Butifarra is probably the more popular card game in Catalonia.
The Spanish 48 cards deck is used.
The Spanish pack has 40 or 48 cards distributed in four suits: oros (golden coins), copas (glasses), espadas (swords) and bastos (sticks); the picture cards are sota (jack,10), caballo (horse,11), and rey (king,12). Most games are played with the 40 cards pack (pictures and cards from ace to seven), but some of them need also eights and nines.
Four players take part in the game, divided in two pairs.
The main objective is to reach 101 points before the opponents. The goal in every hand is to get an high amount of points with the cards taken through all the tricks: every trick scores 1 point, and the valuable cards are Nine(5 points), Ace(4 points), Rey(3 points), Caballo(2 points) and Sota(1 point).
The hierarchy between cards of the same suit in order to determine the winner of the trick goes, from the highest to the lowest, as follows: Nine (Manilla), Ace, Rey, Caballo, Sota, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two. Between different suits, this is the order: the highest are the trumps, next the opening suit in the trick, and finally the other two suits can´t be used to win the trick.
How the game goes on
Start of the game and each of the hands
At the start of every hand the player at the left of the dealer must cut the pack; all the cards of the pack are dealt one by one between the four players.
The dealer, according to his cards, must choose between these options:
- Select the suit for trumphs.
- Select Butifarra. In this case there are no trumphs during the hand.
- Pass, forcing his partner to take the decision.
If the selected option is Butifarra, the score got in the hand will be doubled.
Contro, Recontro and San Vicenç
One of the players of the pair who opens the hand can say contro; if so, the value of the hand will be doubled; in this case the pair who selected the trumphs may say recontro, and the value is against doubled.
Finally, if the selected option is not Butifarra, the opponents may say San Vicenç, being the score multiplied by 8.
Playing the cards
The leader may throw any card; the other players, from left to right, throw each one card complying with the following rules:
- The first priority is the obligation to beat (montar) and assist: the player who has the turn must assist throwing a card of the opening suit and, if possible, beat the highest card on the table.
- The second priority is the obligation to fail (fallar): if the player who has the turn has not any card of the opening suit, and it is possible to use some trump that could beat all the cards on the table, it must be used.
- If the trick is being won by the other player of the pair, it is not compulsory to beat or fail, but just to assist the opening suit.
- Finally, if it is not possible to beat, assist or fail winning all the cards on the table, any card may be used.
- The player who has thrown the highest card according to the above mentioned hierarchy will take the trick.
- The player who wins the trick will open the next trick.
Sometimes additional restrictions are applied when the player has not the chance to get the trick; this is the forced mode:
- If the partner is not winning, the lowest card of the suit must be used.
- If the partner is winning, it must be used the lowest card of the suit or any valuable card.
- If the partner has not played: in case of assisting, it must be the lowest card of the same suit; otherwise, it must be a valuable card or the lowest of the suit used.
Scoring the tricks
After playing all the cards, the score got by every player is counted.
Scores are counted in pairs of players.
These are the values of the cards:
- Nine: 5 points
- Ace: 4 points
- King: 3 points
- Knight: 2 points
- Sota: 1 point
Every trick scores one additional point.
There are 72 points to get in every hand. The pair who wins the hand gets the difference between the amount of points got and 36, multiplied by 1, 2, 4 or 8, according to the selection of the trumphs and the bettings done after dealing the cards.
End of the game
The winner is the pair who gets more than 100 points in the score of the whole game. In Ludoteka it is also possible to set the limit in 50 points.
Play online with some other players
Play by yourself: Butifarra
Pagat - Botifarra
Wikipedia - Juego de la Botifarra