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Players: 2 - 6, as 2 teams or individually
Durak uses a reduced deck of 36 cards: the Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, Tens, Nines, Eights, Sevens and Sixes of all suits.
Each player receives a hand of 6 cards. The remaining cards form the draw pile.
The top card of the draw pile is turned face up - its suit becomes the trump suit.
Play consists of bouts, in which one player is the defender and another the attacker. The attacker plays down a card from their hand which the defender must beat with a higher card of the same suit or any trump card, similar to the standard trick rules.
When a card is defended, the attacker can play another card, which must be of equal rank to at least one other card already played in the bout.
If the attacker cannot or does not wish to continue the attack, then one of the other players may take up the attack.
The attack can contain no more than 6 cards, or the size of the defender’s hand at the start of the bout, if that is less than 6.
If the defender fails at any point, attacking players can continue to play cards up to the attack’s size limit, but the defender cannot defend again and the defender must add all the cards played in the bout to their hand.
If the defender beats all the attacking cards, they win the bout and all cards played in that bout are discarded.
At the end of the bout, players draw cards to replenish their hands back to 6 cards. Once the draw pile is empty, play continues without drawing cards. Once a player runs out of cards, they are out of the round. The last player to go out is the loser.
The role of defender ordinarily passes clockwise around the table. The primary attacker is usually on the defender’s right. If the defender wins the bout, they become the new primary attacker, against the player to their left. However, if the defender is defeated, they do not become the attacker. Instead, the player to their left becomes the primary attacker and the next player after that becomes the defender.
Players score penalty points depending on the order in which they got rid of all of their cards. The first player to do so scores no penalty points, the last player scores 2 penalty points and all other players score 1 penalty point.
The game ends when one player has accrued 4 penalty points - this can also be set to 5 or 6 points. The winner is whoever has the fewest points.
The cards included in the deck can be set to Twos and above or Sixes and above.
The maximum attack size can be set to 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 cards.
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