The game of Botifarra started off in Catalonia in 1940 and became so popular that it is currently the most played variation of Manilla.

Butifarra Deck

Aim of the game

Win the point tricks needed to reach the sum of points established.

Deck of cards

It is played with a 48 card Catalan deck.

Number of players

It is played by four players who form two couples that play against each other.

Order and value of the cards

The order, from highest to lowest, is: nine, ace, three, king, knight, jack, eight, seven, six, five, four, three and deuce.

Value of the cards:

Nine 5 Points
Ace 4 Points
King 3 Points
Knight 2 Points
Jack 1 Point

Each completed suit is worth 15 points The remaining cards, called Blancas, have no point value.

Dealing the cards

Each player draws one card placing it face up, the two players with the highest cards play against the other two. Whoever drew the highest card chooses where to sit and is the first to deal the cards, with their partner sitting in front of them and the opposing player who drew the highest card sitting on their right.

If two or more cards of equal value are drawn, preference is determined by the suit, in the following order: coins, cups, swords and clubs.

The dealer shuffles the cards and the deck is cut by the player on
the dealer’s left, the dealer then deals out twelve cards to each player, four by four, from left to right.

This order of rotation is also the order of play and the order to be dealer.


The dealer is always the one who has first choice to select trumps, based on the cards they hold, but if not, they can offer this right to their partner, who has to select trumps or Botifarra, i.e., play without a trump suit. The player sitting on the dealer’s right, the “hand”, has the option of Contro, doubling the hand. If doubled, either member of the dealer’s team can Recontro (redouble), effectively quadrupling the points scored.

If the Botifarra option has been chosen, the score is doubled. So if the opponents decide to Contro, this quadruples the score and if the dealer’s team decides to Recontro, the score is multiplied by eight.

The player to the right of the dealer starts the game, playing one card. The other players play in the stated order of rotation, observing the following rules.

Butifarra Deck

If the opponent is winning the trick, then the rules are:

  • Follow the suit led that beats the cards already played,
  • Follow the suit led even if it does not beat the cards played
  • Play a trump card if is not possible to follow the suit
  • Out-trump the trump card played by the opponent if is not possible to follow the suit

It is possible to

  • Play any card if it is not possible to out-trump the opponent’s trump card in the previous case.
  • Play any card when if is not possible to follow the suit and no trumps are held.

When the partner is winning, the only obligation is to follow the suit, if possible. They player is not required to play a trump card and can choose to play any scoring or non-scoring card.

A trick that does not contain trumps is won by the highest card of the suit played. A trick that does contain trumps is won by the highest trump card. The person who wins a trick, also wins the hand to start the next trick. Capote is when one of the pairs of partners wins all twelve tricks.

A game is played to 100 points, which can be achieved game by game.

Scoring in the game

A sheet of paper with a box for each pair of players is used to keep score.

Each pair gets one point per trick won plus the value of the cards that are in the trick. The possible game score is 72 (60 points for the value cards among all the suits plus 12 points for twelve tricks). For each hand, only the team which, due to the tricks won, has more than 36 points scores, and only the points above 36 are noted on the sheet. If both teams have 36 points, then no score is counted and a new hand is dealt. As mentioned before, playing the Botifarra option means that the score is doubled.

Sign up for our newsletter

If you wish to receive the latest news from Fournier in your email
Sign up!

Are you a distributor, collector, card fan, professional player? At Fournier we have the best exclusive information from within the sector, personalized to suit your interests.

Sign up!