How to Play Rummy

How to Play Rummy Online - Learn Rummy Game Rules

Rummy is quite popular card game among Indian rummy players. The game is played between 2 to 6 players with two decks of 52 cards each and two printed jokers. Each player has 13 cards and has to arrange them into valid sequences and sets. Players pick and discard cards from the two piles. The closed pile is the one where players cannot see the cards and the open pile has all the discarded cards from players. The player who declares correctly first wins.

In rummy, the cards have a scoring system. Jack, Queen, King and Ace are all worth 10 points each. The remaining cards (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) have the same value as the number on the card itself. For example, Queen (10 points) and 7 (7 points) would be worth 17 points together.

Objective of Rummy Game

In rummy, the objective is to arrange the 13 cards into valid sets and sequences. For a valid declaration, a player must make at least two sequences, one of which has to be a pure sequence. The remaining combinations can be valid sets or sequences. A pure sequence is a must for a valid declaration. This is one of the most important rummy rules to remember.

Rummy Rules PDF

Download the Rummy Rules PDF for a detailed understanding of how to master the rummy game. Start by learning the basics, the scoring system, and discover advanced strategies to elevate your gameplay. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned player, this rummy rules PDF has everything you need to become an experienced rummy player.

Important Rummy Rules - Learn How to Play Rummy

If you are just getting started with rummy game, follow these simple and important rummy rules and instructions to know how to play the rummy game from start to end.

  1. A standard rummy card game is played between 2 to 6 players.
  2. For two players, one standard 52-deck plus one printed joker is used, while for more than two players, two standard decks plus two printed jokers are used.
  3. Each player is dealt with 13 cards at the beginning of the game.
  4. A random card is selected as a wild card from the closed deck. All the cards of that rank become jokers for that game.
  5. The remaining cards are put on the table face down and form the closed deck.
  6. The top card from the closed deck is placed face up on the table to start the open deck, which forms the discard pile.
  7. On their turn, each player has to draw and discard cards from either the open or closed deck to form valid sets and sequences.
  8. Players can also use wild jokers or printed jokers to make impure sequences and sets.
  9. As per Indian rummy rules, once a player arranges his 13 cards in valid two sequences, including one pure sequence and more groups (sequences or sets), one can make a declaration and win the game.

Rules of Rummy Card Sequence

There are two types of sequences: Pure Sequences and Impure Sequences. Understanding the rules for these sequences is crucial to playing the Rummy game effectively.

Pure Sequence

A Pure Sequence is a group of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit without using any Jokers.

  • The sequence must have no wild cards or substitutes to be considered pure. It should consist solely of natural cards of the same suit, arranged in consecutive order.
  • Examples of Pure Sequence: A♠-2♠-3♠ is a pure sequence. Similarly, 6-7-8-9-10 is also a pure sequence.
  • A pure sequence can also be formed using a wild joker, provided it must be used in its original value and as a card of its original suit, not to replace any card. Example: if 7 is a wild card joker in a game, you can form the following pure sequence: 5-6-7;6-7-8.
Sequence in rummy

Impure Sequence

An Impure Sequence contains one or more Jokers or wild cards along with original value cards to complete the sequence.

  • To create an impure sequence, you can use Jokers to replace missing cards within the sequence while maintaining consecutive numbers and the same suit.
  • For instance, if you have the 4♠ and 5♠ of Spades and a Joker, you can use the Joker to represent the missing 6 of Spades and form an impure sequence (4♠ and 5♠ of Spades, Printed Joker).
  • Another example, if 3♠ is a wild card joker in a game, you can use it to replace the missing 10 of Hearts to form the impure sequence: 8-9-3♠ (Wild Joker)-J.
Impure Sequence

How to Form Rummy Sets

According to rummy rules, players can only arrange their cards in sequences or sequences and sets. A set is formed when three or more cards of the same rank but different suits are arranged together. You can use a printed joker or a wild joker to replace a card in a set. A set can also have more than four cards if one or more jokers are used in it.

