Types of Rummy Games – A Complete Guide

Playing cards have always been a very popular means of entertainment all over the world. Rummy occupies a special place in the world of playing cards and different cultures have modified the game which has led to the emergence of rummy variations. It is a unique card game that has a distinctive charm associated with it. With the Internet boom, online rummy is gaining popularity as it stands out among all its siblings and rules the hearts of card lovers.

The Classic Rummy game has been around for probably two centuries now. Just as there are clans and sub-clans among humans, the game has evolved in diverse ways in different parts of the globe. As such, there are numerous versions of the game prevalent across the world. However, all Variants of Rummy are essentially about card melding, i.e., grouping of similar cards. The grouped cards can be consecutive cards of the same suit, in which case the collection is called a sequence or a run; or a combination of cards with the same rank but different suits, in which case, it is called a set.

The names and rules of these formats of rummy might vary but the objective is similar and to accomplish it, players pick and discard cards. Here we provide you with a description of different rummy variations and rules associated with them.

13 Card Rummy

It is also known as Indian Rummy and is believed to be an extension of Gin Rummy and Rummy 500. It is a game of 2 to 6 players in which each player is dealt 13 cards. Players have to meld the cards into valid sequences and/or sets by picking and discarding cards. The game also allows the use of Joker cards, which can be used as substitutes for any card. One pure sequence i.e. without the use of Joker and one impure sequence i.e. which uses Joker, are necessary for a valid or acceptable declare. Each card carries points – Face cards and Aces (10 points each), number cards (same as the number on them) and Joker cards (0). The aim is to meld the cards and reduce points to zero because points carry negative value. The player who does this first is the winner.

Here is an example of a melded hand – 2♥ 3♥ 4♥… 7♠ 8♠ 9♠ Joker… 6♥ 6♦ 6♠… J♣ J♦ Joker. 2♥ 3♥ 4♥ is a pure sequence, 7♠ 8♠ 9♠ Joker is an impure sequence, 6♥ 6♦ 6♠ is a pure set and J♣ J♦ Joker is an impure set.

The 13 Card Rummy has 3 variations; namely Points Rummy, Deals Rummy, and Pool Rummy. Players can enjoy all these interesting variants of classic rummy games at the vibrant tables of Rummy Passion. Let’s go over this one by one:

Points Rummy

Also known as 80 Points Rummy, it is the simplest and the most basic format of 13 Card Rummy. A session of this game lasts just a few minutes. It is the version recommended for beginners. It is the most liked online rummy variant as it allows card lovers to refresh themselves without spending much time. There are tables with different point values, usually ranging from 10 paisa per point to Rs 100 per point. Once a player declares in this game, the winnings of the player at Rummy Passion are calculated based on the points that the losing players have accumulated, whereby:

Player Winnings = (Total Points of all Losing Players) X (Points Value) – Rummy Passion Rake

Deals Rummy

Deals Rummy is played for a fixed number of deals. Each player gets an equal number of chips at the beginning of the game. At the end of each deal, the losing players have to surrender their chips to the winner. When all the deals are over, players get ranks as per their chip count. The player who has accumulated the maximum chips is the overall winner. It is just like playing Points Rummy for a pre-decided number of times. RummyPassion.com provides the players with a choice of playing the game on 2 deals tables and 3 deals tables.

Player Winnings = (Entry Fee) X (Number of players at the table) – Rummy Passion Rake

Pool Rummy

All the players at a table collect or ‘pool in’ money to play this game. It further has two versions – 101 and 201 Pool Rummy games. It is similar to playing the Points Rummy game till all the players barring one, get eliminated from the game on collecting 101 or 201 points depending on the version. The player who is left is the winner.

Player Winnings = (Entry Fee) X (Number of players at the table) – Rummy Passion Rake

101 Pool Rummy

In this format of Pool Rummy, you have to drive your rival players to cross 101 points. As soon as a player collects 101 points, s/he has to accept defeat and go out of the game. It might require the players to play multiple deals of the rummy game.

