The Game of Botifarra

Translated from Spanish by Amy M.

The game of Botifarra is a card game which gained popularity in Catalonia, the game is typically played with four players divided into two teams using 48 cards from the Spanish deck, corresponding to 12 cards per player.

One interesting characteristic of the game Botifarra is the prohibition to talk, one must show the cards he/she has, to their partner or make comments and or signals to give an idea of ​​the cards in hand they have.

The goal of the game of Botifarra is to get 101 points, before your opponents do. Therefore, it is a game where a lot of strategy is required because each move has a direct relationship and at the same time it affects what your opponents are going to do.

In the game of the Botifarra the cards are dealt four by four, until each player receives 12 in total, starting with who is sitting to the right of the dealer, which is handed out every round before play begins.

The opening hand of Botifarra begins with a player throwing a card on the table, while the opposing team attempts to “kill” by placing a higher value card or trump suit. Whoever has played the highest card will keep the trick, that is, with the four cards that were thrown on the table and is responsible for starting the next hand.

As in other games of this style, in the Botifarra there is the figure of "failure", which means not having a card of the suit that is being played in the current trick. Once all the players are left without cards in hand to play, the points count in the Botifarra is counted, respecting the following table of values: the cards marked with the number nine are worth five points; the Ace four points; the King three points; the horse two points; the Sota a point; the cards between two and eight (these included) do not add points.

In addition to the score assigned according to the cards, additional points are also awarded: one for each winning streak; on the other hand you must multiply by two the number obtained if during that hand had been declared Botifarra or if there was contro, for four if it was recontro or eight if there was Sant Vicenç (these three modalities mentioned will be explained in the next paragraph) Note that if both pairs exceed thirty-six points, none will add points.

When playing Botifarra there are some options that allow the game to become more interesting once the trump suit has been defined, these are: contro (the opposite pair to which he chose the win can sing "contro" with what is allowed whoever wins that hand will double the score or multiply by four if there was Botifarra); recontro (if the hand has been contracted, the pair that selected the trump suit can sing "recontro" which will make the final score multiply by four) and Sant Vicenç (this option can only be used by those who sing "contro" if the opponents chanted "recontro" and if there was no botifarra)