Rummy

Rummy is arguably one of the most popular and easy to play among the many traditional card games. Popular in the United States and India, Rummy was first played in the early twentieth century and took some inspiration from the Mexican card game called Conquian. The game plays out with a single deck, with two to eight players participating in each game. Under traditional rules, the game requires two decks of playing cards if more than four players participate in each round. Your objective is to empty your hands by laying down runs or sets.

How to Play

In Rummy, it’s all about matching cards to create runs or sets. A run is a series of cards in ascending values, and a set is a group of cards of the same value. In this game, King is the highest, with Ace the lowest. The Ace may rank low or high.

The first dealer is selected randomly, and the other players act as the dealer. For example, if there are two players, each player gets ten cards. If the table seats three to four players, they get seven cards each, with cards dealt one at a time. After completing the deal, the next card is placed face-up on the table. And the rest of the deck is placed face down as part of the stock. From here, the players look at the playing cards and start sorting.

Objective of the Game

Rummy aims to dispose of all playing cards in your hand. Three ways to remove the cards are melding, laying off, and discarding. Let’s take a look at each action:

  • Melding means combining cards and placing them on the table. You can meld by sequence or runs or by making a set. A sequence or a run is a series of at least three cards in consecutive order in the same suit. For example, 2-3-4-5 hearts form a run which you can place on the table. A group, on the other hand, refers to three or four cards of the same rank. For example, collecting all four 7s is a set.

  • Laying off is adding a card or cards to a meld on the table. You can add a card that makes a valid meld, continue the run, or completes the group.

  • Discarding is putting the card from your hand on the discard pile.

Order of Play

If two players are on the table, they take turns acting as the dealer. On each turn, a player will undergo the following steps:

  1. The draw. It is the start of the round where you receive your cards. There is a discard pile, where the card is face-up, and a stockpile with cards face down. If you choose to draw from the stock, you will see the card’s value after you have decided to take it.
  2. Melding. You can lay the combination on the table if you have a valid sequence or group. Note: melding is optional, and you can keep your melds if you want to as part of a strategy.
  3. Laying off. It is another optional move to make in Rummy. You can add as many cards as you like during your turn.
  4. The Discard. The player’s turn ends when a card is discarded and placed on the discard pile. If you begin picking a card, you’re not allowed to end your turn by discarding the same playing card.

A player wins a hand by melding, laying off, or discarding all cards. If you get rid of your last card in one of these three ways, you end up ‘going out’. If it happens, the other player can no longer meld or layout, and the game ends.

How to Score

When the player goes out, the other players add all the cards in their hands using a scoring process. In Rummy, face cards are worth 10 points, Aces get 1, and number cards get their face values. Card values are added to the winning player’s cumulative score. The Rummy game continues until a player reaches the point target set before the start of the game.


Before you play, make sure to check our complete game guide and tips. We also review the best Indian online casinos to play Rummy both for free and with real money. We have complete coverage of the Indian online gambling scene, so you can always play safely and conveniently following our recommendations.

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