closely related to that of the Spades and Euchre card games. Moreover, the game also comes with a few variations in rules for playing and betting.
Bray Card Game Rules
Booray can be played between 4 to 5 or more players with a standard pack of 52 cards. With seven players playing Booray, the players may discard only three cards.
The objective of the game is to win the most tricks in each hand and win the pot. If a player is unable to win the majority of tricks, the secondary objective is to win no tricks at all, as a bourré comes with a high penalty.
Players ante to a pot for each deal. The dealer deals five cards face down, one at a time, to each player, beginning from the player on their left. The dealer then draws a card and places it face-up, which designates the trump suit, and they announce the suit for the game.
Also Read: Euchre card game- Gameplay and Rules
How to play Booray?
After the dealer deals the cards, players look at their cards and can choose to drop out of the hand by placing all the five cards face-down and forfeiting their ante. Alternatively, the player may stay in the game to win the pot or sustain losses. Beginning from the dealer’s left, each active player discards one card to five cards in hand, clockwise, and draws an equal number from the deck. The discarded cards form a separate pile.
After the players draw cards, the player seated on the dealer’s left leads by playing cards in tricks. The leader leads with their highest trump (ace, king, or queen), and the other players follow suit in a clockwise direction. Each trick must be played in the following manner:
- Players must follow suit, if possible.
- Each player must play a higher card than the previous card played, if possible.
- Players can play a trump card if they are unable to follow suit.
- Players can also play any card if they are unable to follow suit led or play a trump suit.
The player to play the highest card of the suit led or a higher trump card wins the trick. The player who wins a trick or a round collects the cards and places the cards in front of them face-up. The winner of the trick leads another trick with any card. The game proceeds in the same manner until all tricks have been completed.
Winning in Booray
Once all the five tricks have been played, the winner is determined.
- If a player has won more tricks than any other player, the player wins the hand automatically and wins the pot.
- If more than one player is in a tie for winning most tricks, they split the pot. For instance, with five tricks, the possible splits can be 1-1-1-1-1 and 2-2-1.
- If a player doesn’t win any tricks or doesn’t follow the rules, they are said to have bourréd and are required to match the pot in the next round instead of the usual ante. For instance, if there are four red chips at the end of the round, the player who bourréd must add four red chips into the pot during the next round.
The booray game has a lot of variations in rules as it is popular in different regions. Other common variations in the game exist in the pot limit that caps the amount a bourré can cost a player.
The dealer antes for all the players in some variations, which simplifies determining if the players have anteed. In such a variation, if there are five players in a 1 dollar ante game, the dealer antes five dollars in each hand.
While one of the primary rules of the Bray game states that all the players must play to win, a variation arises when a player holds only one trump but not the lead suit and is forced to play the trump even though it cannot beat the higher trump already played on the table.
Also Read: How to Play Spades Game?
The bray card game is a blend of poker games and bridge card games as it involves antes, winning the pot, and trick-taking. The gameplay is quite similar to trick-taking games like Bride, Spades, Call Break, Euchre, and Teen Do Panch. Therefore, if you have played any of these games before, acing this one will be a piece of cake. Moreover, this game will keep your entertainment level high due to the variation in rules. So, if you haven’t already played the booray game before, you must try this game online or play live with a group of friends during your next gaming session.