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P'Yanitsa

The Russian word for drunkard is P'Yanitsa. P'Yanyi is the Russian word for drunk. The drinking part comes into play in deciding who wins the game. It is one thing you need to decide before playing the game, as it is how you will determine the winner. Is the winner the person who loses his cards or the one who keeps his cards? The answer also could depend on how many people are playing.

Keep playing until one person has all of the cards. If he or she is considered the one with all the booze, meaning all the cards; and they lose. In other versions, people who spend all their money, or lose all their cards are the drunkards and they lose. The dealer or all the players need to vote before the game starts on how they will decide the winner.


A dealer is chosen and deals all the cards to the players. The dealing is much simpler and faster than in the card game War, as the dealer will only be dealing cards 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, and Ace.

The Ace trumps every card except when it comes into play against the 6. If you decide to use the whole deck of fifty-two cards, then the 2 takes the place of the 6. To be authentic, in Russia, they play without the 2, 3, 4 or 5.

When two of the same cards turn up in play with two people, you turn over just one more card and the higher card wins. However, remember the rule of 6's beating an Ace. There are some versions that have you turn over one card face down, then another face up in case of a tie. The face up cards are the ones that determine the winner. This is one rule that needs to be played the same way through the game. You may want to all vote on it, or just have the dealer decide on the rule and stick with it throughout the game.

Comparisons to War:
War uses all 52 cards in a game. P'Yanitsa does not include any of the 2's, 3's, 4's or 5's.

In War, the person who ends up with all of the cards is the winner. In P'Yanitsa, players or the dealer decides if the winner is the person with all of the cards, or the person who lost everything.

In War, the Ace beats any card. In P'Yanitsa the Ace beats any card except the 6. With all other cards, the 6 is the lowest card and is trumped by every other card, other than the Ace.

When you have a War, you usually lay three cards face down and then one card face up. The high card from that War takes everything that has been laid on the table. In P'Yanista, the rule, determined by the players or the dealer, says if two cards come up the same, the next card determines the winner of that play. Or the rule could be that one card is laid face down, then another card is shown face up. The high card in that session determines the winner, unless it is an Ace versus a 6.

Suits do not count for trump in either game.

In both games, players just keep recycling cards that they have won until someone has no cards or all of the cards.





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