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Balatro: How to Play This Deckbuilding Game

Play Poker but break it!

Kaylee Nancarrow

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Balatro: How to Play This Deckbuilding Game

Balatro is a poker roguelike card deckbuilding game with a major twist. Instead of beating the dealer, every hand is assigned a points score and multiplier. You’ll need to make the most out of your hand to win big.

There are no opponents in the game, just high points totals you’re tasked to reach. That said, there are boss levels that will introduce some interesting game mechanisms. So without further a due, here’s how to play it!

Beginner’s Guide to Balatro

The game mechanism in Balatro is a bit challenging at first, with so many ways to earn points anything can happen in the game. You’ll need to combine a poker hand with Joker cards and create varied builds.

Earn enough chips to beat devious blinds and uncover the hidden bonus hands as you progress in the game. Sound all too confusing, we’ll here’s how a game starts.

Choose a Deck

Choose your deck Balatro

At the beginning of the game, there are different card decks available. Each deck has a unique difficulty and some even give you some money to start off. Choose a deck of cards to you’re liking and start a new run.

Game Mechanisms

Score the minimum amount of chips to beat the round Balatro

Upon opening a new deck, there are a few game mechanisms that may seem confusing at the start. There are 5 “Ante” for every round, these are like levels. Each level has 3 types of bosses with a score that you have to beat to earn $$$ in the round.

Three different blinds to beat

The starting boss is called the Small Blind, to beat this boss you have to score at least 300 points. You can skip this blind and receive a reward but skipping a boss will mean that you miss out on the cash reward.

Start of the run

How you play the game is you start off with 5 decks of cards with 8 cards in a hand. If you don’t like the cards your dealt you can discard up to 5 cards per hand. You only have 3 discards per round, so use them wisely.

Poker hands value

The way chips are earned in the game is through poker hands. If you have a Straight Flush you’ll receive 100 chips for the hand and the multiplier will be times 8, so you’ll end up earning 800 chips for a Straight Flush.

The better hand you have the higher the multiplier, so it pays to discard unwanted cards.

Play your card hand

When you’re happy with the hand of cards placed in front of you, click on the “Play Hand” option and the game will credit your round score with the chips earned in the round.

Another way to discard a deck of cards is to just play the hand and take the chips on offer.

End of the round

When you win the round your chip total will be tallied up and your wallet will be credited with a cash out payment.

Shop and modifiers available in Balatro

At the end of each round, there is a shop that sells Joker cards, Rerolls, Consumables, and Vouchers. Each one of these features acts as a bonus feature and increases the chance of you winning a round.

Joker cards are one of the powerful cards in the game as they can give you chips, and multipliers, and have the ability to turn a 20-chip pair into a million chips. While Consumable cards modify the aspects of the run. They’re basically enhancing cards in a deck that boost the multiplier for different hands.

And lastly, Voucher’s are used to upgrade your run. They give you a permanent buff for your entire run of cards. The are a ton of different modifiers available in the game, but the basics remain the same. Beat the chips score for every round and you’ll be king of the deck!

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