The Rules of Play Rummy
Rummy (also known as Traditional Rummy) remains one of the most popular Rummy card games. It is the most well suited option to an offline playing environment as it is the easiest to learn and play. It’s simple and yet contains all the exciting ingredients with a great deal more skill involved.
Players & Deck – PlayRummy is played between 2 to 5 players and each player is dealt 13 cards. For 2 or 4 players, two 52-card decks (104 cards) and 4 jokers (wild cards) are used. For 5 players, three decks (156 cards) and 6 jokers are used. Each player turn by turn (in clockwise order) deals the cards.
|Number of Players||Number of Decks||Number of cards dealt to each player|
|2 – 4 player table||2 deck||13 cards each|
|5 player table||3 decks||13 cards each|
How the Game Works
- A random toss decides which player gets to play the first move.
- Each player is dealt 13 cards face down. The next card from the deck is placed face up on the table; this starts the discard pile/open deck . Rest of the cards are placed face down in the centre of the table; this is the stock pile/closed deck .
- Then a card is picked from the stock pile and placed face up under the stock pile so that it is visible. All the cards of that rank regardless of the suit can be utilized as additional jokers or wild cards.
- The objective of the Game. The object is to form Runs (or sequences) and Sets. And when a player has formed required runs and sets using all the 13 cards, the player declares his/her turn. A valid declare must have minimum two runs and out of these runs one run must be pure (called First Life). The
second run can be pure or non-pure (called Second Life). Either First Life or Second Life must have 4 or more cards. Once the objective is met the player can thereafter declare by clicking on the “Declare” button.
- Once a valid declare is made, rest of players on the table must form and declare the valid sets and sequences. For these players all the unmatched cards are counted. Every player must meet the requirements of minimum two runs (First Life and Second Life) else all the 13 cards are treated as unmatched and are counted. When all the 13 cards are unmatched, the player loses 80 points.
- Dropping from the game. If you drop from the game without picking even a single card from the discard pile or stock pile, you lose 10 points. If you drop in between a hand, before any other player has done a valid declare, you lose 30 points.
- After the points of all the players are calculated for all players, the winner takes home the prize money.
- Some Rules to remember. A sequence/run can also use a joker (wild card) as substitute for any missing card. Such a sequence is non-pure sequence. You can use only one joker in a non-pure sequence.
- A set consists of 3 or 4 cards of same rank but of different suits. or 2 (or 3) such cards and a joker.
- Three cards of same rank and same suit (except printed jokers) are treated as pure sequence/run.
- All the unused jokers can be placed separately while declaring and hold 0 points.
What is a Sequence (or Run)?
A sequence is group of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. There are two types of sequences that are used in 13 card rummy games. A Pure Sequence and an Impure Sequence.
5♥ 6♥ 7♥ are three consecutive cards of the same suit ♥
A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥ are four consecutive cards of the same suit ♥
A♥ 2♥ 3♥ are three consecutive cares of the same suit ♥
However: K♥ A♥ 2♥ is not considered a valid sequence. In order for a set to be valid it has to follow the sequence A,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A in a loop and A,K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,A.
Three identical Cards: when playing with three 52-card decks, the three cards of same rank and same suit are treated as pure sequence/run. For example: 9♥ 9♥ 9♥ and J♠ J♠ J♠.
Impure sequence is when a printed joker or a wild card is used to create a sequence. Let’s assume K♥ is a selected Wild Card.
4♣ 5♣ PJ 7♣ – here a printed joker has been used to replace 6♣.
4♣ 5♣ K♥ 7♣ – here the selected wild card K♥ has been used to build a sequence replacing 6♣.
What is a First Life and Second Life?
a valid declare you must have minimum two sequences. One of the two required sequence must have a pure sequence and the other must have a minimum of 4 cards.
First Combination: Both the sequences are pure
First Life 5♥ 6♥ 7♥
Second Life A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥
Second Combination: One of the sequences is pure and the other impure (considering J♠ is joker)
First Life 5♥ J♠ 7♥
Second Life A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥
Third Combination: One of the sequences is pure and the other is impure (considering J♠ is joker)
First Life 5♥ 6♥ 7♥
Second Life A♥ J♠ Q♥ J♥
Three identical Cards: the three cards of same rank and same suit are treated as pure sequence/run. For example: 9♥ 9♥ 9♥. This too can be treated as a first life.
What is a Set?
3 or more cards of the same face value but different suits in a row are called a Set
7♥7♣7♦ are of different suits ♥ ♣ ♦
K♦ K♣ K♥ K♠ are of different suits ♦ ♣ ♠ ♥
However 7♥ 7♦ 7♦ is not considered a valid set. All cards in a set have to be of different suits. If two or more cards of the same suit are used to make a set of three or more cards, it is considered as an invalid set. (this is applicable in gameplays with 2 or more deck of cards). As you can see two of 7♦ has been used to declare the set.
A set can also be built with a Wild Card or a printed joker. Lets us assume the Wild Card is K♥.
4♣ 4♦ PJ 4♥ – here a printed joker has been used to replace 4♠ in the set.
A♣ A♥ K♥ A♠ – here the selected wild card K♥ has been used to build a set replacing A♦.
How to use the Joker?
There are two types of jokers used in rummy.
At the start of each game, a wild joker card is randomly selected. This card can be used as a replacement to any required card after you meet the requirement of at least one valid sequence.
If 6♥ is selected as the wild joker, then 6 of any suit can be utilized as the wild joker. I.e. 6♥, 6♠ 6♦ 6♣ are all joker cards.
4♣ 5♣ 6♦ 7♣ – 6♦ has been used to form a sequence. This is an Impure sequence because even though it’s a 6 it’s not a 6 of clubs. 6♦ being a joker in this case.
4♣ 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ – 6♣ has been used to form a sequence. Even though 6♣ is a joker, it’s considered a pure sequence because it belongs to the same suit. (this is possibly the worst placement with a joker considering it is blocked in a sequence reducing its value of wild card)
A♣ K♣ 6♥ J♣ – 6♥ has been used to form a sequence by replacing in it space of Q♣ . There this is an impure sequence using a joker.
Printed Joker (PJ)
Printed jokers also serve the same purpose since you can use them to replace any other card to form sets and sequences.
A♣ K♣ PJ J♣ – PJ has been used to form a sequence by replacing in it space of Q♣ . There this is an impure sequence using a printed joker.
A♦ PJ A♣ A♥ – PJ has replaced A♠ to form a set of A♦ A♠ A♣ A♥
Note: If the Printed Joker is randomly selected as the wild joker, then A’s of all suits will become wild jokers. I.e. A♦ A♠ A♣ A♥automatically become the jokers.
How to Win in Rummy?
When you have arranged all the cards in your hand into proper sequences and/or sets, including one pure sequence and one sequence with cards, you need to declare the game by discarding one of the cards to the Declaring Slot and wait for other players to show their hands.
Note: Three identical Cards: when playing with three 52-card decks, the three cards of same rank and same suit are treated as pure sequence/run. For example: 9♥ 9♥ 9♥ and J♠ J♠ J♠.