Rummy Rules Guide
Rummy is a simple and highly entertaining card game. Most Indians already know how to play rummy, but if you don’t know how to play rummy online, read on. The following is an easy-to-understand rummy guide for beginners.
Rummy Game Rules: Sequences, Sets, and Jokers
Rummy is rooted in Indian history and culture, and this game is played in every household. If you are just getting started with this game, here are the most important rummy rules that you must know before starting to play.
About Rummy Game
Here follow all the rummy game rules that you should know:
- Indian rummy is played by 2-6 players. One standard 52-deck plus one printed joker is used for two players, and two standard decks plus 2 printed jokers are used for more than two players.
- 13 random cards are dealt to each player at the beginning of the game.
- The remaining deck is put on the table face down and forms the closed deck.
- The top card from the open deck is placed face up on the table to start the open deck where players can discard their cards.
- At the beginning of the game, a random card is selected as a wild card from the full deck. All the cards of that rank become jokers for that game
- The objective of the game is to arrange your cards in sequences, or sequences and sets, and bring your score to zero as points are negative in rummy.
- On their turn, each player has to pick a card from either the open deck or the closed deck and then discard any one of their cards to the open deck.
- The player who arranges all the 13 cards first in sequences, or sequences and sets, is ready and should make a valid declaration to win the game
What is a sequence?
A sequence is a group of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. There are two types of sequences in rummy: pure sequences and impure sequences.
■ Pure Sequence
- A pure sequence is a group of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. No joker is used to replace any card in a pure sequence.
- Here are a few examples of pure sequences
- A♠-2♠-3♠ is a pure sequence. Similarly, 6♦-7♦-8♦-9♦-10♦ is also a pure sequence. You can also use a wild card joker to complete a pure sequence but it must be used in its original value and as a card of its original suit, not to replace any card. For example, if 7♦ is a wild card joker in a game, you can form, for example, the following pure sequences: 5♦-6♦-7♦; 6♦-7♦-8♦; 7♦-8♦-9♦-10♦. Every player must have at least one pure sequence and a second sequence (pure or impure) to make a valid declaration.
■ Impure Sequence
- An impure sequence is a group of three or more cards arranged in a sequence where one of the cards has been replaced by a joker. An impure sequence can be formed either with a printed joker or with a wild card joker.
- Here are two examples of impure sequences:
What is a set?
According to the rules of rummy, players can arrange their cards in either all sequences or sequences and sets. A set is a group of either three or four cards of the same rank but different suits. No set can have more than four cards. You can use a printed joker or a wild joker to replace a card in a set.
■ Valid sets
- Here are a few examples of valid sets:
■ Invalid Sets
- A valid set must have at least 3 cards of the same value/rank but different suits. However, you can use both types of jokers in a set. A set cannot have 2 cards of the same suit, so it can have a maximum of 4 cards.
- When a set has 2 cards of the same suit, it automatically makes it an invalid declaration.
- Here are two examples of invalid sets:
(Here 7♣ is repeated and it’s not a wild joker.)
(Here 6♦ has been repeated).
Types of Jokers
Jokers are very important cards in rummy. You can use them to create impure sequences as well as to create sets. In a rummy game, there are two types of jokers.
■ Wild Joker
- A wild joker is randomly picked at the beginning of the game. The card becomes a wild joker and all the other cards of the same rank also become wild jokers.
- For example, if 2♥ is a wild joker in a game, 2♠, 2♣, and 2♦ will also be wild jokers in that game.
■ Printed Joker
- A printed joker per deck is already included in the deck of 53 cards according to rummy playing rules.
- A printed joker can help you form an impure sequence by replacing any other card. You can also use it to make a set.
- Impure sequences with printed joker (PJ):
Sets with printed joker
Valid and Invalid Declaration in Rummy
When you have all the cards arranged according to the rules, you have to make a declaration and show your cards to your opponents. Listed below are some valid declarations.
To make a valid declaration in a rummy game, you need to arrange your 13 cards in valid sequences, or sequences and sets. You need to abide by all the rules for playing rummy. After you have arranged all the cards in valid groups, you must click on “Finish” and declare your hand. For a valid declaration you must fulfill these three conditions:
■ One Pure Sequence
- You need at least one pure sequence to declare and win a rummy game. A pure sequence includes three or more consecutive cards of the same suit.
■ A Second Sequence
- According to rummy card rules, you need at least two sequences to make a valid declaration. So along with a pure sequence, you will also need a second sequence to declare your hand. The second sequence could be either a pure sequence or an impure one.
