The game is played with a deck or "talon" of 24, or 36 cards. Players take turns going clockwise around the table.
At the beginning of the game, players are dealt six cards each. After the deal, the next card in the talon is turned face-up and that suit becomes the trump suit. If the entire talon was dealt, then the suit of the last card is the trump suit. The goal of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand as quickly as possible. The last player with cards left loses and becomes "the fool" (durak). Winnings are distributed based on the order they finished. The faster players get rid of their cards and leave the game, the more of the pot they will take.
During the game, the attacking player lays down one or several cards of the same rank, and the defending player must try to beat these cards. They can beat cards with cards of a higher rank in the same suit or with a trump suit card. A trump suit card can beat any non-trump suit card. If the player cannot or does not want to beat the attack cards, then they add them to their hand.
The rule is that the first attack can be a max of five cards, but each subsequent attack can have a max of six. No attack can exceed the number of cards in the defending player's hand.
The attacking player can also throw in extra cards of the same rank as those already on the table, as long as they follow the rule about the number of cards per attack. They can do this whether the defending player beat the cards on the table or took them. When the attacking player has finished throwing in, they say "Beaten", and other players get the chance to throw in.
If the player defends against the attack, then they go next. Otherwise, they skip the turn and the next player on their left goes.
The difference between this kind of durak and throw-in durak is that the defending player can play a card of the same rank as the attacking cards and transfer the table cards to the next player after them, who then becomes the defender. The new defender may also transfer the cards in the same manner. There are two restrictions on transferring cards. First, if the player has already started defending, then they cannot transfer the cards. Second, a player cannot transfer more cards than the number of cards in the next player's hand.