Durak is without doubt the most popular game throughout the country of
Russia. Something that may sound a little odd to you is that there is
ultimately no winner in this game, only a loser. The loser of the game
is known as the fool, which is exactly what Durak means. The loser is
the person that still has cards in his hands at the end of the game
while the rest of the players are empty handed.
Basics of the Game
Available as games online, for the smartphone as well as offline, the card game of Durak is played with a total of 32 cards, which includes all the Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, 10’s, 9’s, 8’s, 7’s and 6’s, and is typically played with at least two people up to six individuals. At the beginning, each player is dealt a total of six cards. These six cards are used to play in a series of attacks and defense.
The top card of the deck is revealed once all players have received their six cards. This top card should be placed in the middle of the playing table with the deck covering that card up – but only halfway. This is the trump suit, which means that the cards of this particular suit hold a higher value than other suits of Aces.
When a card is used out of your hand, you obtain a new card from the deck. Once this deck has been depleted, the object of the game is to rid yourself of every single one of the cards within in your hands.
Attack and Defense
The first attacker is the individual with the lowest trump suit card. The defender is always to the attacking player’s left. Each turn will proceed clockwise around the table. Should the attack succeed, which is explained below, the defender will lose his turn resulting in the next player (on the left) to become the attacker. Durak is more combative card game than Bridge.
Sequence of Play in Attack and Defense
• The attacker will reveal a card from his hand on the table for his opponents (the defender) to see.
• The defender will then attempt to beat the card laid down by the attacker with a card of the exact same suit, but of higher value. This is also when a trump suit card can be used. If there is no card in the hand of the defender that can beat the card laid down by the attacker then the card must be picked up by the defender and the bout is over. Furthermore, the defender gives up his right to become the attacker from failing to defend.
• If the defender reveals a card that beast the original card laid down by the attacker, the attacker now can add another card of the same face value of the other in play cards.
• The maximum number of cards that can be defended is six, which is the amount of cards dealt to each player originally. Alternatively, it could be once the defender depletes his hand of cards.
End of Turn
The end of the turn is when the attacking cards have all been beaten by the defender. All of the cards that have been revealed on the table during this bout of attack and defense will be removed from the game.
The attacker will then refresh his hand with six new cards, or the relevant number of cards to reach six total in his hand and the defender will then replenish his hand if needed after the attacker.
Remember, there are no winners in this game only the loser, the fool, the Durak, who is tormented by the opposing players.