Card game Durak - rules and gameplay

The card game "The Fool" or "Durak", is a Russian game that is very popular and widely played in the Baltic States and other European countries. The aim of the game is to get rid of the cards as quickly as possible without becoming the main "hero" of the game - the fool.

Durak Rules

How many players play in Durak?

The card game Durak is usually played between 2 and 6 players. The game usually lasts about 8-10 minutes.

Instruments needed for the game

Traditional Durak is played with a 36-card firewood. The cards are in ascending order of rank, starting with a six, then seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen, king and ace.

A 36-card game with 6 players can be predetermined because the first player becomes the first attacker and has an advantage over the defending player, while the first defending player has a disadvantage, so other variations are possible.

For example, it is possible to play with a full deck of cards, including deuces, threes, fours and fives, as well as all special cards - joker (Laughs). In this case, the black joker beats any black card and the red joker beats any red card.

It is also possible to play with multiple decks, again discarding the hole cards (2s, 3s, 4s and 5s) and keeping all cards from the 6. In this case, the game will be played with as many as 72 cards.

Card game Durak - the ultimate goal

The main and most important objective of the game is to discard all your cards. It doesn't matter how many cards you discard in the game - the most important thing is not to be the last one standing.

Card games online. Where best to play?

How to play Durak?

Game progress

The rules of Durak are not complicated. Let's say we are playing a traditional game with a 36-card deck and 4 players.

The deck is shuffled thoroughly and 6 cards are dealt to each player. The dealer can decide whether to deal 6 cards at once, or to alternate between 3+2+1, 3+3, 2+2+2.

If there are more than 4 players in a game of Durak, the number of cards dealt is usually less - 5 or 4 - to make the game more interesting and to prevent players from spending too long in one attack.

Cards are dealt clockwise. The remaining cards are placed on the table.

The top firewood card is turned over and placed under the deck, indicating the type of cozyrium. The card should be specifically placed so that it is slightly visible to help players remember what the trump card is.

The player with the lowest trump starts the game. Let's say the trump is hearts and you have a six of hearts, so you start the game.

Also, to avoid unnecessary anger, the game may not necessarily be started by the player with the lowest trump.

As in traditional clockwise card games, the player to the left of the dealer starts the turn and throws whatever card he wants. The unwritten rule is that the lowest available non-cosyringe card is usually dealt.

Start of the game

The first player to throw a card on the table is called the "attacking player" and the player to his left is called the "defending player". The defending player on the left must cut off the card thrown to him - he may throw a card of the same type but of a higher rank. If the player does not have a higher rank card but has a trump card, he may cut a lower rank trump card with it, or a card of any other rank.

In short, the trump card can be called all-powerful. This is where the game becomes more interesting, more intriguing and more strategic, as the players have to pay attention to the card that was thrown to the defending player and the card with which the defending player cut the thrown card.

For example, a seven of clubs was thrown to the defending player, and trumps in this game are wines.

If the defending player cuts a card, the other players must check their cards. They check to see if they have cards of the same rank (for example, eights or sevens) or trumps (wines).

If they have them, they can throw these cards to the same defending player. The defending player will have to counter again.

It is up to the players to decide whether they want to "attack" a player to the end. Another rule is that trumps can only be countered with trumps.

It is important to note that a player cannot be given more cards to cross than were dealt at the start of the game, in this case, 6 cards. On the other hand, other variations of the game are possible, where there is no limit to the number of cards that can be drawn.

In this case, it is a good idea to agree on the rules before the game.

There are 2 possible endings to the attack:

  1. If the defending player has cut off all the cards dealt to him on the table, he has the honour of attacking the player on his left. In addition, the cut cards are placed in a separate pile and are not used again in the same game.
  2. If the defending player is still unable to cut off all the cards dealt to him, he must take them all for himself. It is important that the cards that were countered are also collected. Once the cards have been collected, the player to the left of the opponent continues the game.

At the end of a defending player's pick, all players must take it in turn to draw from the community pile the number of cards that were dealt at the start of the game (in this case, 6, so if you have 4 cards left, you must draw 2 more).

A player who discards all his cards is not out of the game and must also draw 6 cards from the pile. The first player to make a move in the game is the first to "replenish" the cards. If the game is played with unlimited card picking (players throw cards until a player has something to counter), then the player who made the move starts with a bounce instead of a move.

Who won?

If a player's stack of cards does not reach 6, only then is he or she out of the game and the rest of the players continue.

The player who draws all of his cards wins the game, and the player who is last to draw any card from the deck is the loser and is referred to as the "Fool".

If the game is played again, the loser collects all the cards, shuffles them thoroughly and deals them to the players again. 

Strategies for the card game Durak

When someone attacks using low-value cards, you should respond with the lowest card you have. That way your strong cards will stay with you when a stronger attack comes.

When you have strong cards or trumps in Durak, try not to attack or defend too often. Let the other players collect more cards before using your strong cards.

Keep a close eye on which cards have been played and which have been left in play. This will help you make better decisions on offence and defence.

Different versions of the card game Durak

Card game Durak in pairs

One of the most popular is the game of crosses. It is usually played by four players (two against two), sitting opposite each other. In this case, the cards are dealt alternately by the players of each pair, with the player of one pair "attacking" the player of the other pair.

If a player hits all the cards thrown to him, he is said to have defended himself and then attacks the opponent on his left. His partner can now help him. If the player does not cut all the cards, he takes them into his hand and the player to his left attacks the partner of the player who has gathered the cards.

Card game Durak counterclockwise

This "Durnius" game is one of the more common ones. This kind of this card game The anticlockwise mode is particularly common in the southern regions of Europe, mainly in Italy, Spain, Portugal and other countries speaking these languages.

The Turning Doorman

In a game of "Passing the Doorman", a player can pass cards to another player if he has a card of the same rank.

A crazy doorman

In this game, the drums are always the trump card and the wines can only be cut with the wines.

Card game The Gentleman Without Trumps

The game is played without trumps.

Wines against wines

In this game, wines are a special type of card that can only be beaten by other wines. Trumps cannot be defeated by wines, but wines cannot defeat Trumps either. In addition, in this case, wines cannot be trumps

Replacing a trump card

The other card, which is invisible, is placed under a visible trump. When one of the players takes a visible trump, the invisible card is revealed - this sets the trump card for the rest of the card game.