OBJECTIVE OF RUSSI: Be the player with most tricks at the end of the game
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF RUSSI
Russi, meaning Russian in Icelandic, is a simple no trump Whist game for two players. Similar to Blind Don and Turnover Bridge, players will have a row of playable cards in front of them on the table as well as a hand of cards that their opponent cannot see. A game consists of one round, and players are simply trying to capture the most tricks.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Russi uses a 52 card deck. Cut the deck to determine who deals first. High card deals.
Dole out 26 cards to each player one at a time. Each player is dealt nine cards face down in such a way that a row is formed. Then each player is dealt nine more cards face up on top of the previously dealt cards. Finally, each player is dealt a hand of eight cards. Players should not show their opponent the cards in their hand.
THE FIRST TRICK
The non-dealer begins the first trick with any card from their hand or face up row. If a row-card is played, and a face down card is uncovered, that card is immediately turned up.
The opposite player must follow suit if they can with a card from their face up row or their hand. Again, any uncovered card must be turned up immediately. If the player cannot follow suit, they play any card they choose.
The highest card in the suit that is led captures the trick, and the trick-winner leads the next trick.
The non-dealer, Player 1, leads the trick with an Ace of Spades from their hand. Player 2 chooses to play a 4 of Spades from their face up row. By doing so, they have uncovered a face down row card. They immediately turn that card over. The Ace of Spades is the highest ranking card in the suit that was led, so it captures the trick. Player 1, having captured the trick, leads again.
Play like this continues until all 26 tricks are played.
The player who captures the most tricks is the winner.