How to Play Russi

Russi, which means russian in Icelandic, is a trick-taking card game for two people using one deck of playing cards.

Russi Rules

| Players: 2 | Type: Trick-Taking | Supplies: 1 Deck |


The objective of Russi is to win more tricks than your opponent.


Each player is dealt half the deck, 26 cards each, face down.


Each player takes 9 cards from their deck and puts them in two rows in front of them, keeping them face down. The lower row has 5 face down cards, and the top row has 4 face down cards, for a total of 9 face down cards in two rows in front of you. Then each player places a card face up onto each of their 9 face down cards. The remaining 8 cards go into the player's hand, without letting their opponent see their hand.

Card Rank

(Highest Rank) King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace (Lowest Rank)

Game Play

Tricks consist of one card from each player. The non dealer leads the first trick. Players may play a card from their hand, or a face up card in one of their rows. If a player uses a face up card from their rows, and there is a face down card underneath, the face down card is immediately flipped face up, before any other actions are taken by either player.

Any card may lead a trick. The next player must follow suit if possible. If the player who plays the second card in a trick has any cards of the same suit as the led card, either in their hand or face up in their rows, it must be played. Only if a player can not follow suit, they may play any card.

The winner of the trick is the player who played the highest ranking card in the lead suit. When a trick is won, the winner collects the cards face down into a pile to keep track of their won tricks. Whichever player wins the trick will lead the next trick.


Once the players have no more cards, the player with the most tricks wins. If there is a tie, play again or best 2 out of 3 games.

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