201 Pool Rummy

Very similar to 101 Pool, in this version of online rummy, all the players get eliminated as soon as they collect 201 points each. In the end, only one winning player remains. For example, Players A, B and C decide to play 201 Pool Rummy. As the game progresses, Player B accumulates 201 points after the fourth game at which instance, he gets eliminated. Now Players A and C remain at the table. They play 2 more games and at the end of the second game, Player A also collects 201 points. In this case, Player C will be the winner.

21 Card Rummy or Indian Marriage

Quite popular in the Indian subcontinent, it is played by a lot of people at Dusshera and Diwali. The game is longer than classic rummy games and is quite interesting. It is similar to the game of 13 Card Rummy, except for a few features. It uses 3 decks of cards along with printed jokers. Each player is dealt 21 cards and it is mandatory for the players to form at least 3 pure runs and meld the remaining cards into proper sets or sequences.

A really different aspect of this game is that besides jokers, it uses ‘Value Cards’. Their usage is similar to that of jokers as they can also substitute any card. However, they are special because they hold additional points. To exemplify, if 8♠ is the wild joker, 7♠ 8♠ 9♠ will be the Value Cards for the game and players who have any of them can grab 20 points from their rival players.

In the given example, 9♠ is called Paplu; 8♠ is Titlu and 7♠ is Niche.

Another difference is that First Drop entails a penalty of 30 points and the points of value cards are not honored. A middle drop means a penalty of 75 points, but points of value cards are honored. Also, 3 cards of the same suit and same rank form a ‘Trinala’, which is considered a pure run.

The Marriage Hand: A combination of cards that has 7♠, 8♠, 9♠ is known as the Marriage Hand. The players who possess this special hand get 100 points from their opponents. The game of 21 Card Rummy requires much more concentration and skills on the part of players as compared to 13 Card Rummy.

Canasta

The word which means ‘basket’ in Spanish is a kind of rummy game that itself has different variations depending upon the number of players. However, generally, it is played by 4 players in 2 partnerships with 2 decks of cards and 4 jokers. All the 4 jokers and all the 2s are treated as wild cards. The objective for the players is to form melds with 7 cards of the same rank and ‘go out’ by playing all their cards. It is the only membership game of the rummy family that has acquired the status of a classic.

Rummikub

Played by 2-4 players with tiles instead of cards, it is a combination of Rummy and Mahjong popular in Europe and the Americas. The game was a hot favourite in the US in the late 70s. It won ‘German Game of the Year’ in 1980 and ‘Dutch Game of the Year’ in 1983. The game uses 104 tiles with numbers 1 to 13 in 4 different colours such as orange, black, red and blue. There are 2 tiles with the same number and colour. Also, there are 2 jokers. Players have a rack to store their tiles without showing the face of the tiles to their opponents. In the beginning, players have 14 or 16 tiles and upon their turn, they put down tiles from their racks into sets or runs of a minimum of 3 tiles. They just draw a tile if they cannot play. The player who first lays down all his/her tiles is the winner. A unique aspect of the game is that players are allowed to use tiles that have already been played.

Paplu or Marriage Rummy

A game of 2-5 players, it is played with 3 decks. It finds favour with card enthusiasts in Nepal, Bhutan and India. The game uses only wild card jokers and no printed jokers. Each player gets 21 cards. All the combinations must consist of only 3 cards.

The gameplay:

The next card from the remaining pile is turned up to start the discard pile. Any player who gets three identical cards can right away show these cards, and they would be worth points at the end of the game. If this is not done at the beginning due to any reason, they would have no points afterward. The player sitting to the left of the dealer begins the game and the gameplay proceeds with picking and discarding of cards. The discard pile is spread for everybody to see but players cannot pick any card except the latest one. Also, once a player picks up a card from the open pile, s/he cannot discard the same card.

How to Win the Game?

  • A player who has laid down 3 tunnels or 3 pure runs can win the game after forming and laying down 4 more combinations.
  • A player can lay down 8 doubles and discard the remaining cards to win and end the game. The game is a favored choice of card lovers due to its flexibility. Jokers in the deck pace up the game. On the other hand, the absence of jokers makes it a slow time-passing leisure pursuit.

