How To Play Rummy
Rummy is becoming an increasingly popular game on the internet, particularly in Asian countries where variations such as India Rummy are experiencing huge growth. It's based on matching up cards of the same sequence,same rank, and/or same suit.
You won't find Rummy on the list of games in a casino, at least not for now. I wouldn't be surprised if that changed in future though as it becomes widely known that the game can be played online. In the Asian regions it's got nowhere near the following that Asian Handicap betting on football has, but still there are upwards of 2 million members at some online sites.
To play rummy online you'll need to understand the basic goal of the game which is to build melds (or sets of cards) which contain sets or runs. Sets are hands where you hold three or four of a kind of the same rank (example three 3s), Runs are three or more cards in sequential order of the same suit (example 345).
The Wikipedia Rummy article states that Rummy's original form was in a game called Sai rummy or Basic rummy. It's believed to originate from a Mexican game known as Conquian, which in turn has origins in an ancient Chinese game called Khanhoo and also Mahjong.
The Rummy Hands
A meld can either be a set (also known as a book) or a run. A set consists of at least three cards of the same rank and a run consists of at least three consecutive cards of the same suit. This is an almost universal pattern, although there exist minor variations, such as allowing only sets or requiring runs in which its cards have no suits in common. In some games, it is required that runs contain at least four cards. Some games also feature wild cards, which can be used to represent any card in a meld. The number of wild cards in a meld may be restricted.
A fairly large number of cards is used. This varies from one standard deck upwards. There are, for example, games that use five standard decks plus some jokers shuffled together.
Each player is dealt a hand of cards; while the specific number is dictated by the strain of rummy being played, the deck is never completely emptied. The remains of the deck are placed face down to form the stock. There is also a face-up pile called the discard pile, which may be initially empty, or it can contain one card, which is turned from the stock. The winner is obliged to deal when a new game commences.
How To Play
In Rummy the number of cards dealt varies based on the type of rummy game being played as well as the number of players.
The person left of the dealer is the first person to play. The dealer switches from person to person going to the left. The dealer flips one card to and places it next to the pile to begin the game.
The first person to go takes a card from the deck or the card placed beside it. When the player has done that, they may either put three cards of the same number or a straight. After this is done, or if they do not make a play at all, a card from their hand is discarded onto the pile beside the deck.
If another player has cards down, the others can play off of them.
When someone melds all his/her cards (except, possibly, for one, which is thrown into the discard pile), the hand ends and the scores are calculated. In some games everyone can make melds at this phase, and some games allow a player to end a hand with a few unmatched cards in his/her hand.
You typically get positive points for your melds, and/or negative points for non-melded cards in your hand. In some games large bonuses are given for special, particularly difficult melds. Also being the person who melded all his/her cards is usually rewarded, depending on the game this award may be rather small compared to other scoring, or it can be the deciding factor of the game.
There are many variations of the card game Rummy. Basic Rummy is also called Sai Rummy. Second type Rummy is also called Sanka Rummy. They all share a common set of features found in the basic game. A standard deck of 52 cards is used. The cards rank from 2 (low) to A (high). Rummy can be played to a certain score, or to a fixed number of deals.
In Rummy if more than one player goes over five hundred in the same round, the player with the highest score wins. If players tie then the player who was leading before that round wins.
The Shuffle and Deal
Each player draws a card. The player with the lowest card deals first. The deal then proceeds clockwise. The player on the dealer's right cuts (this is optional).
The number of cards dealt depends on the number of players. If there are two players, each player gets ten cards. In three or four player games, seven cards are dealt to each player. Five or six players may also play, in which case each player receives six cards
Number of players Number of cards dealt
2 players 10 cards
3 or 4 players 7 cards
5 or 6 players 6 cards
Starting with the player to the dealer's left, cards are dealt clockwise, face down, one at a time. The dealer then puts the rest of the deck, face down, between the players. This forms the stock pile. A single card is then drawn and placed face up next to the stack. This is called the discard pile.
Play begins with the player on the dealer's left and proceeds clockwise. Each player draws a card from the stock or the discard pile. The player may then meld or lay off, which are both optional, before discarding.
If a player has three cards of the same suit in a sequence (called a sequence or a run), they may meld by laying these cards, face up, in front of them. If they have at least three cards of the same value, they may meld a group (also called a set or a book). Aces can be played as high or low but not both, for example Q? K? A? and A? 2? 3? are legal, but not K? A? 2? (some variations allow this type of run). Melding is optional. A player may choose, for reasons of strategy, not to meld on a particular turn. The most important reason is to be able to declare "Rummy" later in the game.
