California Rummy Or 11 Card Rummy - Rules And Gameplay

California Rummy Or 11 Card Rummy - Rules And Gameplay

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Rummy is a popular card game both in India and in other countries. Different variations of rummy are played in various parts of the world. We at GetMega, are bringing to you the different versions of the rummy card game through a series of articles. In this article, we, at GetMega, will explain the California rummy. We have also covered the basics of a rummy card game in a separate article which you can read here.

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What is California rummy or 11 card rummy?

California rummy is a rummy card game that is based on gin rummy. It is similar to contract rummy except that 11 cards are dealt in California rummy.  This version is very popular in China and therefore is also called Shanghai rummy or 11 cards rummy.  

It is played by 2-8 players with decks of 54 standard playing cards ( including 2 Jokers). Ace is both high and low (depending on the player). There are 10 hands (rounds) in each game and each hand has different rummy rules of melding.

The object of Shanghai Rummy is to go out first and have the lowest points.


No. of decks required





Jokers and wildcards

There are a total of 4 jokers- 2 printed jokers and the 2s in black suits. But they can be used only in 3 or 4 card combinations and not in bigger combinations with more cards.

The number of jokers cannot exceed the number of face cards in a combination.

For example, 8 ♠ 8 ♦ Joker and 8 ♠ 8 ♦ Joker Joker is allowed but not  8 ♠ Joker Joker.

How to play California rummy

California rummy rules

In this section, we will cover the California rummy rules and the scoring.


  • The dealer changes for each round.
  • Players get 11 cards each for every round
  • The rest of the deck is then placed face down (deck) on the table.
  • The top card is placed face-up beside the deck. This is the upcard and becomes the start of the discard pile.
  • At the beginning of the turn, each player can pick up a new card from the top of the deck or take the upcard.
  • You must discard 1 card from the hand which now becomes the new uphand
  • The next player can take the upward or another player can “buy”. If you want a card (but it’s not your turn) then you must say “ BUY”  before the next player draws their card. Otherwise, it is considered a "dead" card. Once any player discards their card, the card below it becomes “dead” and cannot be taken.
  • The cards have to be melded correctly in order to lay down. Laying down keeping your melded cards face up on the table in their correct sequence.

We have covered the shanghai rummy hands in the section below.

Shanghai rummy scoring

Value of the cards

  • 3 to 9: 5 points each
  • 10 to King: 10 points each
  • Ace: 15 points
  • 2: 25 points
  • Joker: 50 points
  • The player going out wins the hand. In order to win, you must draw a card and then go out without any discard.
  • The winner gets 0 points. Other players get points as per their hands (unmelded cards)
  • After 10 rounds, the player with the lowest score wins.

Hands and melds of the 11 Card Rummy or California Rummy

On each hand, you have to meld the cards in the correct combination in order to "lay out". The card combinations for each hand are different, and they become progressively difficult for each round. The combinations for each hand are either sets (same rank) or runs (consecutive cards) or a combination of both.

Hands and melds of the california rummy

The shanghai rummy hands for each hand:

Round 1: Two sets of 3 cards

Round 2: 1 set of 3 cards and one run of 4 cards

Round 3: Two runs of 4 cards

Round 4: Three sets of 3 cards each

Round 5: 2 sets of 3 cards and 1 run of 4 cards

Round 6: 1 set of 3 cards and 2 runs of 4 cards

Round 7: Three runs of 4 cards

Round 8: 1 set of 3 cards and 1 run of 10 cards

Round 9: 3 sets of 3 cards and 1 run of 5 cards

Round 10: Three runs of 5 cards

For example for round 2-  You need to have a set of 3 cards and also a run of 4 cards before you can meld. Example-  8 ♠ 8 ♦ 8 ♠ and 3♠4♠5♠6♠

Advantages of playing Rummy on GetMega

GetMega has certain advantages over other Rummy platforms.

Customer Support: One of the basic things providing key value to customer satisfaction is customer support.  We provide the best customer support when it comes to any issues regarding gameplay, transaction, and withdrawal requests. We have a team of Customer Support executives who can support any query regarding only your game issues 24×7. So, just chat with us using our app and get your queries resolved quickly. Our blog on rummy will also help you to understand the rummy rules and the variations of rummy available.  

Game Interface: The game interface of GetMega is clean & minimalistic so the player can make a move with minimum interferences. The basic colour layout and dark theme make it easy on the eyes of the players.

Promotions: We bring new and exciting online rummy promotions every month that excites our player base.  GetMega rewards the best rummy players via leaderboard promotions and special tournaments. The cash prizes range from Rs.10,000 to 1 lakh.

Protect the players: GetMega is committed to protecting the players especially those who might be at risk of potential negative effects of gaming through various means. We have Zero Tolerance for Deceptive Practices and ban any player who does such things.

With this, our article on 11 card rummy comes to an end. Isn’t it fun to know all the types of rummy card games such as California rummy and London Rummy? Why not try GetMega?

GetMega is an amazing platform that lets you play Rummy with friends & family on video-chat with real money. Sounds fun, isn't it? Download the GetMega Rummy now!
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