When you are siting with a table full of Russians, it is safe to say that most of them will know how to play Durak. Players try to avoid being the last player to have any cards left at the end of the hand. That player is the Durak, and has lost the game.
Standard deck with 2-5 removed
How to play
The dealer gives each player 6 cards. The top card of the remaining deck is flipped and placed face up under the remaining cards crossways. The suit of this card determines the trump suit.
Aces are high followed by kings down to 6. Trumps always beat non-trump cards regardless of rank.
The player with the lowest trump is the first attacker. The player to the attacker’s left is always the defender. After each turn play proceeds clockwise.
The attacker opens the bout by playing one card face up on the table as an attacking card. The player to the attacker’s left is the defender and must play a higher card in suit or a trump card to beat the card. If a trump card was the attacking card it is beat by higher trump only. The defending cards are placed across the attacking card it is beating.
If the defender beats the first attack card, the attacker can continue the attack by playing another card. If the defender beats this second attack card too, the attack can be continued with further cards if :
The new attack card is the same rank as some card already played as a attack card or a card played by the defender during that bout.
The total number of cards played by the attackers during a bout six or less
If the defender had fewer than six cards before the bout, the number of cards played by the attackers must not be more than the number of cards in the defender’s hand.
Other opponents of the defender may play an attack card if given permission by the original attacker. They may however not talk about what cards they have to play on the attack.
If the defender can not beat or choses not to beat all the attacking cards, he or she must pick up all the attack and defending cards played during that bout and put them into his or her hand. The defender may choose to stop defending at any point during the turn. If a defender stops deffending the turns ends immediately. The failed defender loses her or his turn to attack, and the player to the defender’s left attacks next.
If the defender has beaten all attacking cards, and no other players are willing or able to add more, the defender has won the bout. The turn ends, all cards on the table are discarded mace down to the discard pile. The defender becomes the new attacker.
At the end of each turn each player takes cards from the remaining deck till their hand has six cards. The main attacker draws first then any addtional attackers in table order and finally the defender.
When the deck runs out of cards, play continues without any more cards being drawn. At this point, when someone runs out of cards, they are done with the game.
The last player player that has cards left if the loser and deals the next game.
If you have four players or six players, Durak can be played with teams. Teams of two sit oposite each other at the table. Teams of three are possible if you have six players The members of each team may not help in the deffense of a teammate, but they may help during the attack of an opponent.