Submitted by Ozone23 on 2004-04-10
This game is not easily explained in a few words, but can be a very fun game to play amongst friends.
Best played with 6 people or less, due to card limitations. Each player antes, and then is dealt 4 cards face down. After all players have been dealt 4 cards, 1 single community card is placed in the middle of the board. The suit of this card is trump for the game. (So if the 4 of diamonds is the community card, the best four card hand one could have would be Ace-King-Queen-Jack, all of diamonds).
After trump is shown, each player, starting to the left of the dealer states their intent to play. You can either say "I'll play" or "Fold". If only one person decides to play, then they win the pot, game over. As long as more than one person decides to play, the dealer gives the option to each player as to how many cards they would like to draw. They may discard 0-4 of the cards they are holding, and receive new cards in their place. After all players have completed their draws, play begins.
From here, the game is very similar to euchre if you are familiar. Each player, starting to the left of the dealer puts out one card onto the board. The following players must play out a card that matches the suit of the original card played, if they cannot match the suit, then they are free to trump the card played by the first to act. The best card played out wins the trick. (There will be four tricks possible to win, as each player is holding four cards). So to clarify, say diamonds were our trump and we had three people in the hand. The first person played the King of Spades, the second person playes the Ace of Spades (and thus takes the lead), at this point the third person (last to act) would have to play a spade if he has one, if he does not have a spade, then he may trump the hand. So in this case, the third to act plays the Four of Diamonds, and wins the trick. Because he won the trick, he leads off the play for the second round (the winner of the previous trick always leads off the play for the next trick).
The object of the game is to win as many tricks as possible, or at least one trick to avoid busting. Let me clarify, say in our three person game, one player won two tricks, and each of the other two won one apiece. (2-1-1). The player who won two tricks would claim the pot, and the session would end. However, if one player won three tricks, and one other player won one trick (3-1-0), the player who won three tricks would claim the pot, and the player who did not win any tricks would PAY THE POT. That means, if the three-trick player wins a pot of $15, the player who did not win any tricks puts $15 into the pot, and the game is played all over again from the start, this pattern repeats until there is no money left in the pot. If it goes 2-2-0, it is a split pot, and the player with no tricks pays the pot. If it goes 4-0-0, one man takes the pot, and BOTH of the zero-trick players pay the pot. You can see by now the importance of having plenty of trump in your hand before the gaming starts.
This is the basic layout of Boo-Ray. Lots of groups come up with small variations on this game, but the above should make a good base to start with. I have seen some enourmous pots because of this game, so play within your means.
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