How To Play Rummy Card Game - A Stepwise Guide To Rummy Rules

How To Play Rummy Card Game - A Stepwise Guide To Rummy Rules
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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 how to play rummy and the basic rummy rules.

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

What is Rummy?

Rummy is a card game based on matching cards of the same rank or a series that 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 how to play rummy card game. If you are new to rummy, this will help you to understand the game along with basic rummy game rules.

How to play rummy

Features of rummy

  • A usual deck of 52 playing cards is 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).
  • Before playing, the players can decide whether they want to play a fixed number of deals or up to 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

Can you play rummy with 2 decks?

In the Indian rummy card game, 2 decks are used.

Can you play rummy with 3 players?

Rummy can be played by 2-6 players.

The objective of the rummy 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

New players often wonder how to play rummy with more than 2 players. Is it possible?

Rummy can be played by 2-6 players. The number of cards each player gets is depending on the number of players depends on the variation of the 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 the 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.


  • Set- 2♦ 2♥ 2♣ 2♠
  • Run- A♠ 2♠ 3♠

How many cards are there in a rummy set?

The cards are ranked from 2 (poor) to A (high) (high). Rummy can be played for a set number of deals or for a set score. All rummy games entail card-melding or the formation of legal sequences and/or sets.

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 with 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 stockpile.
  • 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 the discard pile you must keep it
  • If you pick up two cards from the stockpile by mistake and see any of them- then put the bottom 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 it in the middle of 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.

Floating in rummy

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.

Scoring in rummy

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 are:

  • 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 is more than melded ones, you may get a negative score.
  • Usually, the game continues until one player reaches a fixed amount.

Scoring rules in the rummy card game

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

  • If 2 sequences are not there - The player gets points for 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 in rummy?

The winner’s points/winnings are calculated differently in different variations in the rummy card game.

Points Rummy

The Winner gets the cash based on the losers’ points.

Example: A 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, and 40 respectively. The winner will get 4x (45+78+23+20+40) = Rs. 836

Pool Rummy

The winner gets the pool money (entry fee) from the losers.

For example, there are 6 players who join a pool rummy with Rs. 50 as an entry fee. The prize pool is Rs. 300.
The winner will win Rs. 50 x 6 = Rs. 300

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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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 unwanted cards from your hand. In this section, we will cover the different hands in rummy.

How do you score a rummy hand?

Each card is worth a set amount of points. The losing player receives the same number of points as his or her hand score, which is calculated as follows: Any suit's J, Q, K, and A each carry ten points. All other numbered cards have the same number of points as their face value, for example, 7 has 7 points and 3 has 3.

How to Form Sequences in rummy?

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
Sequence in rummy

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

What are sets in rummy?

A set is a collection of three or more cards with the same face value but different suits. You can employ wild cards and Jokers while making sets. A♥ A♣ A♦ (This set is legal because all of the Aces are of different suits.) 8♦ 8♣ 8♠ 8♥ (A rummy set is made up of four sets of eight cards, each with a different suit.)

Set in rummy

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-card 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.)

Can we use 2 jokers in a set in rummy?

Because a set cannot have more than four cards, you could utilise the jokers in your hand to complete the set with no more than two jokers. If you still have a joker in your hand, keep it separate while making a display rather than blending a set of 5 cards, which is not permitted.

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 blank cards to represent a particular card while melding. However, you must make one sequence without a joker as per rummy card game rules.

The 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 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 are higher as many players discard high-value cards quickly.

Aces in rummy

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.

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 to their score.

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

Quick Tips To Win The Rummy Card Game

It's vital to determine the rummy rules, but it's also essential to winning wisely and deliberately. Once you learn how to play rummy, you can move on to winning tips. Here are some fast rummy strategies to help you succeed and beat the competition of your opponents.

  • At the start of a match, create a pure sequence. Without this, a declaration cannot be made.
  • It is essential to discard with high points. Cards like Ace, Jack, King, and Queen comes under the ambit of high points card. In the event that you lose the game, it lessens the point burden.
  • Picking from the discarded pile should be avoided as far as possible. It reveals which hand you're attempting to shape.
  • Keep an eye out for smart cards. A 7 of any suit, for example, may work with 5 and 6 of the same suit, as well as 8 and 9 of the same suit.
  • Jokers are vital in rummy. Use these to substitute high-value cards. Note that you cannot use joker and wild cards in order to make a pure sequence.
  • It is important to cross-check the cards before making a declaration. An improper declaration can transform even a winning game into a total defeat

Rummy Variants and Their Rules

Different variations use different numbers of decks. Basic rummy uses 1 deck. Indian Rummy uses 2 to 3 decks. In the 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).

1. Indian Rummy or 13 card rummy

13 cards are dealt with each player. The remaining cards are kept on the table face down. The top card from the stockpile is kept face up on the table. Sort the cards in your hand properly. The game moves in an anti-clockwise manner. Try to create valid sets and runs. To end your turn, you must discard 1 card. If you have melded into valid groups, you can declare your hand. The player making a valid declaration first wins the game. At the end of the round, the value of the unmatched cards is added up.

2. 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.

3. Domino rummy

Domino rummy is a card game where the cards have spots like dominoes but the game is similar to the 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 Domino rummy?

  • 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 cards.

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

  • 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 is subtracted.

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

GetMega Rummy is an amazing platform that lets you play rummy with friends & family with real money. Sounds fun, isn't it? Download the GetMega rummy app now!
Title Slug
Top 10 Rummy Tricks tips-tricks-in-rummy
Rummy Sequence, Series, Pair And Set Rules rummy-sequence-series-pair-and-set-rules
A Comprehensive Guide To Rummy Rules a-comprehensive-guide-to-rummy-rules

Question Answer
How do I set up a game of Rummy? To set up a game of Rummy, shuffle a standard deck of 52 cards (or multiple decks for larger groups). Deal a specific number of cards to each player, typically 10 cards for two players and 7 cards for three or more players. Place the remaining cards face down as the stockpile and flip the top card to start the discard pile.
How do I form sets and sequences in Rummy? To form sets, gather cards of the same rank but different suits (e.g., three 7s of different suits). For sequences, arrange consecutive cards of the same suit (e.g., 4, 5, 6 of hearts). You need at least one sequence to declare a win in most Rummy variants.
What's the difference between a valid and invalid meld in Rummy? A valid meld is a combination of cards that follows the rules of the game. It can be a set or sequence. An invalid meld consists of cards that don't meet the criteria for sets and sequences. It's important to keep your melds valid to declare a win.
How do I draw and discard cards in Rummy? On your turn, you can either draw a card from the stockpile or pick the top card from the discard pile. After that, you must discard one card from your hand onto the discard pile. Drawing and discarding strategically is key to building your hand effectively.
When can I declare a win in Rummy? To declare a win, you need to have a complete hand with at least one valid sequence (a pure sequence without jokers) and the remaining cards can be sets or sequences. Once your hand meets this requirement, you can declare your win at the start of your turn.