Gin Rummy

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards, it is the easiest version of rummy. It is a hot favorite among European denizens. It is a 2-player game and each player gets 10 cards which have to be melded into at least 3 card sequences and/or sets. For example – 6♥ 6♦ 6♠ is a set and 2♥ 3♥ 4♥ is a sequence. One Joker card is used. The cards are ranked from King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. Face cards hold 10 points each, number cards carry points the same as their face value and an Ace has just 1 point. It places only one restriction on the players – that the sequences must be of the same suit.

Oklahoma Rummy

It is a popular version of Gin Rummy and can be played by 2-4 players. It makes use of a standard deck of 52 cards, along with one randomly selected Joker. If there are 2 players, both of them get 10 cards each; if players are more, then each player gets 7 cards. The Ace holds 1 point, the face cards carry 10 points each and number cards have a value the same as their number. Players have to meld their cards and as they do so, they can get rid of those cards. The player who first does away with all his/her cards is the winner.

Kalooki Rummy

A version of Contract Rummy, it is very popular in Jamaica and former Yugoslavia. A game of 3-8 players, the number of decks depends upon the number of players. Each game of Kalooki is played for 9 deals. The aim is to go out by melding and laying down all your cards. The player who has the lowest total score at the end of all the deals is the winner. Points are allotted to cards in a somewhat different way – Joker (50), Black Aces (15 each), Red Aces (1 each), face cards (10 each) and number cards (same as their face value).

500 Rummy or Persian Rummy

It is also known as Pinochle Rummy and Michigan Rummy and is a game of 2-8 players. In most rummy versions, points carry negative value, but in this game, the player who grabs 500+ points first is the winner. 13 cards are dealt with each player. Properly melded cards help you collect points and the cards that are not a part of any meld get your points deducted. Ace, face cards and Joker carry 1, 10 and 15 points respectively. Another worth-noting feature is that there is no such restriction on players that they can draw only the top-most card of the open pile. They are allowed to take more than one card to reach a card lower down in the pile that they need. This feature raises the complexity level of the game so that more strategizing is required.

Contract Rummy or Combination rummy, Deuces Wild Rummy, Joker Rummy and Phase 10

It is a game of 3-8 players and has developed from Gin Rummy. The game uses multiple decks of 54 cards and jokers are treated as wild cards. Each player is dealt 10 cards for the first 4 rounds and 12 cards for the last 3 rounds. It is played for 7 deals with rules changing in each deal, although the aim of forming sequences and sets remains the same. Here face cards hold 10 points each, Aces have 15 points each and Jokers carry 25 points each. Complexity goes on increasing with each deal.

Shanghai Rummy or California Rummy

It is a game that originated in China and is very similar to ‘Contract Rummy’, except that the number of deals is 10. It uses 2 standard decks with 54 cards each. 3-5 players can play this game and each player gets 11 cards. It is a comparatively flexible game as players can ‘purchase’ cards- they can drop a card to and pick a card from the discard pile. The game uses 2s in black suits as jokers along with wild card jokers. But Joker can be used only in 3 or 4 card combinations and not in bigger combinations that have more cards. Players aim at getting rid of all their cards by melding them and laying them down.

Dummy Rummy

It originated in the US and is played in many parts of the world. Card players love this game for its simplicity and exciting gameplay. It is a game of 2-4 players. It uses two standard decks of cards with 4 Jokers so that there are 108 cards in total. Number ‘2’ cards are treated as wild card Jokers. Each player is dealt 13 cards. As you meld your cards into valid sequences and/or sets, you can get rid of those cards. The first player to do away with all the cards is the winner. The main difference is in the variety of combinations in the game, besides the number of melds required, which is 12. If a player is not able to form the proper meld, s/he must try again in the next hand.

In a Nutshell

There are a lot of variants of the classic rummy game, as players in different parts of the world kept introducing changes in it from time to time to bring out their own customized versions of the game. However, the rules of all these variations are more or less similar. And among so many of its siblings, it is 13 Card Rummy that has continued to rule the roost and is now going strong as Online Rummy. If we talk in the Indian context, 13 card rummy is the most preferred choice of the natives and they leave no opportunity to indulge in it. At Rummy Passion, players can play and enjoy all variations of 13 Card Indian Rummy.

Written by 

Sashi is an international development specialist and author of several publications on socio-economic development. Sashi is a regular contributor to online article sites on the topics of Investments, Prepaid Cards, Business, Finance, and Marketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *