Rummy - The Card Game

Rummy - The Card Game

Table of content:

Rummy is a beloved card game in India played by many. Do you want to play with your friends and want to know the rules? In this article, we at GetMega will help you to get an idea about rummy and the basic rummy rules.

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What is Rummy?

Rummy is a card game based on matching cards of the same rank or a series which belong to the same suit.

There are various types of rummy card game. The basic aim in any variation of rummy is to build sets (called melds). These melds can be either a set ( 3 or 4 cards of the same rank) or a run (three or more consecutive cards of the same suit).

The Indian rummy card game is somewhat similar to gin rummy and 500 rum. Both these games began in the United States.

How to play rummy?

In this section, we will explain the basics of any variation of a rummy card game. If you are new to rummy, this will help you to understand the game along with basic rummy game rules.

Features of rummy

  • A usual deck of 52 playing cards is used. In Indian rummy card game, 2 decks are used.
  • Here 2 is the lowest.
  • Ace can be played as both the highest rank (Q,K.=,A) and lowest rank (A,2,3,4).
  • Rummy can be played by 2-6 players
  • Before playing, the players can decide whether they want to play a fixed number of deals or upto a fixed score.
  • You have to meld the cards, i.e., build combinations of cards into runs or sets (we have covered this in a separate section)
  • You can pick and discard a card during your turn
  • The goal is to meld your cards before others- then you are the winner

Object of the game

You have to improve the hand you were originally dealt. To do this, during your turn, you can draw cards from the pile or pick up any card discarded by your opponent. You have to discard 1 card as the number of cards in your hand remains constant.

Number of players in rummy

Rummy can be played by 2-6 players. The number of cards each player gets is depending on the number of players depend on variation of rummy game usually as shown below:-

Number of players

Number of cards dealt

2 players

10 cards

3 or 4 players

7 cards

5 or 6 players

6 cards

If there are more than 6 players, then you need a second deck of cards. However, the rules of the rummy card game remain the same. In Indian rummy card game, each player gets 13 cards. 2 decks are used for 2 players and 3 decks are used for more than 2 players.

Discard pile

Cards discarded by players are placed in the discard pile (face up). You can take cards from the discard pile also.

Melding in rummy

Building combinations of cards into runs or sets is called melding in rummy.

You can meld if you have three or more cards of the same suit in a sequence (run) or the same rank in different suits (Set). By melding it means, you can lay these cards, face up, in front of you.

Examples:-

Set-   2♦ 2♥ 2♣ 2♠

Run- A♠ 2♠ 3♠

Rummy rules

In this section, we will cover the rummy game rules.

At the start of the game

  • Each player draws a card and the player with the lowest card deals first.
  • The deal moves clockwise.
  • Usually the player on the dealer's right cuts (however this is optional).
  • The cards are dealt clockwise starting with the player on the dealer's left.
  • Cards are dealt one at a time. The cards must be dealt face down so that others cannot see.
  • The rest of the deck is kept in the middle with the face down. This is the stock pile.
  • One card is drawn and kept face up beside the stack. This is the discard pile.

During the rummy card game

  • If you pick up the card from discard pile you must keep it
  • If you pick up two cards from the stock pile by mistke and see any of them- then put the bottom card card. The next player has an option to look at the returned card and take it if needed. If not needed, then they must put in in the middle on the pile and continue with the next card.

Tip:- Do not discard a card picked from stock. Keep it to discard later. This avoids giving other players information about your hand.

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Scoring

First we will explain the scoring parameters for a rummy card game after which we will explain the scoring rules in detail.

Scoring parameters

In rummy, the values of each card rank is:

  • 2 – 10: Face Value
  • 10 – K: 10 points
  • Ace: 1 point
  • Joker: 0- 20 points (depending on the game)

In rummy rules, the scoring is based on the values of unmatched cards.

  • At the end of the round when one person has melded all the cards, each player adds up points in their melded cards (sets and runs).
  • You must deduct points from cards that have not been melded (unmatched).
  • The winner may also get a bonus for winning.
  • In case, the value of unmatched cards in more than melded ones, you may get a negative score.
  • Usually the game continues until one player reaches a fixed amount.

Scoring rules in rummy card game

Apart from the winner, the other players get points as follows:

  • If 2 sequences are not there - The player gets points of all the cards in hand (max 80 points)
  • If 2 sequences are there and one is pure -  The player gets points on only the unmatched cards (not part of a set or sequence)
  • Incorrect declaration- 80 points
  • If a player misses three succeeding turns, then the player automatically loses. The points of all the cards in hand are added as points.

How to calculate the winner’s points?

The winner’s points/winnings are calculated differently in different variations in the rummy card game.
In basic rummy rules- the Winner gets the cash based on the losers’ points.
Example:
Total of 6 players are playing rummy for Rs. 860. Each point has a cash value of 4. Suppose the losing points of the 5 players are 40, 80, 29, 20, 40 respectively. The winner will get 4x (45+78+23+20+40) = Rs. 836

In Pool Rummy
The winner gets the pool money  (entry fee) of the losers. For example, there are 6 players who join a pool rummy with Rs. 50 as entry fee. The prize pool is Rs. 300.
The winner will win Rs. 50 x 6 = Rs. 300

In Deals Rummy
The winner gets all the chips at the end of each deal. 1 chip is equal to 1 point.
For example, there are 6 players on the table. The points of the losing players are 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 points respectively. The winner’s chips will be calculated as 15 + 20 + 25 + 30 + 35 =125 chips.

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Rummy with 1, 2, 3 Deck

Different variations use different numbers of decks. Basic rummy uses 1 deck. Indian Rummy uses 2 to 3 decks. In case of 2 players there are 2 decks of cards.

In Indian Rummy 13 cards are dealt. So depending on the number of players, the number of decks increases (2 decks for 2 players, 3 for more than 2).

What are hands in rummy and their rules?

Your hand in rummy decides whether you win or lose the game. So your aim should be to improve your hand by taking cards and discarding the unwanted cards from your hand. In this section, we will cover the different hands in rummy.

How to Form Sequences?

There are two types of sequences in rummy- a pure sequence and an impure sequence.

  • Pure Sequence: It is a sequence without Joker/wildcard (eg- 5♥ 6♥ 7♥ )
  • Impure Sequence- It is a sequence with Joker/wildcard 5♠ Q♥ 7♠ 8♠ Joker or 6♦ 7♦ 3♥ 9♦- 3 ♥ is the wildcard

There must be at least one pure sequence in your hand in order to win.

Also as per rummy rules, in order to win the game you must form valid sets. Examples are-

  1. A♥ A♣ A♦
  2. 4♦ 4♣ 4♠ 4♥
  3. 9♦ 3♥ 9♠ 9♥ (3♥ is a wildcard)
  4. 5♦ 5♣ 5♠ Joker (Joker is used instead of  5♥ )
  5. 5♦ 5♣ 3♥ Joker (Here wildcard 3♥ replaces 5♠ & joker replaces 5♥)

Example: 4♥ 5♥ 6♥ 7♥| 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ 8♣ | 5♦ 5♣ Joker Q♥ Q♠ (Q♠  is another wildcard - Set of 5 cards is made to complete the 13 cards set)

This is an invalid declaration as 5♣ is used in 2 sets.

A set can have more than four cards. So, if you have a set of four cards and you are using an additional Joker, then in total it becomes a 5 cards set

Invalid set

  1. K♥ K♥ K♦ (There are two Ks of the same suit ♥)
  2. 7♠ 7♥ 7♦ 7♠ Q♥ (The wild card Q♥ is valid but two 7♠ makes it invalid.)

What is 9 card rummy?

9 card rummy is popularly called Kitti in India. It is played with nine cards by 2 to 5 players.

In this game, you have to make 3 sets of 3 cards each. Once you have arranged the cards, you show one set of cards. Your set is compared with other players' shows. You have to throw the highest set of cards in your hand in the first show. The main aim is to throw the highest sets of cards that can beat other players' thrown cards.

Rules and Sequence of joker in rummy

In rummy rules, there are 2 types of jokers. The first type is the printed Joker card (1 in a standard deck of cards). The second type (also called wildcard) is selected at random at the beginning of the game.

For example-  The 3 of hearts is selected as the joker (wild card). The other 3s (spades, clubs and diamonds) are used as normal cards for melding.  

The role of both these Jokers is the same.  Jokers are used as a blank card to represent a particular card while melding. However, you must make one sequence without a joker as per rummy card game rules.

Sequence of joker in rummy

  • Pure Sequence: It is a sequence without Joker
  • Impure Sequence- It is a sequence with Joker

Last card rule of rummy

This last card rule is applicable in a few variations of the rummy. This makes the game a bit more difficult and interesting.  As per this rule, you have to discard the last remaining card in your hand. This makes the game a bit more tricky.

For example, you have only 7♦ 8♦ in your hand and you draw 9♦ . You now have a sequence. But you have to discard at least 1 card which means you cannot win the hand now as you have only 2 cards left which is not a valid sequence. The player that wins with this rule gets an extra 10 points.

Benefits of aces in rummy

Ace is a unique card in rummy as it can work both as the highest and lowest rank.

The chances of getting an ace is higher as many players discard high value cards quickly.

You can pick up an ace from a discard pile as players do not understand whether you are forming an A, 2, and 3 or Q, K, and A sequence. So, the common strategy of keeping track of each other’s sequences and holding the cards others want- does not work here.

Floating and domino rummy

Floating - If a player melds all the cards in hand and cannot discard then it does not end the play. This is called “floating”, i.e., not holding any cards.

Domino rummy- It is a card game where the cards have spots like dominoes but the game is similar to rummy card game. This game is played with a 54 cards deck which has:

  • 10 Twos
  • 12 Threes
  • 12 Fours
  • 10 Fives
  • 2 Tens
  • 6 Queens of Spades
  • 2 Jokers

Players get 4 cards each.

How to play

  • Draw one or more cards from the deck or discard pile.
  • Play one card from the hand on the table
  • You can also opt to play one or more Queens on top of other players' cards (one card per Queen). This helps to discard both the cards.

The round ends once a player has 4 cards on the table.

Scoring:

  • The winner gets the sum of the value of four cards
  • If the player went out then an additional  5 points
  • Extra 5 points if the cards are 2-3-4-5
  • Extra 10 points if the cards are four of a kind.
  • The value of cards still in hand are subtracted.

In each round, the player with the highest points wins. Rounds are played till any player reaches 100 points.

Chips in rummy

Deals rummy is a variation of rummy which  uses chips.

In this game, the players get chips at the beginning of the deal. The number of deals is usually pre-determined.  The winner gets all the chips at the end of each round/deal. After all the deals are played, the one with the highest number of chips wins.

Apart from the chips, the rest of the game is played similarly to other forms of rummy. This game is usually played by 2 to 6 players. Usually a 53 cards (52+1 joker) deck  is used.

Scoring is similar to rummy game rules. The winner gets chips from the losing players in ratio of their score.

With this, the basic rummy rules come to an end. You can start playing with your friends and family on GetMega.

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