Rummikub - All you need to know about Rummikub

Rummikub - All you need to know about Rummikub

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Are you curious about Rummikub? In this article, we at GetMega will help you to get an idea about Rummikub and the rummikub rules.

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What is Rummikub?

It’s a popular game using tiles instead of cards. Rummikub is a tile-based game which combines features of both rummy and mahjong. Rummikub is also called rummy cube by many.

Did you know it has a very interesting origin? This game was created by Mr. Ephraim Hertzano who was living in Romania at a time when card-playing was banned by the Communist government. He had the brilliant idea to use small tiles instead of cards to play. Soon Rummikub became a popular game worldwide.

Rummy is generally played by 2 to 4 players.

Originally there were 3 different versions of the game:-

  • American
  • Sabra
  • International

Now, only the Sabra version is generally found in modern rummikub sets.

Game pieces

Number of tiles in rummikub- 106 tiles

  • 2 copies of numbers 1 to 13 in four different colors (red, blue, black and orange)
  • 2 jokers

There are 2 copies of each combination of color and number.

There is also 1 rack for each player to store tiles without revealing the faces to the other players (similar to scrabble).

Object of the game

The object is to remove all the tiles from your rack as soon as possible by making sets on the board/table. The first player exhausting all their tiles is the winner. Your goal is to keep as few points in your hand/rack as is possible.

What are the rules of rummikub?

In this section, we will cover the rules of rummikub. Before we proceed to the rummikub rules you must understand a few terms.

Group- A group is a collection of three or four tiles of the same number in different colours.

Example- #6 orange, #6 red, #6 black, #6 blue

Not allowed- #6 orange, #6 orange, #6 red

Run- A run is a collection of three or more succeeding numbers. They must all be the same color. The number 1 is the lowest number and 13 is the highest. 1 cannot follow the number 13.

Examples-

  • 4,5,6 red
  • 1,2,3,4 orange

Not allowed- 1,2,3 blue 4 orange

Meld- A group or a run is a set called meld in rummikub. We have covered melding in rummy in a separate section.

At the start of the game

  • Mix the tiles thoroughly in a pouch.
  • Each player picks a tile. The one who gets highest number who goes first
  • The game moves in a clockwise direction.
  • Put the tiles back in the pouch and mix them.
  • Now each player takes 14 tiles without showing others.
  • Place the tiles on your rack.

How to play

In this section, we will cover how to play the game as per rules of rummikub

  1. In your turn, put down tiles from your racks into groups or runs of at least three
  2. The rummikub initial meld must be at least 30 points or more.
  3. The value of a tile is the number written on it.
  4. A Joker can be used instead of any tile. The value of the joker is then the tile it represents
  5. Remember, any player can remove the tiles from the board and replace them elsewhere
  6. If you do not have any set, you must take a tile from the pouch and your turn ends.
  7. Rummikub is a timed game. If you take more than 2 minutes to place a tile, you lose your turn and have to take a tile from the pool as a penalty.
  8. The round continues until a player has fully exhausted their rack and says Rummikub. After the round ends, the players add up their points

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Rummikub meld rules

As we have mentioned before, melding is creating sets of tiles by making groups or runs. In this section, we will explain melding in rummy and the rules.

You can meld (i.e., make sets) in the following ways:

  1. You can add 1 or more tiles to an existing run.

For example- you have 3 and 7. On the table- there is 4,5,6. You add your tiles to make 3,4,5,6,7

2.  You can take the fourth tile from a set and complete your own set

For example- you have 11 and 8 (orange) and 8 (black). On the table- there are 8 (blue), 9, 10 . You can add the 11 to the run and use the 8s to form a new group as follows:-

  • 9,10,11
  • 8 (orange) 8 (black) 8(blue)

3. You can also split a run.

  • For example, a run of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 is already on the table. You take a 6 tile and add to it so that there’s  a 4, 5, 6 run and the balance is 6, 7, 8 becomes a separate run.

Scoring in rummikub rules

This section will help you to understand the scoring in rummikub rules

  • After a player has won, the other players add up the value of the tiles remaining on the racks.
  • This score is recorded as a minus (negative) amount. The winner of the round gets the total of all the losing players points as a positive amount.
  • After each round, the scores are added up as above
  • At the end of the game the one with the highest score is the winner.
  • Remember, the plus score will always be equal to the sum of all the negative amounts in each round and also at the end of the game.
  • In case, if the pool of the tiles in the pouch are exhausted before any player uses all the tiles on the rack then the player with the lowest number of tiles on the rack wins.
  • If another player wins and you are holding the joker then you face an additional penalty of 30 points.

Let’s understand through an example-

Players- A, B, C, D

A wins, B has 5 points, C has 10 and D has 3. So player A gets a total of 18 and B gets - 5, C -10 and D -3.

Rummikub rules for joker

As you know, Joker is a blank tile which can be placed anywhere. In this section, you will learn the rummikub rules for joker

  1. The value of the joker is the tile it represents
  2. You can add a tile to a meld with a Joker.
  3. However, you can not take a tile away from a meld which includes a Joker.
  4. You replace the Joker with the actual tile it represents. For example. In 4,5,Joker,7 you can remove the Joker and place a 6
  5. If you remove the Joker you must immediately use the Joker and 2 more tiles from your rack to add another meld to the table. You cannot keep the Joker for later use.
  6. Remember to try and use your Joker as soon as possible. If any other player wins and the Joker is still on the rack, you get an additional 30 points penalty.

Rummikub 6 players rules

The normal Rummikub is for 2 to 4 players. You can purchase a  6 person Rummikub game. In the 6 player version there are 160 tiles. The tiles are the numbers from 1 to 13 in four different colors and four jokers. The game also has six tile racks for 6 players.

However, you can also add another Rummikub game (sort of like playing with 2 decks of card). That way, 8 people can play together.  The other rules of rummikub remain the same.
With this, the rummikub rules come to an end. There are more Indian card games which are equally popular. Rummy is one such game on GetMega. Play contests and tournaments with 100,000+ players and win more than 10,00,000 on GetMega. Download the Rummy app now!

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