Explore the Different Variations of Rummy: Gin Rummy, Indian Rummy, and More

Variations of Rummy

Card games have always had a special place in Indian culture. They are part of a lot of festivals & people of all ages have a card game that suits them the best. Out of all the available card games, rummy is one of the most popular ones. Young people play it for the fun of it, while adults choose to play it to win real cash. The diversity of India has also had an effect on rummy & several rummy variations have emerged over the years. This blog will list & explain in brief some of the most common variations of rummy. 

Variations of Rummy Game

  • Gin Rummy
  • Indian Rummy
  • 21 Card Rummy
  • Contract Rummy
  • Rummikubh
  • Oklahoma Rummy
  • Kalooki Rummy
  • Shanghai Rummy
  • Canasta
  • 500 Rummy
  • Dummy Rummy

While the games remain similar in broader aspects, variations of rummy have a few minor changes in the rummy game rules. 

Gin Rummy

Gin is played between 2-4 players & played with 10 cards. Just like 13 & 21 card rummy variations, players have to make sets and sequences. A key difference is that in Gin, it is legal to declare without completing sets or sequences of all the cards. If your point value is less than 10, you can ‘knock’ to declare. 

Indian Rummy

It is played with 13 cards & the objective is to form sets & sequences before everyone else & make a valid declaration. For 2-5 players, it is played with a single deck. For 6 or more players, two decks are used. 

21 Card Rummy

As the name suggests, this variant is played with 21 cards & players are required to make at least 3 pure sequences. There is also a penalty system where a player is penalized with 30 points if they drop out without playing a hand, & with 75 points if they drop out after playing a hand. There is also the system of upper & lower jokers. For example, if 4 of hearts is chosen, then 3 of hearts & 5 of hearts are considered as jokers. 

Contract Rummy

Contract Rummy is similar to Gin Rummy, except that there are 7 rounds & in each round players have to collect a certain combination of sequences. The first four rounds are played with 10 cards & the rest with 12 cards. 


Rummikubh is a mixture of rummy and mahjong. It is played with 104 tiles market with numbers from 1 – 13, so the tiles can be considered as 2 decks of the standard 52 card deck. Each player gets 14 tiles & have to make sets & sequences. 

Oklahoma Rummy

It is a lighter version of rummy where only 7 cards are dealt to the players. Impure sets and sequences using jokers are allowed. In all other aspects, Gin & Oklahoma can be considered as similar variations of rummy game. 

Kalooki Rummy

This variant has its roots in Jamaica. Kalooki is played with 9 cards & the objective is to have the least number of points. When a player decides to make a valid declaration, points of deadwood cards are calculated & the player with the least number of points wins. 

Shanghai Rummy

This variant is meant to be played between 3 – 5 players. Each player gets 11 cards and 2 of Spades & 2 of Clubs are considered as jokers. 


Canasta has the same rules as regular rummy, but all the 2s are considered jokers. 

500 Rummy

This variant has the same rules as regular rummy, except that the winner is the player who reaches 500 points first. 

Dummy Rummy

Dummy Rummy is played with 2 decks & all the 2s are considered as jokers. 

Variants Available on PlayRummy App

Out of all the rummy variations mentioned above, 13 card rummy and 21 card rummy are the most popular. You can enjoy both of these variants on the PlayRummy app. Simply download it from the app store or download the rummy apk from the internet, begin your rummy journey, & stand a chance to win real cash!