Bourre is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The players are each given 5 cards, with an additional card exposed to determine the trump card. They are also given the option once the trump card is known to discard up to all 5 cards and receive new ones. Play begins with the first player to the immediate left of the rotating dealer position leading off with a card of their choice. If for example, the player leads off with a club, then the other 3 players in rotation from left to right are obligated to play a club. If one of the subsequent players does not have a club, then they may play a card of another suit, or a card of the trump suit. The winner of the 4 card “book” would be the person that played the highest denomination of clubs, or in the case that one or more of the players did not have a club, the person that played the highest trump card. Ex: The trump card is a diamond. Player #1 leads off with the Ace of clubs, player #2 plays a seven of clubs, player #3 who doesn’t have a club plays an eight of diamonds, and Player #4 plays a three of clubs. Player #3wins the book since any trump card supersedes the highest value of a non trump card. Had player #3 played a club, player #1 would have won the book since the Ace of clubs has higher value than the other clubs played. The player that wins the book then leads with another card, and the scenario is played out again. The object is to win the most books out of the 5 possible and win the pot, which is comprised of an ante from all the players.
The Ante is a wager made in equal increments at the start of each round. Ex: With four players playing,each player would ante up (or place in the center of the table) $100 at thebeginning of each round. Once again the object is to win the majority of the 5 books and claim the pot, in this case $400. If no one claims the majority of the books, then the pot remains and each player antes up again. If a player wins no books, then they must match the pot, putting an additional $400 into it, and the other players put in an additional ante of $100. Ex: Players #1 and #2 each win 2 books, player #3 wins 1 book, and player #4 wins no book. Since there is no clear cut winner, players #1, #2,and #3 each have to ante up $100, and player #4 would have to add $400, bringing the total pot to $1,100 for the start of the next round. If in the next round, player #1 won 2 books, and players #2,#3, and #4 each won 1 book, then player #1 wins the $1,100, and all four re ante $100, taking the pot back to the original $400