■ Other Cards Arranged in Sequences/Sets
- All the other cards must be arranged in sequences or sets. When all your cards are arranged correctly, only then can you declare your hand and win.
Here are two examples of valid declarations:
When you make a declaration without fulfilling all the conditions, it becomes an invalid declaration. Making an invalid declaration will make you lose to your opponent by the biggest margin possible (80 points in a points rummy game). In the case of a 6-player game, all the remaining players will keep playing until one of them wins.
Here are two examples of invalid declarations:
Right Pick and Discard Rule in Rummy
The game of rummy is all about picking and discarding the right cards. When you get it right, you will ace the game. In addition to learning rummy card game rules, picking and discarding cards smartly will help you win.
While focusing on picking the cards smartly, you should also keep an eye on discarding the cards that you feel are not right for you.. If you have two cards and you only need one more to complete a sequence, you should hold on to them. However, if there are fewer chances of arranging cards in valid groups, you should get rid of them.
For example, if you already have 6♣ and 7♣, you should keep them as the chances of getting either a 5♣ or 8♣ are high.
You should use your high cards wisely, and only hold on to them if there is a high chance of arranging them in sequences or sets. If there is a remote possibility, get rid of them as soon as possible.
Rummy Rules for Points Calculation
To play a rummy game, you also need to understand points calculation. In addition to learning Indian rummy rules for playing, you should also be aware of point calculation rules. Here is how the point system works on Rummy.com.
- Both printed and wild card jokers have zero points each.
- Cards from 2 to 10 are worth their face value. For example the 6 of each suit is worth 6 points.
- The ace, jack, queen, and king are worth 10 points each.
Losing players get penalty points. The calculation of penalty points is as follows:
- Wrong Declaration: The penalty for a wrong declaration is 80 points.
- First Drop: If you drop even before picking a single card, it is considered the first drop. The penalty for a first drop is 20 points.
- Middle Drop: If you drop the game after picking a card, it is considered a middle drop. The penalty for a middle drop is 40 points.
- Losing Player with Valid Hand: The player who declares a valid hand second gets a penalty of 2 points.
Indian Rummy Rules
Just as you need to be aware of all the important rules of Indian rummy to play 13-card rummy, you need to know some additional rules to play 21-card rummy.
13-Card Rummy Rules
- You need at least 2 sequences to make a valid declaration.
- Out of the two sequences, at least one must be a pure sequence
- All the remaining cards must be arranged in sequences or sequences and sets.
- You must discard a card immediately after picking a card on each turn.
21-Card Rummy Rules
- Two to six players can play this game.
- You need at least three pure sequences to declare.
- All the remaining cards must be arranged in sequences or sets.
- All 21 cards must be arranged in valid groups for a declaration.
- There are three jokers in the game.
- A wild joker is selected randomly at the beginning of the game and the upper and lower rank cards from the wild joker are also used as jokers.
Points Rummy Rules
- In cash points rummy, each point has a monetary value. The winning amount is calculated by adding the amount lost by all the losing players in each game.
- Points rummy rules are the same as 13-card rummy rules.
- A small fee is deducted from the winning amount by Rummy.com.
- You can play both practice and cash games on Rummy.com.
Pool Rummy Rules
- Players pay a fixed entry fee that goes into the prize pool of a pool rummy game.
- On Rummy.com, you can play pool rummy in two formats: 101 pool and 201 pool.
- The player whose score reaches the pre-decided points (either 101 or 201) is eliminated from the game.
- Apart from this, pool rummy rules are the same as 13-card rummy rules.
- You can play both cash and free pool rummy games on Rummy.com.
Deals Rummy Rules
- Deals rummy is played by 2 to 6 players.
- Each player gets a pre-defined number of chips at the beginning of the game.
- The game is played for a predefined number of deals.
- A toss is used to decide which player will make the move first.
- The player with the highest number of chips at the end of the final deal wins the game.
- Apart from these rules, all the deals rummy rules are the same as 13-card rummy rules.
- You can play both free and cash games on Rummy.com
Rummy Tips and Tricks to Win
- You should master all the rummy rules before playing cash games.
- Play a lot of cash games to get a good grasp of rummy concepts.
- Make sure you keep strategizing throughout the game.
- Pay attention to jokers and use them wisely.
- Double-check all your cards and groups before declaring.
- Keep playing and learning to become an expert player.