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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 PlayersNumber of Decks Number of cards dealt to each player
2 - 4 player table2 deck13 cards each
5 player table3 decks13 cards each

  • A random toss decides which player gets to play the first move and a wild card is dealt and fixed as a joker card to be utilized.
  • In case a printed joker is selected as joker for a game, then players can use it in any suit as a joker in their sets and/or sequences.
  • First card of the remaining deck forms the open deck/discard pile and the remaining cards form the closed deck/stock pile.
  • Then thirteen cards are dealt to each player who then take turns to pick/discard a card from the closed/open deck.
  • You can use only one joker to put in your sets/ sequence. If the wild joker is of the same suit as the sequence, you can use the printed joker in the same sequence.
  • 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 card, 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.
  • The joker card can be placed separately while declaring and holds 0 point loss.
  • Once a valid declare is made everyone on the table needs to declare and points are calculated as per the remaining cards which could not be placed in any valid order.
  • If a player has dropped his cards 20 points loss is calculated for first drop and 40 points loss for middle drop.
  • After each loss point is calculated for all players, the winner takes home the prize money.
  • Caution : With two decks, you cannot use the same card twice in a set. For instance 8 ♠ 8 ♠ 8 is not a valid set.
  • 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♠.

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.

Pure 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♣.

In 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.

3 or more cards of the same face value but different suits in a row are called a Set

Pure Set
77♣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.

Impure 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.

There are two types of jokers used in rummy.

Wild Joker
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.

For example:
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.

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♠.

Example #1 Declaring with Pure Sequences and Sets
A K Q J| 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ | 5 5♠ 5 | K K K♣
This is a valid declaration as it meets the objective of the game.

  • All the 13 cards are arranged in valid sequences and sets.
  • It has a minimum of two sequences - A K Q J and 2♣ 3♣ 4♣. Both are pure sequences and meet the valid declaration criteria of having at least two sequences, out of which one is a pure sequence and one has four cards.

Example #2: Declaring with Pure and Impure Sets & Sequence Combo
K is the Wild Joker
A 2 3 K| 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ | 5 5♠ 5 | K K K♣
This is a valid declaration as it meets the objective of the game.
  • All the 13 cards are arranged in valid sequences and sets
  • It has a minimum of two sequences - A 2 3 K and 2♣ 3♣ 4♣. Here, 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ is a pure sequence and A 2 3 K is an impure sequence. The objective of the game is met of having at least two sequences, out of which one is a pure sequence and one has four in a sequence.

Example #3: Declaring with Pure and Impure Sets & Sequence Combo
PJ is the Wild Joker - (A A♠ A♣ A)
PJ 8 9 10| 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ | 5 A♣ 5 | K K K♣
This is a valid declaration as it meets the objective of the game.
  • All the 13 cards are arranged in valid sequences and sets
  • It has a minimum of two sequences - PJ 8 9 10 and 2♣ 3♣ 4♣. Here, 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ is a pure sequence and PJ 8 9 10 is an impure sequence. The objective of the game is met of having at least two sequences, out of which one is a pure sequence and one has four in a sequence using the Printed joker or the Ace Card.
  • The set 5 A♣ 5 is an impure set using the Ace card which automatically becomes the joker once the printed joker is selected to be the wild card.

Example #1: Invalid Set
A K Q J| 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ 5♣ 6♣ |6 6 6 6♣

  • A set is group of three or four cards of the same face value with different suits.
  • 6 6 6 6♣ is an invalid set since it consists of two cards of the same suit 6.

Example #2: Declaring without any Sequence
3 3♠ 3 3♣ | 6 6♠ 6 | A A♣ A | 5 5♠ 5|
  • There are no sequences in this example.
  • A valid declaration must contain at least two sequences, out of which one has to be a pure sequence and one has to be a sequence of four.

Example #3: Declaring without Two Sequences
K is the Wild Joker
A 2 3 4 | 5♣ 5♠ 5 | 6 6♠ 6 | 3 3♠ 3 |
  • There is only one sequence in this example.
  • No second sequence is found with or without Joker.
  • Here, there is only one sequence and you need to have at least two to make a valid declaration, one out of which needs to be of at least four cards.

Example #4: Declaring without Pure Sequence
K is the Wild Joker
A 2 K | 2♣ K 4♣ 5♣ 6♣ |6 6 6 6♣
  • There is no pure sequence in this example.
  • In order to make a valid declaration, there has to be at least one pure sequence (without Joker).
  • Here, there are two impure sequences using the wild card and there is no pure sequence.

Example #5: Declaring without a Sequences of Four
K is the Wild Joker
8 9 10| 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ | 5 5♠ 5 |Q Q Q♣ K
  • No sequence of four cards can be found in this example.
  • In order to make a valid declaration, there has to be at least one pure sequence (without Joker) and another sequence (with or without Joker) with at least four cards.
  • K should have been placed with either of the pure sequence to make this a valid declare.

