How to Play Rummy Games?

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If you have heard about rummy and want to play this card game, you will surely like to know the rummy rules before trying this card game. Well, rummy is a card game that can be played between two to six players. To play, players will use one or two standard card decks, including jokers. Before playing, every player will be dealt 13 cards. Players will look at the cards and then arrange them in sequence and sets, or just sets.

Players will have to draw a card either from the closed or the open deck on every turn. Once done, they will have to discard a card from their pile of cards to the open deck. If a player makes a valid declaration, he/she wins.

Key Takeaways of the Rummy Card Game

Every player will have to arrange 13 cards in their hand. They will be required to create sequences and sets, or just sequences. The agenda will be to make a valid declaration.

Valid declarations can be two sequences + 2 sets, 1 set + three sequences, and every card is arranged in a sequence manner.

As per 13 cards rummy game, a player must have two sequences at least to make a valid declaration. And among the two sequences, one has to be a pure sequence.

If you don’t have a pure sequence and make a declaration, you will lose by a considerable margin. That happens because every card you have in your hand gets added up, which become your penalty points.

How to Play Rummy Games
How to Play Rummy Games

Understanding Rummy Rules

To play rummy, there should be 2-6 players. To play, two or one standard deck will be used with 52 cards in each deck, and jokers will be added too. Before starting, every card will be given 13 cards.

The rest of the cards will be on the closed deck, kept right at the centre of a table, and kept face down. When the game starts, the top card of the closed deck gets picked up, placed on the table face up. Now that creates the open deck, the player uses it to discard cards.

Any random card will get selected as the wild joker, and the rest of the cards of the same value and rank will be considered the wild jokers for the rest of the game.

On every turn, the player will have to pick a card from the deck that is closed and then discard one and place it on the deck that is open.

To win the game, players will have to arrange all the cards in sequences and sets, or sequences. Please note that the player must have a minimum of pure sequence. That’s how a player will make a valid declaration.

Understanding Sequence

We have been talking about sequence a lot in this post. So, what is a sequence? A pure sequence can be a group of three or more than three consecutive cards. However, it has to be of the same suit. For example, a joker can’t replace any cards in a pure sequence. According to the rules, a player must have a pure sequence to make a valid declaration.

Let’s share an example of a pure sequence:

As you can see- 6♦-7♦-8♦ creates a pure sequence. It consists of three consecutive cards of the same suit, 6,7,8 of diamonds. None of the cards is replaced by a joker card.

How to Play Rummy Games

Just like that, you have A♣-2♣-3♣4♣. Yet again, it’s a pure sequence and consists of four consecutive cards of the same sequence, which is A,2,3,4 of clubs. Yet again, none of the cards is replaced by a joker card.

Let’s see that 6♦ is a wild joker. But in 6♦-7♦-8♦, as you can see, 6♦ is not used a wild joker, rather a part of the sequence, which is why the entire sequence is considered to be pure.

Now, What’s an Impure Sequence?

In an impure sequence, a player will create a sequence of three or more consecutive cards, but a joker card will replace one card to complete the sequence. Take a look at the picture below to understand better.

How to Play Rummy Games

Take a look at the first sequence, 10♥-J♥-PJ-K♥. As you can see here, PJ, a printed joker, is used as a joker card and has replaced Q♥. Although it forms a sequence, it is not a pure sequence.

Here’s another example- 3♠-4♠-8♦. In this sequence, 8♦ is used as a wild joker. Thus, it creates the sequence 3♠-4♠-8♦. 8♦ is replacing 5♠.

Understanding Rummy Set

A rummy set consists of three or four cards of different suits. So, it can be 7♦-7♥-7♠. As you can see, there are three sevens, one is diamond, the second is heart, and the third is a spade. Here’s another example, let’s take four 2s. One 2 is diamond, the second is a spade, the third is heart, and the fourth is a club. 2♦-2♠-2♥-2♣. This is another good example of a set. 

How to Play Rummy Games

Please note that all the cards of the same value have to be from different suits to make sets. You can’t create a set, such as- 2♦-2♠-2♦-2♣. This is invalid. Simultaneously, A♣-A♣-K♦, where K♦ is a wild joker is considered to be an invalid set because there are two A♣.

Why Are Jokers Important?

Every rummy player will tell you how essential jokers are. One must know how to use jokers because jokers can help you win the game. Players will play with two types of jokers- wild and printed.

Printed jokers are joker cards that will have joker written on them. It comes with a deck of cards. Wild joker gets picked up randomly before the game starts. A wild joker that gets chosen, the card and the other same cards, meaning the same rank and different suits, respectively, becomes wild jokers for the game.