A player may also choose to "lay off" some cards on an existing meld. This means that if a player can add to a sequence or a group that is in front of them or any of the other players, they may do so. For example: if another player had a sequence consisting of A? 2? 3? in front of them, the player would be able to add the 4?, or 4? 5?, and so on, thereby continuing the sequence. Some variations allow players to play the K? and wrap around. Also if a player has 3 of a kind, one of which continues another sequence on the field then another player may also continue off that card.
Finally, after any melds or lay offs, the player must discard a single card to the discard pile, face up. The only condition is that it not be the card that they drew from the discard pile on the same turn. They may, however, return it on the next turn. In addition, if they drew from the stock instead of the discard pile, they are allowed to return that card in the same turn. In this way, the discard pile changes every turn.
Exhausting the stock
If, while playing, the stock runs out, the next player may choose to draw from the discard pile or to turn the discard pile over to form a new stock. The discard pile is not shuffled in the process. After forming the new stock, the top card is drawn to form the new discard pile, just like after the deal. You can call rummy if a point is discarded into the discard pile. You cannot however call rummy if the card becomes a point while in the discard pile.
When a player has gotten rid of all of their cards, they win the hand. There are two variations. Either the player must discard the last remaining card in their hand on the last turn, or they need not. Playing with this rule makes ending a hand slightly more difficult.
For example, if a player has only the 7 of diamonds and 8 of diamonds left in their hand, and they draw the 9 of diamonds (forming a sequence), then whether they win the hand or not depends on if they are playing the discard rule variation. If they are playing this variation, they can not win the hand at this point, because they have to finish the turn by discarding one of the three cards in their hand, causing them to no longer have a sequence. However, if the player is allowed to lay off this sequence without a final discard, then the game ends when the player lays down the sequence. And a player can lay down cards afterwards. A player may not win or go out if rummy is declared on the board.
If a player is able to meld all of their cards at once, they may say "Rummy" on their turn and go out. To declare Rummy, a player must not have melded or laid off any cards prior during the hand. If playing with the discard rule, they must also discard after melding. If a player goes rummy when a card can be played, that player is out for that turn. Game players are still in game but hand goes dead. Playing for Rummy is more risky, but it carries the reward of double the score. Each player must wait until their second turn to go out. If there is a rummy lying in the pile, the player who called "rummy" can play that card while the player who laid the rummy must then draw 2 cards from the stock pile or pick up the entire discarded pile.
After a player goes out, the hand ends, and the players count up their cards. Any cards left in each player's hand are counted up and added to the winner's score. The Queen of Spades count as 40, Aces count as 15, face cards (Except the queen of spades) and 10s count as 10, and the rest are worth 5. If a player has declared Rummy, then this score is doubled. The player that goes out first receives a 25 point bonus. The other players must deduct the points in their hand from the points they have accumulated throughout the game.
Another variation is that face cards count as 10; three aces count as 15 each; a run of ace, king, queen, the ace is 15; a run of ace, two, three, the ace is 5; and the rest are worth 5 each. Any cards left in each player's hand are counted up and subtracted from their score on the table. You cannot count Jokers or Wild Cards during the scoring.
Variations of Basic Rummy
In some instances, jokers are used, for example it has been played with the rule if you discard a joker you miss some turns, missing two turns for discarding the red joker and 5 turns for discarding the black joker. This becomes difficult when it is sometimes unavoidable to pick up a joker and keeping it will prevent you from creating a fully melding hand.
In another variation, discards are placed so that all the cards are visible. At the beginning of his or her turn, a player may take any card from the discard pile, so long as he or she also picks up all the cards that are on top of it, and the last card picked up is played immediately. If only picking up the top card, the player must keep it and discard a different card from their hand.
In a variation called "Block Rummy", players do not continue after going through the pack once - if no players are out, they all lose the points in their hands after the pack has been gone through once. Round the Corner Rummy, also called Continuity Rummy, is a variant where melds can be made in the following way: Queen-King-Ace-Two, i.e. it is possible to put an ace in a run after a King.
Following the best strategies is the way to get ahead in any games, and playing Rummy with the right strategies is no different.
If you want to play rummy and win then here are a few tips and strategies to follow.
1. Know What Hands You're Holding
The best way to do this is by arranging your cards sequentially or by sets. This will help you see exactly what you're holding and which cards you need to keep or discard.
2. Keep An Eye On Your Opponents
Always watch for which cards your opponent is discarding or keeping. Not doing this give your opponent a potential edge in the game.
3. Reduce The Points
By discarding high value cards as far as possible early in the game, you potentially reduce the scores against you. Of course, you need to balance this against the risk of discarding cards that might be valuable to your opponent.
Valuable Guides & Resources For Playing Rummy Successfully
The social sharing sites at Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter all have Rummy channels.
The video below will give you an overview of what you see when you play rummy online
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
This article is reproduced here courtesy of Wikipedia