Two types of Sets:

▪ Valid sets

A valid set is a combination of three or more cards of the same rank but different suits. Here are a few examples of valid sets:


Without Joker

7s from three different suits, 6s from four different suits

Valid Sets without joker

With Joker

3s from two different suits and printed joker, 9s from three different suits and wild joker

Valid Set with joker

▪ Invalid Sets

A card group including two cards of the same suit is not a valid set. It automatically makes a declaration invalid. Here are two examples of invalid sets:


7♣ is repeated twice in the set, 6♦ is repeated twice in the set

Invalid Sets

Types of Joker Cards in Rummy Game

Unlike other card games, in rummy, jokers play a crucial role. You can use jokers to create sequences and sets. The rummy game has two types of jokers: Wild Joker and printed Joker.

Two types of Jokers:

▪ Wild Joker

In rummy, a wild joker is a card randomly chosen at the beginning of the game. The card and all remaining cards of the same rank also become wild jokers.

For example, if 6♥ is a wild joker in a game, 6, 6♣, and 6♦ will also be wild jokers in that game.

A will joker helps you form an impure sequence or complete a set by replacing any missing card. It can also be used in a pure sequence too.


A-2-4-6♠ (wild joker) (Impure Sequence), 5s from two different suits (Set) and 10♦ as wild joker, 7♣-8♣(wild joker)-9♣-10♣ (Pure Sequence)

Wild Joker example

▪ Printed Joker

According to rummy rules, one printed joker is included in a standard deck of 52 cards. Similar to wild joker, a printed joker helps 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)


4-5 and printed joker, 10-Q-K-printed joker

Printed Joker Example

Sets with printed joker (PJ)


4s from two different suits and printed joker, 6s from three different suits and printed joker

Printed Joker Example 2

Valid and Invalid Declaration in Rummy

After arranging all the 13 cards in valid sequences and sets, you can make a declaration. Make sure to follow all the rummy game rules for a valid declaration. The player who makes a valid declaration first wins and gets zero points.

Valid Declaration

To make a valid declaration in a rummy game, you need to arrange your 13 cards in valid sequences, or sequences and sets as per the rummy rules. Discard the last unwanted card into the “Finish” slot and declare your hand. For a valid declaration, below are the conditions that have to be fulfilled:

▪ One Pure Sequence

You need to have at least one pure sequence to declare and win a rummy game. A pure sequence consists of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. A wild joker can be used to create a pure sequence if it is part of the same suit. Any declaration made without a pure sequence is invalid and the player loses the hand.

▪ Second Sequence

You need at least two sequences to make a valid declaration. Remember, the second sequence could be either a pure sequence or an impure one.

▪ Other Cards Arranged in Sequences/Sets

Arrange all remaining cards in valid sequences or sets (optional). Once all 13 cards are arranged in a valid combination, then make a valid declaration before your opponent to win. Here are two examples of valid declarations:

Example 1

Two sequences and two sets

4♠-5♠-6♠-7♠ (Pure Sequence), Q-K-printed joker (Impure Sequence), 7s from three different suits (Set 1) and 4s from two different suits and wild joker (Set 2)

Valid Declaration example 1

Example 2

Three sequences and one set

A-2-3-4 (Pure Sequence), Q♣-K♣-4 (wild joker) (Impure Sequence 1), 4-5-printed joker (Impure Sequence 2) and 9s from three different suits (Set)

Valid Declaration example 2

Invalid Declaration

When a declaration you made is not per the rummy rules, it leads to an invalid declaration. Making an invalid declaration will make you lose to your opponent by the biggest margin possible (maximum penalty points is 80).

Also, remember, 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:

Example 1

Two sequences and two sets

5-6-7-8♣ (Invalid Sequence), 2♣-3♣-4(wild joker) (Impure Sequence), 6s from three different suits (Set 1) and 10s from two different suits and printed joker (Set 2)

Invalid Declaration example 1

Example 2

One sequence and three sets

4-5-6-7 (Pure Sequence), 2s from three different suits (Set 1), 7s from three different suits (Set 2) and Qs from two different suits and printed joker (Set 3)

Invalid declaration example 2

Important Rummy Game Terms

Several important terms are commonly used in a Rummy game. Here are some key terms you should be familiar with:

Draw Pile: The stack of face-down cards from which players draw one card at a time during their turns.

Discard Pile: The stack of face-up cards next to the draw pile, where players discard unwanted cards at the end of their turns.

Sets: Groups of three or more cards of the same rank but different suits (e.g., 7 of Hearts, 7 of Diamonds, 7 of Clubs).

Sequences: Groups of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit (e.g., 4, 5, 6 of Spades).

Pure Sequence: A sequence formed without using Jokers or wild cards

Impure Sequence: A sequence that includes Jokers or wild cards to replace missing cards.

Joker: A designated card (usually a wild card) that can substitute for any other card in sets or sequences.

Declaration: Announcing that you've successfully formed valid sets and sequences and ending the round.

Drop: Choosing to leave the game voluntarily before making any moves, usually in the beginning.

Deadwood: The total point value of unmelded cards in a player's hand.

Knocking: Declaring and ending the round with unmelded cards having minimal points..

Round: A single game in Rummy, typically played until one player declares.

Score: The total points held by a player in a Rummy game.

How Points Are Calculated As Per the Indian Rummy Rules

In Indian Rummy, points calculation is done at the end of each round or game to determine the winner. The basic principle is to minimize the number of points in your hand, as lower points are generally more favorable. Here is how the point system works:-

Cards Value
Ace, King, Queen, Jack 10 points each
Printed and Wild Jokers Zero points each
Remaining Cards
Example:- 8♥️, 9♥️, 10♥️
Same value as the face value
Example:- 8, 9,10 points

Penalty Points for Losers

Type of Drop Impact
First Drop Penalty of 20 points
Middle Drop Penalty of 40 points
Wrong or Invalid Declaration Penalty of 80 points (max. penalty )
Losing Player with a Valid Hand Penalty of 2 points (if the player who declares a valid hand second)

How Winnings Calculated in Cash Rummy Games

Winnings in cash rummy games are calculated as per each variant. Before calculating the scores of each player, make sure to understand how they are calculated and on which basis the scoring is done in each rummy variant.

The Winner’s Score: The player who makes a valid declaration first is the winner and gets zero points.

Winnings = (Sum of points of all opponents) X (Rupee value of the point) – Fee

Rummy Rules FAQs

How do you play and win rummy?

To play and win Rummy, form valid sets and sequences with your cards. Minimize points by discarding high-value cards and declare your hand when you have valid combinations. The player with the least penalty points wins.

What are the basic rules for 13 card rummy?

In 13 card Rummy, players are dealt 13 cards each. The basic rule is to form valid sets and sequences. A pure sequence (without Jokers) is mandatory.

What is the Golden Rule of a Rummy game?

The Golden Rule of a Rummy game is to minimize points by forming valid sets and sequences while eliminating ungrouped cards. Declare when ready.

What are the rummy rules for a 2-player game?

In a 2-player Rummy game, players are dealt 10 cards each. The game is played as usual with the objective of forming valid sets and sequences, but there is no discard pile, and players take turns picking from the draw pile or discarding directly to it.

How do you play the rummy game for beginners?

Rummy is played with 2-6 players using a 52-card deck, with each player dealt 13 cards. The goal is to arrange these cards into valid sets and sequences, with at least one pure sequence (a sequence without a joker). Players take turns drawing from the draw or discard pile and discarding one card, aiming to form sets (three or four cards of the same rank but different suits) and sequences (three or more consecutive cards of the same suit). The game continues until a player successfully arranges all their cards and makes a valid declaration, winning the game.