General Zaroff makes sure that his new game is rigged. By setting the rules of the game--and making himself the hunter and Rainsford the hunted--Zaroff seemingly assures himself of a successful and safe hunt.
"It's a game, you see," pursued the general blandly. "I suggest to one of them that we go hunting. I give him a supply of food and an excellent hunting knife. I give him three hours' start. I am to follow, armed only with a pistol of the smallest caliber and range. If my quarry eludes me for three whole days, he wins the game. If I find him "--the general smiled--" he loses."
Zaroff is sure to lock Rainsford in his room each night (Rainsford cannot open the door from the inside), and he always has Ivan nearby in case Rainsford attempts to escape or attack him. During the hunt, Rainsford is only provided with a knife, while Zaroff has a rifle and hunting dogs along with him. Zaroff knows his island well, so he is also able to successfully (for the most part) avoid Rainsford's traps, sending Ivan and the dogs ahead of him. The Cossack retires each evening for a good night's rest, leaving Rainsford in the jungle to sleeplessy await the next day's hunt. Zaroff's only mistake comes when he fails to secure his home properly after the hunt, and Rainsford manages to find a way into the general's bedroom.