The card game Durak comes from Russia and is perfect as a game for two players or more.

18. February 2018 - Alexander Schmidt

Card Game Durak - Who’s the Fool This Time? | Game Rules


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The card game Durak is one of the most popular card games for two or more players and makes for entertaining evenings. Find out how to play here!

Originally from Russia, the card game Durak is now popular all over the world. The name Durak literally means “fool” in Russian. This unflattering title is given to the loser in each round, namely the one who is the only one who still has cards in his hand.

But, one after the other…

Card Game Durak – Game Rules

  • Game type: Card game, also works as a drinking game
  • Number of players: 2-6
  • Deck of cards: 36 cards (french poker hand without jokers and without the cards from 2 to 5)*
  • Game objective: Be the first to get rid of all cards and win and yes not be the Durak and be the last to still have cards in hand.

Dealing Cards

You play the card game Durak with 36 cards: from each suit you need the value of 6 is up to the ace. Regardless of the number of players, each player is dealt 6 cards. So with 6 players, all the cards are dealt.
With 2 to 5 players, the remaining cards are stacked in the middle of the table as a talon (pile) and the top card is turned over. This shows the trump suit. With 6 players, the last card dealt indicates what trump is.

Important: If a player has been dealt 5 cards of the same suit, he can show his hand to the others and may ask for it to be reshuffled.

The Card Game Durak Begins

In the first round, the player with the lowest trump attacks the player to his left. If no one has the 6 of the trump suit, the dealer can ask: who has the 7, the 8… until the player with the lowest trump is determined.

An attack in the card game Durak always takes place when the attacker plays one or more cards of the same rank, e.g. an ace, two 8s, 3 queens, etc. The attacked player, also the defender, can ask: who has the lowest trump? The attacked player, also called the defender, must stab them.

Rules for Playoff

The rules for stabbing in the card game Durak are the same as in most stab games:

  1. Each card must be tricked with a higher value of the same suit (clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds) or a trump.
  2. But there is no obligation to serve a played suit, one can also lay a trump. The defender is therefore allowed to trick a queen of clubs with a six of hearts (hearts are trumps), even if he would have a king of clubs. This makes sense, for example, if he has another king and wants to preserve this pair for an attack.


If the defender succeeds in repelling the attack in this way, the cards are removed from the game for that round and put aside. They do not go under the talon pile! The defender may now attack the player to his left. However, if he cannot stab the attack cards, he must pick them up and the player to his left may now attack him!

If a player has discarded cards for attack or defence, he must draw so many cards from the deck that he has 6 cards again. Provided, of course, that there are still that many cards there. The trump card may also be taken last in this way.

Final Phase and Durak Rule

When the talon is empty, all players try to discard their remaining cards as quickly as possible, thus freeing themselves. Because not all players have 6 cards now, an attack may only ever consist of a maximum of as many cards as the defender still has in his hand. Otherwise a defence according to the rules would not be possible.

Whoever is the last to keep cards in his hand is the Durak in the next round. From the second round onwards, the Durak is always attacked first by the player to his right.

Additional Rules for the Card Game Durak

  • Shift: A defender can avoid an attack by placing another card of the same value with the attack cards. The attack is thus redirected to the player to his left. For example, player A attacks player B with two 9s. He adds another 9, so that the attack is now directed against player C. If player C has the fourth 9, he can attack the player to his left. If he has the fourth 9, he can still pass the attack on to player D. He would then have to get all four 9s. The latter would then have to hit all four 9s or pick up the cards.
  • Pushing with a ticket: Once per round, each player has the right to push an attack by merely showing (not playing) a trump card.
  • Game with 52 cards: 9 cards are dealt per player, otherwise the same rules apply. Or there are more than 6 players and it stays at 6 cards per person.
  • Attack from 2 sides: As soon as the attacker has laid his card(s), the player sitting on the other side of the defender may also add card(s) of the same value. Provided he is quick enough and gets ahead of the defender’s defensive stabbing.
  • Team game: You form teams of equal size whose players do not have to attack each other. The exact rules and conditions for a team victory must then be negotiated.
  • Durak as a drinking game: Don’t forget, it’s a Russian game… traditionally vodka flows in streams. And the durak is responsible for serving everyone else and always refilling the glasses. It can also be agreed that you always have to drink if you couldn’t repel an attack, i.e. if you had to pick up cards.

And now have fun with the card game Durak! By the way, at Abenteuer Freundschaft you can find many more board game tips, e.g. also good card games for two like the Russian Bank card game or Piquet and many more creative ideas for activities with friends, partner and family.

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*There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you order a product from amazon via one of these links, Abenteuer Freundschaft will receive a commission. The product doesn’t cost you any more!


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