The starting player is the first attacker. The player to the attacker's left is always the defender. After each turn play proceeds clockwise. If the attack succeeds, the defender loses his or her turn and the attack passes to the player on the defender's left. If the attack fails, the defender becomes the next attacker.
The game is typically played with a deck of 36 cards (numerical cards 2 through 5 are removed from a standard 52 card deck prior to play) and is played with two to six people, optimal three. The deck is shuffled, and each player receives six cards. The top card on the remaining deck is made visible and placed at the bottom of the deck at a 90 degree angle (so that its denomination and suit are visible). This determines the trump suit, however the revealed card is actually a part of the deck, the last card to be drawn. The player with the lowest trump is the first attacker. A deck of 36 cards limits the number of players to six, although some variants allow more than one deck to be used. A six-player game with one deck is not optimal, however, because it gives a considerable advantage to the player who attacks first, and a considerable disadvantage to the player who defends first. If multiple games have been played, often the loser of the previous game shuffles and deals.
There are different types of the game. In one type there are no winners, and only one loser; in another the winner is the first person who leaves the game without cards in his hand. The last person with cards left in their hand is the loser (the fool or "durak"). That person is the dealer for the next game, and the person to the left of the fool is the first attacker of the next game.
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- Advance Corp.
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