This page is based on information from Guðjón Torfi Sigurðsson.
This is an Icelandic version of No Trump or Scandinavian Whist. The name Rússi is simply Icelandic for 'Russian'.
Players and Cards
This game is for two players only using a standard Anglo-American 52-card pack, the cards of each suit ranking from high to low A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2.
Turn to deal alternates. The dealer shuffles and deals.
Then each player is dealt 26 cards, one at a time beginning with dealer's opponent and alternating. First each is dealt 9 cards face down on the table, 5 in the lower row, 4 in the upper row, then another 9 cards face up on top of the face down ones, then a hand of 8 cards.
So, each player has 8 cards that only they can see (in the hand), there are 18 down cards that neither player can see, and 18 face up cards that both can see.
The objective is to win more tricks than the opponent.
The non-dealer leads to the first trick.
Each trick consists of two cards. At your turn, you can play a card from your hand or one of the cards in your face up layout. As soon as a card from the layout is played, if this uncovers a face down card that card is immediately turned face up, before any other cards are played by either player.
Any card can be led. The other card played to the trick must follow suit if possible. So if the leader's opponent has any cards of the same suit as the led card, either in hand or face up on the table, such a card must be played.
The two-card trick is won by the higher card of the suit that was led (there are no trumps). The player who wins the trick leads to the next.
There is no scoring, the player with more tricks simply wins the game.