Gang up on (defenseless? ) opponents in this souped-up version of War for 4-8 players.
Durak can be played with a standard 52-card deck or, for a faster version, with a 36-card (6-A) deck.
- This fast-paced party game is popular in former Soviet countries and well-known in parts of central Europe.
- The game is best with 4-8 players. If playing with more than six, use a 52-card deck.
- At the start of the game, each player is dealt six cards.
- An additional card is uncovered and placed under the deck perpendicularly. This is the trump for the round.
- The game begins by the first player putting down a card, an attack on the player to their left.
Object of the Game
The aim of Durak is to shed all your cards as soon as possible. The last (wo-)man standing is the loser, and is called the Durak, or “dummy”!
Attacking and Defending
If it’s your turn, it means you’re the first attacker, the person to your left is the defender, and the person on the other side of the defender is the second attacker.
- The defender is always surrounded by two attackers! (until less than three players remain).
To attack, lay down a card in front of the defender. If you have multiples of the same number, you may lay down as many of that same card down as you like. The defender has to produce a higher card of the same suit (or a trump) for each attacking card.
Here’s where it gets interesting: Any time after the first attack has hit the table, the other attacker can also attack with any cards of that same number. And as soon as the defender plays a card, that number, too, is now fair game for the attackers to play and double-down the offense!
You don’t have to attempt a defense; sometimes its safer to just take the cards your attacked with and continue the game.
If you succeed in fighting off each and every attack card your opponents play, you’ve succeeding in shedding some cards, and it’s now your turn to be the first attacker and shed some more.
If you can’t defend, pick up all the cards on the table, and your turn is skipped. The player to your left continues.
If you’re attacked with a number you have in your own hand, play it to push the attack off to the next player .
After each failed or successful round of attacks, players draw back to six cards in the following order:
- First Attacker
- Second Attacker
This order is important, because the deck will run out at some point, and the fewer cards you have, the less likely you are to become the Durak!
End of Game
The game continues until every player except one has shed all their cards. Give that dude a funny hat and call him a Durak! The Durak starts the next round.