13 Card Rummy - A standard game of online rummy where 13 cards are dealt to each player which need to be melded into sets and sequences. 2 sequences need to be pure out of which at least one must be of 4 cards. The rest can be arranged into sets or sequences.

101 Pool - A Rummy type in which the Round of games continues until all the players are eliminated and one single player survives without accumulating a total sum of 101 Pool Points. The table is set with a fixed point of entry where the winner takes the entire amount of the table (minus PlayRummy rake).

201 Pool - A Rummy type in which the Round of games continues until all the players are eliminated and one single player survives without accumulating a total sum of 201 Pool Points. The table is set with a fixed point of entry where the winner takes the entire amount of the table (minus PlayRummy rake).

Buy In - The amount of entry or bet fee you need to put in to enter a Tournament or a Pool Table.

Deck - It refers to the pack of cards used in a rummy game. A regular deck has 52 cards and two printed jokers.

Closed Deck - In a typical 13 cards rummy game, the cards that are not distributed are kept face down to form the closed deck.

Open deck - An open deck is formed by the card/s discarded by players. A player can pick the top card from the open deck which is placed face-up on the table.

Suit - There are 4 suits in any pack of cards i.e. Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. ( ♠ ♣ )

Ace - In a standard 52 cards deck there are 4 aces; one of each suit (spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds). Ace can be used to make a sequence as Ace-2-3 as well as Ace-King-Queen.

Wild Joker - A joker is a randomly selected card at the beginning of each rummy game. A joker can be used as any card in that particular game. For example: if the joker is a 4♠, the other 4s (4 4♣ 4) can be used as any card to make impure sets and sequences.

Printed Joker - Apart from the 52 cards of 4 suites, there are two or three printed jokers in a standard 52 cards pack. (PJ)

Point of Cards - Each player is dealt 13 cards and the after distributing the following are scored as
Joker = 0 points
Ace, King, Queen, Jack = 10 points (also known as Face Cards)
10 = 10 points
Number Cards = Face Value (i.e. 4 = 4 points and 9 = 9 points etc.)

Discard - In a 13 cards rummy game, a player is supposed to pick up the 14th card (either from the closed deck or the open deck). The 14th card there onwards is used to start the discard pile or the open deck. The player should have 13 cards at the end of their turn.

Play time - There is a time limit in while a player can play their turn. (30 seconds in PlayRummy)

Extra Time - Upon completion of the allotted time frame, extra time is allotted to each player which can be utilized. Once the extra time is over only the play time limit is provided. (30 seconds in PlayRummy)

Declare Time - Once a player has declared each player on the table is provided a time frame to make their declarations. (30 seconds in PlayRummy)

Declare - To make a valid Declaration one must finish arranging their cards in desired sequences and/or sets. In a 13 cards rummy game, you declare rummy by putting the 14th card face down on the discard pile. This card is placed in the finnish slot.

Pure sequence - A pure sequence is a sequence without a Joker. A,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K of the same suit can be placed to make a pure sequence i.e. (7 8 9) etc. A,K,Q in an order is correct where as K,A,2 is incorrect and cannot be used in that order.

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. i.e. 9 9 9 and J♠ J♠ J♠.

Impure Sequence - An impure sequence is one that is made by using a joker (wild or Printed) i.e. 2 3♠ 4 5 (3♠ being a wild joker) or 2 PJ 4 5 (PJ being a wild joker).

Pure set - A set is made up of 3 or more cards of the same number (9 9♠ 9♣ 9) etc.
Note: While playing with more than one pack of cards, you cannot make a valid set with 2 cards from the same suit i.e. (J♠ J♠ J) etc.

Impure Set - An impure set is when the set made consists of a joker. (wild or Printed) i.e. 9 3♠ 9♣ 9 (3♠ being a wild joker) or 9 PJ 9♣ 9 (PJ being a wild joker).

Unarranged Cards - The cards with which a player is not able to make any sets or sequences at the time of declaration are considered as unmatched cards. The losers unmatched card points are calculated and its the point loss which is awarded to the winner.

Scoring - The loser faces a point loss of the unmatched or unarranged cards which they are unable to arrange in any sets or sequences.

Winner - A winner in a rummy game is a player who declares by arranging their cards with valid sets and/or sequences. Also, to win the rummy game, the player has to correctly declare their cards in 2 sequences out of which one has to be pure and the other has to have 4 cards. The winner gets 0 points after winning the hand.

The above mentioned rummy glossary is purely for informative purposes only. The Rules for playing rummy that are applicable to PlayRummy.com rummy games can be found at: Link