Queen Anne's Games - Idiot's Revenge


  • Players: 2 exactly (although Idiot can be multiplayer)
  • Game type: Cards, strategy
  • Objective: To get rid of one's cards first at the end of the game.

Rules to Idiot

A trump suit is picked: clubs, diamonds, hearts, or spades. Then, six cards are dealt to each player; players do not reveal their hands to the other. The remaining cards are placed face down in the "stack". One player is chosen to begin the game as the Attacker (see below).

A single turn consists of a series of "attacks" from one player (the Attacker) and responses from the other (the Responder). The Attacker initiates an attack by playing any one card from his/her hand, and typically the Responder "defends" by playing a higher card of the same suit or by playing any card of the trump suit. If the Responder defends, the Attacker can choose to attack again by playing any card that matches the value of a card already played in that turn; every time the Responder defends, the Attacker can continue to attack in this way.

The turn ends when either (1) the Attacker stops attacking, in which case all cards played during the turn are discarded or (2) when the Responder decides not to defend, in which case all cards played during the turn become part of the Responder's hand. (More rarely, if a player runs out of cards during a turn, that turn is immediately over after the response.) Note that implicitly in these rules, the Attacker is not required to make more than one attack and the Responder is not required to defend. After the turn ends, both players draw cards from the stack until each has at least 6 cards; if a player already has more than six cards at the end of the turn, that player does not need to draw cards. The Attacker always draws cards first. In the next turn, the players switch roles; i.e. the Responder becomes the Attacker and vice versa.

Players take turns in this way until there are no cards left to draw from the stack. This point marks the beginning of the "endgame". During the endgame, play continues normally except no cards are drawn at the end of each turn. The player who gets rid his/her hand first during the endgame wins the game. (However, ties occur when both players play their last card in sequence.)

Rules to Idiot's Revenge

In Idiot, players usually end up hoarding face cards, especially that of the trump suit. Idiot's Revenge is a version of Idiot that provides incentives to play high value cards, and consequently it is a more aggressive, strategical game.

Modification 1: Counterattack

The Responder has the option to "counterattack", by playing a card whose value matches the attacking card. In this case, the Responder becomes the Attacker and vice versa in mid-turn.

Modification 2: Inaccessibility of extra cards

As in Idiot, if the Responder chooses not to defend or counterattack, all cards played during that turn become part of the Responder's hand. However, none of these cards may be played in the subsequent turn (the easiest way to enforce this is to set them aside for the subsequent turn). An exception to this rule is that the extra cards can be played if the player uses all other cards in the subsequent turn.

Modification 3: Increase in the minimum number of cards in hand

In the beginning of the game, each player maintains his/her hand at at least 6 cards. When extra cards are taken by a Responder, the minimum size of that player's hand increases permanently for the rest of the game. The new minimum is the total of the cards remaining in the Responder's hand plus the number of cards accepted during that turn. (This is the same as saying the increase in the minimum is the number of cards played by the other player during that turn.) As in Idiot, however, there is no minimum hand size during the endgame.


Alternate rule 1: Winning

A player wins if he/she runs out of cards at any point in the game (not just during the endgame). Or, the first player to run out of cards wins, even if the opponent can respond with his/her last card (i.e. no ties).

Alternate rule 2: Endgame

Cards are drawn from the stack only if there are enough cards to fulfill both player's need. If there are not enough cards for both players, the stack is discarded and the endgame begins. This preserves the card-differential (if any) in the endgame.


Idiot's Revenge is not meant to be confused with the popular solitaire game, Idiot's Delight.


Idiot is based on a Russian card game; Mike Atamas taught it to Colleen Cheong, who then taught it to Raymond Cheong. Idiot's Revenge was created by Raymond and Colleen Cheong on June 23, 2003. A little bit of digging around on the Internet reveals that the real name of Idiot is Durak, but the name has stuck!

Copyright 2003 by Raymond and Colleen Cheong, all rights reserved