Booray, also known as Bourré, is a fun trick-taking card game that was once very famous in the United States of America. While the game isn’t quite as popular these days, it’s still well worth playing.
Before we look at the rules, let’s look at what the game is all about.
What is The Booray Card Game?
The aim in Booray is to take as many tricks as you can. Of course, you win by taking the most tricks, but taking at least one is enough to keep you in the game. If you don’t take a trick, you Booray, which means you are out of the game.
Booray is played with the standard 52 card deck and can be played with between 2 to 7 people. So, whether you play it as a two-player card game or with a large group, it will be a fun time. And yes, you can use multiple rule sets like many card games when playing Booray. But we’ll be looking at the most popular ruleset, which is sometimes used in casinos.
You can win a trick by playing the highest card in the leader suit; however, you can bypass this if you have a trump card. We’ll talk more about how the rules for this classic card game work below. But let’s first look at what you’ll need to play.
What You’ll Need To Play?
You’ll need a deck of playing cards to play Booray. Finding some cards shouldn’t be difficult, although we particularly like these Bicycle Stargazer cards. Their more colorful design will look good on any tabletop.
You can play with Poker chips too. It isn’t strictly necessary for at-home games, but it will help when it comes to the betting phase of the game. Nevertheless, used in many games, Poker chips can be hard to find in shops.
But they are pretty easy to find online; this box of 100 colorful Poker chips would make a fine choice. So, let’s now look at how the game of Booray is played.
Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
Booray aims to win by taking tricks. You win by being the player who takes the most tricks or wins the pot. Now, like any good trick-taking card game, there are multiple ways you can do this. Let’s look at the setup and the rules you need to know.
Once every player is seated, you should nominate a dealer. You can do it either way, but ideally, it should be the most experienced player. If you’re struggling to choose a dealer, one player should shuffle the deck and deal with every player one card.
The player with the highest card will be the dealer. The dealer should deal with every player five cards, one card at a time, face down. Cards should always be dealt with starting from the dealer’s immediate left.
Once the cards are dealt with, the dealer should take the top card off the deck and reveal it to the rest of the players. This card will then be the trump suit for the game; the card can then be returned to the deck. Finally, the dealer should shuffle the cards one final time before the game begins properly.
How To Play Booray?
Before anyone starts putting cards down, every player should look at their hands. If you think your hand is poor or don’t think the round will go in your favor, you can forfeit your hand. To do this, place your cards down; if you are playing with chips, you’ll also lose your starting ante.
All remaining players should then discard a card/s for their hand. A player can discard between one to four cards and then take replacements from the deck. Players can only do this once; whatever cards they get from the deck must remain in their hands.
So, think carefully before doing this as you could quickly end up with a worse hand. Once everyone’s hand is ready, the player can start the game properly to the dealer’s left. Since this is a trick-taking card game, the idea is to take tricks.
Every player must play one card, and the highest card played wins the trick and any chips in the pot. The lead player (to the dealer’s left) goes first, and they should lead with a high card in the trump suit if possible.
The highest cards in any suit are the Aces, Kings, and Queens in that order. If the lead player doesn’t have any card in the trump suit, they can play any other card. Once the card is played, the next player on the left goes, and the loop continues till all players have put down a card.
Now what card is best to play can vary. You can try to match the lead suit played by the lead player. If you play a higher card rank, you could win the tick. However, the safest method to win is to play a high-ranking card in the trump suit.
The winner of the first trick will lead the next round. The next lead player can use any card to start unless they have the Ace, King, or Queen in the trump suit. If they have one of these cards, they must start playing with it.
Typically Booray is played with five rounds, and players can drop out at the start of any round. The winner will be the player who took the most tricks or won the most chips throughout the game.
Booray – You Can’t Boo This Game!
So, that’s how you play Booray. It might not be the most famous trick-taking card game these days, but it’s plenty of fun and well worth a try. If you enjoy classic trick-taking games or modern ones like The Fox in The Forest, you’ll likely enjoy a game of Booray!