Durak (card game)

Happy Monday folks!

As  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve decided to make my Monday posts “Mystery Monday” partly because I haven’t read anything I’ve wanted to write about that I haven’t already written extensively about for class(1) and partly because my life is just not exciting enough to write a memoir piece every week.  So I wanted to leave a day where I could surprise you my reader, because who doesn’t love a good surprise?

In line with the spirit of mystery I decided to write about a card game one of my flatmates taught me before leaving for winter holiday called: Durak(2).

Durak(3) is Russian for “idiot” or “fool”.  When I asked my flatmate why it was named this, he told me “It’s because this is a game where there are no winners, only a looser and only a fool would play such a game.” It’s a game of some skill and some luck however of the 5 rounds we played, I was overwhelming the durak.

Objective: Do not have any cards left in your hand at the end of the deck.

regular_durak
1. Deck; 2. first attacker; 3. defender; 4. next attacker (this game has a learning curve)

Number of Players: 2 – 7

 

Rules of Play:

  1. Each player is dealt 7 cards. Each player will keep a minimum of 7 cards in their hand until all cards from the deck and the power card (the face up card under the deck, this is simply the top card of the deck after the deck is shuffled and cards are dealt) are drawn.
  2. The first player initiates an attack to the left (player 2 attacks player 3). To attack player 2 lays down a card from their hand. The defending player (player 3) defends with a card of higher value and same suit or can deflect the attack to their left (player 4) with a card of the same value (obviously this card cannot be of the same suit). Any power suit card can defend against a non-power suit card. (Example: if player 2 attacks player 3 with a 6 of clubs, and the power suit [as determined by the power card] is hearts, player 3 can defend with a 2 of hearts)
  3. If player 3 cannot defend, then em takes the card and puts in their hand. If player 3 can defend then player 2 and/or player 4 can attack with more cards of the same value as any card in battle. If player 3 deflects the attack then the attacking card and the card used to deflect attack to the left, player 4. (Example: if player 2 attacks player 3 with a 6 of clubs and player 3 deflects the attack with a 6 of spades, now player 4 is defending against two 6s).
  4. If player 3 successfully defends, then all cards in battle go to the discard pile (a pile off to the side, these cards are now out of play for the rest of the game). If player 3 cannot defend or deflect, then em takes all cards in battle and puts them in em’s hand.  Everyone draws cards until they have 7 or more cards in hand starting with the attacker then clockwise.
  5. Now player 3 is the attacker and attacks player 4, to the left. Repeat.
  6. Players play and draw until the deck and the power card are drawn.  Once there is only one player left with cards in hand, they are declared the durak.

The game is a lot easier to understand once you play a hand or two and is a lot of fun.  It’s a really interesting game that utilizes game mechanics similar to trading card games except with the dynamic of using a regular 52 card deck, the playing field is relatively even.

I’ve picked up quite a few games and some card tricks but only a few are games are really unusual like this one.  If you have any unusual card games, feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Footnotes:

  1. I just finished a 3000 word literary analysis essay about the critical effectiveness of Darko Suvin‘s definition of Science Fiction (for the specific quote the prompt was taken, see 2.2) as a literary genre in his brilliant essay “Estrangement and Cognition” with regard to Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Wells’s War of the Worlds (which if you haven’t read it and aren’t already familiar with The Gutenberg Project you can read it for free along with literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of other classics; it’s brilliant and you now have no excuse but wait until after reading my post to go drool over the quantity of free reading over there, please) and as much as I enjoyed both texts I just cannot be asked to look at them again much less write about them for a while.
  2. I’m going to show you how the game was taught to me, as there are many variations this is the one I learned and will share with you.
  3. Here’s how I’m going to describe pronouncing it even though I was told many times that I’m saying it wrong but I think I finally got it.  It’s two syllables, the first “dur” sounds like “door” if you replace the two “oo” with a long “u”.  The second syllable borrows the “r” sound but just barely and sounds like “rack”.
Advertisements

Art (comic)

20170106_153204

This was one of my first comic ideas inspired from my childhood favourite, Garfield.  The specific comic I had in mind was this one.

garfield-banana

I bring this up today because I’m working on my final portfolio for my creative non-fiction class.  Before starting the revision process I felt like “YEA! I got this, I’m least worried about this of the coursework I have over winter holiday.”

self-five
Just replace “FB post” with “writing”.

However looking over my peers’ and professor’s comments, I now realize I’m going to have to re-write everything because when I started the project at the beginning of the term I had a vague idea of what I wanted to say but what was most clear was the stories I wanted to tell. However when it comes to art/writing/creating, intention is everything.  We have all, probably, read or seen something where we can recognize that it’s good but we have a doubt as to what the creator is trying to achieve or say.  This is something I know I personally struggle with and not to step on 2B or Not 2B’s toes for writing tips, I’m no good at giving writing advice but she is and you should go visit her and see what she has to say, but the one thing I can advise just because I’ve gotten this feedback more often than not is “Why are you writing this?”.

To answer the question, about this post, is to share with you my monkey-touch-monolith moment I had the other day while working on my portfolio.

african_monolith_2001
I stole this phrase from Alton Brown from Good Eats, but this is also an excellent movie and book. 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Apart of the portfolio is a reflective essay describing “why” you do what you’re doing, from formatting to choice of content, and what purpose it’s supposed to serve.  Exploring the “why” rather than the “what” is kind of like the next step up from the basic lesson of “show don’t tell” in writing.  After writing the reflective essay, I got a greater appreciation for what I was trying to say with my portfolio.  Now knowing that, revision will still be a pain but much clearer in purpose because after all if art doesn’t have a purpose, then what’s the point?

critic
How I feel every time I look at my comics’ scores on imgur.