How to Play the Most Popular Card Game in Russia: Durak

A lot of people like to play card games. In most cases, the anticipation is the main reason that attracts people towards card games. It helps in exercising of the brain cells that improve their thinking process and make them a lot more patient and skilled.

Some people play it for time pass activity while some other as a source to earn rewards in their leisure time. The card game is fun to play because it refreshes their mind, gives them a high level of excitement, and offers pretty rich rewards.

The card game can also add real spice to our life. For example, playing with random players will give us a real thrill as their strategies will be unknown and that is where all our analytical skills come into the picture. In short, it helps in brushing up our skills and becoming a professional skilled player in no time.

Russian Card Game, Durak

Durak is considered the most popular card game in Russia. It could hardly be an exaggeration to state that every Russian who is fond of cards knows this game. Durak is a Russian word which means fool. In essence, the fool in this game is the loser or the player who is left with remaining cards after other players have run out.

There are two types of Durak: Perevodnoy Durak and Podkidnoy Durak. The same game is played in Poland and several other East European countries of which they call it Dureń (fool).

Durak is more like a child’s’ game played by pupils during breaks in school or with their parents when on vacation. And, what is even more important: Durak seems to be the only traditional card game that Russian people know. Durak is commonly played by two to five players each playing independently.

The game uses a deck of 36 cards. This deck can be obtained by disposing of all cards of denominations, which are 2, 3, 4, and 5, from a standard 52 card deck.

So, how do you play this game? If you are curious about how to play the most popular card game in Russia: Durak, I suggest you to keep scrolling this page.


Game Play

  1. The game includes a series of attacks where all the players have a chance to get rid of their cards and defenses where all the players are threatened with having to get more cards to their hand unless, of course, they are successful in defending themselves.
  2. Each player has a turn to defend themselves. As more and more players are removed from the game, the order of defenders must be preserved.
  3. The first player to attack is the player on the left side of the dealer while the dealer itself attacks last. The player to defend is the player to the left side of the attacker. The gameplay proceeds clockwise.

Attack

  1. The player to attack has to reveal a card from their hand by laying it on the table so that other players can see.
  2. After the first card has been defended, all players turn into attackers and are allowed to add cards to the table as long as the cards are of the same face value as others in play.
  3. The maximum number of cards to be defended must be as many as have been initially dealt to each player or until the player to defend runs out of cards.

Defend

  1. The player to defend has to deal with the revealed card by beating it with another card of the trump suit or another card of the same suit of higher value or a card.
  2. If the player to defend does not have an appropriate card, they must pick up the card and add it to their hand, thereby losing their turn to attack. If they pick up the first attacking card, then the turn is over.
  3. If the player to defend can beat the first card, then other players may join in as attackers.
  4. The player to defend has to beat all revealed cards. Otherwise, they must pick all cards in play including those that have been beaten.
  5. The maximum number of cards to be defended must be as many as have been initially dealt to each player or until the player to defend runs out of cards.
  6. A successful turn happens when the player to defend has successfully beaten all attacking cards. All revealed cards during this turn are removed from the game.

End of Turn

  1. When the player to defend has successfully beaten all attacking cards. All revealed cards during this turn are removed from the game.
  2. Each player has to take their turn to restart their hand by taking as many cards from the deck as needed to bring their hand to a total of as many as have been initially dealt to each player. The original player to attack restarts their hand first while all other attackers will follow in clockwise order. The player to defend restarts their hand last.
  3. If the deck has been washed-up, the players who are left empty-handed have to pull out from the game. In this case, they are lucky because they will not have a chance to lose.
  4. The player who did a successful defense becomes the next player to attack against the player to their left. On the contrary, if the player to defend was not successful, then the player to their left becomes the attacker.

Endgame

The endgame starts as soon as the deck is washed-up and there are no more cards to be taken by the players. As cards and players are removed from the game, the strategy becomes much more important than mere luck. The last two players will battle out their fates as opponents until one of them remains with cards in hand. This player becomes the Durak and the dealer of the next match.

So, that is how to play the most popular card game in Russia: Durak. Easy, right?

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