Keeping this in mind, if the wild joker for one game is 4♦, then all the 4 of different suits, which are- 4♥, 4♣ and 4♠ will become wild jokers as well.

Rules to Keep in Mind to Make a Valid Declaration 

A player will be allotted 13 cards. The purpose of having 13 cards is to arrange them in sequence and sets or sequence. This is the thumb rule of the game. 

After arranging the cards, the player will have to make a declaration and discard the last unwanted card and say finish. If the declaration is correct, the player will win the game and get zero points. 

There are three conditions that must be met:

Pure sequence: Please note that the player must have at least one pure sequence to make a valid declaration. Pure sequence can’t have a joker card, both printed and wild. This is the main rule that everyone must follow. To create a pure sequence, a player can have three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. 

Second sequence: There has to be a second sequence. This means that apart from having one pure sequence, there should be at least a second sequence. The player can create one pure sequence, and the second one can be impure, meaning a sequence created by adding a printed or wild joker. 

Cards have to be appropriately arranged: The third important rule to follow is that the remaining cards should be arranged in wither sets or sequences. Whether a player wants to create a set or not is up to them; however, they must arrange the rest of the cards in such a way that they become valid. 

Here’s an example that summarizes the three conditions, take a look at the image below:

How to Play Rummy Games

As you can see, the first sequence is a pure sequence. It comprises of 4♠-5♠-6♠-7♠.
The second sequence is a sequence again but includes one joker card (printed). It is Q♦-K♦-PJ.
You can also see an impure sequence, which is 2♠-2♥-2♣.
Then comes a set, which is 9♠-9♥-PJ.
You Need to Avoid Invalid Declaration
You must obey the rules of the 13-card rummy game to make a valid declaration. If you don’t, you will make an invalid declaration. If you end up making an invalid declaration, you will, unfortunately, lose the game.

Here’s an example of an invalid declaration. Take a look at the following picture to understand better:

How to Play Rummy Games

The picture above clearly tells you the issue. For example, 7♠-8♠-9♣ doesn’t form a valid sequence since 9♣ is from a different suit.

The second sequence is an impure sequence and is valid. Simultaneously, the third set is valid as well.

But when you see the fourth combination, it’s invalid because 6♦ is not the wild joker here and hence can’t be used to replace 3. It should consist of 3♦ or 3♣, else a printed joker or wild joker. 

Tips That Will Help You Win the Rummy Game 

Rummy is an expertise game that must be won with much practice. Therefore, it is essential to know how to play a rummy game and learn different tips and deceives to outfox your rivals.

Here are the five important tips that will assist you with dominating online rummy matches:

Focus on making a pure sequence: When cards are managed, centre around creating a pure sequence first. It is difficult to win without having a pure sequence in your grasp.

Dispose of high-value cards from the beginning: In rummy, points have a negative worth and high-value cards increment the danger of you losing by a significant edge. So, assuming you have high cards, dispose of them almost immediately in the game.

Search for connecting cards: Collect connecting cards as they assist you with framing arrangements and sets. For instance, you can utilize 7♣ with 5♣ and 6♣ (5♣-6♣-7♣) or with 8♣ and 9♣ (7♣-8♣-9♣).

Notice your rivals’ moves: One of the most effective ways to expand your odds of winning is to watch out for your adversaries’ moves. For example, assume your rival picks 4♣. Ensure that you don’t dispose of 2♣,3♣,5♣ and 6♣ or rank four cards from some other suits, assuming you have them.

Use jokers astutely: Jokers are necessary. Use them insightfully to shape sets and successions. If you have different jokers in your grasp, don’t stop for a second to dispose of a few, assuming you are experiencing issues shaping a pure sequence.

How to Calculate Points in a Rummy Game?

For Printed and Wild Joker Cards, you will get zero points. 

If you have numbered cards, such as 2,3,4, etc., you will get the points worth the face value of the cards. 

In case you have high-value cards, such as Ace, King, Queen, and Jack, you get 10 points each. 

If a player makes a wrong declaration, you can get a maximum of 80 penalty points. This score is irrespective of the cards. That’s why make sure you are not making a wrong declaration. 

When a player makes the first drop, meaning they quit the game right after their first move and doesn’t pick a card, they get 20 penalty points. 

If a player completes their first turn but leaves the game in the middle, they get 40 penalty points.

If a player has a valid hand but declares it second, they get two penalty points. 

After picking a card, if a player leaves the table, the player will get 40 penalty points, which is the penalty points for a middle drop.