Basra Rules

Basra is a game for two players in which the standard international 52-card pack is used.

Cards and Dealing

Each player is dealt 4 cards and 4 cards are turned face-up in the middle of the table. If the cards on the table include any Jacks or the 7 of Diamonds, the dealer returns these cards to the undealt pack and replaces them by dealing new cards.

Play

  • Game starts with the player opposite the dealer throwing a card on the table.
  • A player is allowed to capture some or all of the cards on the table according to certain rules (refer to the "Collecting Cards" section below).
  • The turn moves between the players and when both are out of cards, new cards are dealt from the undealt pack (but no more cards are dealt to the floor) and play continues.
  • The round ends when all cards are dealt.

Collecting Cards

  • If a player plays a card whose rank matches one of the cards on the floor, both cards are collected and placed face-down in front of the player.
  • If a numerical card is played and its value is equal to the sum of two or more cards on the table, all those cards are collected and placed face-down in front of the player.
  • Queens and Kings have no numerical value. A Queen and King can only capture or be captured by similar cards.
  • J cards and the 7 of Diamonds capture all cards on the table, leaving it empty.
  • A Basra occurs when a player collects all the cards on the table with a card other than a J or 7 of Diamonds. The player scores a 10 point bonus for this.
  • Similarly, a Basra occurs if the 7 of Diamonds is used when all cards on the table are numerals, and their values add up to 10 or less.
  • After the last card has been played, the player who made the last collection takes any cards that remain on the table.

Scoring

  • The player who has the majority of the cards (27 or more) gets 30 points.
  • One point is added for each Jack and Ace in the player's collected cards.
  • Two points are added for the 2 of Clubs.
  • Three points are added for the 10 of Diamonds.
  • If the players are tied, each having 26 cards, bonus points are cancelled and the initial 30 points are held in abeyance and added to the 30 points of the next round, this is repeated for each tie until the tie is broken.
  • The first player to reach 121 points wins the game. If both players reach 121 in the same round, the player with the higher score wins. In case of a tie, additional rounds are played until the tie is broken.