The rules and how to play Buraco in 5 players
The 5-player Buraco version is very similar to the 3-player one, but in this case 2 couples of players, created during the game, will be opposed to the single player.
The rules don't differ much from the original one, so we suggest you to first learn that rules. Here we will only explain the differences between the two versions.
The first important difference with all other variation with lesser players is that the 5-player Buraco has to be played with 3 cards sets intead of only 2. This need can be easily understood because 55 cards will be needed only in the cards distribution.
In 5-player it is convenient to first place around the table with equal distances between each player and his neighbors because at every round couples will formed from scratch.
As in every other Buraco version the dealer will shuffle the card, then the stock will be cut by the player on his right and he will create 3 "pots", the first one formed by 18 cards, the other two by 11. In the meanwhile the dealer distribute as usual 11 cards to the 5 players.
The remaining cards will be placed as the "stock" in the center of the table from where to take cards. The first stock card will be turned and the round will begin.
The playing phase
As in the 2-player and 3-player variation in the first round phase every player will play alone, by opening new runs and add cards in front of himself.
When the first player will run out of cards in his hand he will take the the 18-cards pot and the other 4 players will form 2 couples (with alternating players), merging them runs.
The round will proceed as usual until the single player or any of the couples quits again, obviously having at least one Buraco.
Points will be computed as usual and in a not very different manner as in the 3-players Buraco: the single player becomes all his scored points and every couple player becomes the half of the couple score.
Usually the winner is the first player that exceeds 1000 points.
A possibile variation is to play an extra round after the 1000 points mark is reached. This time 5 pots of 11 cards will prepared and no couples will be formed. The winner is the player with most points after this extra round.
Differences in game strategies
The first part of every round is the same egoistic Buraco of the 2-player variation. Players will avoid to place runs on table to hide them intentions to others. But considering the high number of players the game will be very unpredictable and the pile cards will change very fast, considering also that 3 cards sets will be used.
The games changes after the first 18-cards pot is taken. The single player will go on with a egoistic strategy, but not so much to reduce the risk to pay too much cards. The couples intead will play with open runs to help themselves. Anyway the single player is not said to be the most advantaged one.