Written By: Russian Agent
Durak (Which mean : "fool") is a traditional Russian card game that is popular in many post-Soviet states. It is Russia's most popular card game, having displaced Preferans. It has since become known in other parts of the world. The objective of the game is to shed all one's cards when there are no more cards left in the deck. At the end of the game, the last player with cards in their hand is the durak or 'fool'.The game is typically played with two to five people, using a deck of 36 cards, for example a standard 52-card deck from which the numerical cards 2 through 5 have been removed. The game can be played with six people if desired. In theory the limit for a game with one deck of 36 cards is six players, but this gives a considerable advantage to the player who attacks first, and a considerable disadvantage to the player who defends first. Variants exist that use more than one deck.The player with the highest trump card is the first attacker and leads to the first trick. The player to the attacker's left is always the defender. After each round of attack play proceeds clockwise. If the attack succeeds (see below), the defender loses their turn and the attack passes to the player on the defender's left. If the attack fails, the defender becomes the next attacker.The Ace is the highest card of each suit and the Six is the lowest. A trump card of any rank beats all cards in the other three suits. For example, a Six of trumps beats an Ace of any other suit.The defender attempts to beat the attack card by playing a higher-ranking defending card from their hand. For example, if the attacker plays an 8 of Spades the defender must play a higher spade such as the 10 of Spades or a card from the trump suit to defend successfully. The defender must play a higher card of the same suit as the attack card or play a card of the trump suit. The defending cards are placed on top of the attack card overlapping it so both cards are visible and it is clear which cards are attacking and defending cards.At the end of each round of attacks against a defender, whether or not the defence was successful, each player draws new cards from the deck until they have six cards in their hand unless the deck has been exhausted. The main attacker draws as many cards as necessary first, followed by any other attackers in clockwise order, and finally the defender. Players who have played their last card leave the game and do not draw new cards from the deck. The defender's final card must beat the last attack card, otherwise they must pick up all the cards played during that round of attacks.The last person left with cards in their hand is the loser (the fool or durak). In some variants, this player becomes the dealer for the next round. The player to the fool's right may become the first attacker for the next round.With four (2 vs. 2) or six players (2 vs. 2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3), it is possible to play in teams. The members of each team sit opposite one another (with two players on each team), or alternating (with three). In some variants, the team with the lowest trump starts the first round, but in subsequent rounds the winning team from the previous round begins.If the last card played by an attacker is a six, and the defender loses, the defender is cheerfully pronounced durak s pogonom ('a fool with one epaulette'), and the Six may be symbolically placed on his shoulder. This is worse than declaring the loser simply as a durak, because of the handicap of having a low-value Six through the final part of the game. If the attacker plays two sixes, the loser is even more amusingly called a durak with "epaulettes on both shoulders".A some variations of the game a defender may pass to the next player if they have a card of the same rank. The defender adds this card to the pile and the next player becomes the defender. The defender now becomes the new attacker, and the player to their left becomes the new defender and must beat all cards played by the attacker. Passing is not allowed if the new defender has fewer cards in their hand than would be in the passed attack. In games involving four or fewer players, it is possible for the attack to pass all the way around the table, so that the original attacker ends up defending against their own attack.