Durak is one of the most well known card games in Russia! It is unknown when the game originated, but it is speculated that just about everyone in Russia knows how to play Durak. The name, meaning ‘fool’, refers to the loser of the game, who is then subjected to mockery by his fellow players. There is no winner in Durak, only a loser.
Interested? Keep reading to find out how to play!
How To Play Durak
Durak is often thought to be a blend of War and Poker. Played with a Russian deck, which only contains cards numbered six and up, it is considered a family game, played by everyone. The game requires three or more players- the more the merrier!
To begin playing the game, six cards are dealt face down to each player. The dealer can use more than one deck at a time if necessary. Once the dealer has finished dealing, he then flips over one card and places it face up on top of the deck. This card, called a Trump Card, determines which cards are trump. So if this card is a Spade, Spades are Trump. Trump suits are capable of beating any suit, excluding their own suit.
Game play is similar to War. There is one Defender and two or more Attackers. Attackers place cards in front of the Defender in no particular order, and the Defender must beat these cards with a higher numbered card or a Trump Suit card. So, if an Attacker places a six of Clubs, the Defender must either place a six or higher of the Trump Suit, or a seven or higher of Clubs. If the Defender is unable to beat the cards the Attackers place, these cards must be collected and placed in his hand.
After this round is finished, the player to the left becomes the new Defender, while the other players become Attackers. This cycle continues until every player except the Durak has gotten rid of all of their cards. And because Durak means fool, the loser must then do something silly, such as pretending to be a chicken, while the other players mock him.
If this sounds fun, you’re ready to start playing and building up your strategies in the popular card game called Durak! Will you be the fool, or will you empty your hand first? Some of the most important rules are detailed here.