A Beginners’ Guide to Rummy online

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to play Indian Rummy, and didn’t know who to ask, then you’ve come to the right place!

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The world of online Rummy can be a simply scintillating world of unbridled excitement, joy, delight, fun, competition, and much more - all rolled into one neat little package at Taj Rummy! If this is your first introduction to this amazing world, then allow us to welcome you! Let us assure you that your world will never ever be the same again. In fact, it’s about to get much better! Step this way, and let us teach you all about this wonderful game called Rummy! Do read on.

Online Rummy Guide

Playing Rummy online can be a truly fascinating thing, and you are assured of plenty of fun, thrills and joy! That aside, you can also win big bucks in the process, when you play cash Rummy games.

Before you get into all that excitement and happiness that awaits you, getting to understand the game at a very granular level would be a great way to start. This guide seeks to do the very thing, and will empower you to be an expert of the game in no time at all. Soon enough, you’ll be playing for big bucks, but before that, we encourage you to hone your skills with some practice games, and then you take on the online Rummy world and win!

Beginners’ Guide to Rummy

So let’s begin with this exhaustive, handy and useful Beginners’ Indian Rummy/13 Card Rummy guide!

Online Indian Rummy Guide Contents

  • Objective of online Rummy
  • Fundamentals of the game
  • How to play Rummy online
  • Keeping score/Points calculation
  • Sequences
  • Sets
  • Declarations
  • Rummy rules
  • Examples & more

Online Rummy Objective

Sequences and sets are an integral part of the parlance of Rummy, and in fact, it is the very object of the game. In simple terms, the object of the game, for each player, is to create sequences and sets from the cards they have. The first person in a game who creates valid sequences and sets is deemed the winner. So therefore, if you want to win the game, you will have to be the fastest to create sequences and sets.

That aside, scoring the fewest points, or indeed zero points, in a game of Rummy is the ultimate objective of each player. As such, forming sequences and sets are a means to achieve the ultimate objective of scoring as few points as possible, or zero points. Now, this may seem a bit complicated, but have no fear, all of this will be explained to you in the ‘Scoring the game’ section, lower down on this page.

Rummy Basics

The intricate nature of Rummy is what makes it so beautiful, riveting and ultimately exciting. Now, that’s why to truly appreciate the game and to be a good exponent of the Rummy arts, you will have to get down to the nitty gritty and understand the basics of Rummy. So let’s get to the fundamentals of Rummy, and familiarise us with the terms, before we learn how to play:

  1. Number of players: Rummy can be played between anywhere from two and six players at a time
  2. Number of cards: To play Indian Rummy, you will require two complete decks of cards
  3. Card Distribution: To begin with, 13 cards will have to distributed to each player
  4. Suits: Each of the cards bearing these symbols are part of separate suits: ♣ ♠
    1. = Diamonds
    2. = Hearts
    3. ♣ = Clubs
    4. ♠ = Spades
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  6. Sequences: Following the strict rules of Indian Rummy, the Sequences you form should follow the following order:
    1. Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen & King.
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  7. A valid sequence is considered to be a group of three or four cards in consecutive order (The order is clearly described in the preceding point), and from the same suit.
  8. In a sequence, an Ace can be used as a face card or a ‘1’ card.
  9. Examples of Valid Sequences:
    1. King Queen Jack 10
    2. 4♠ 5♠ 6♠ 7♠
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  10. Sets: A set is comprised of three or four cards, of different suits, but where each of the cards bear the same number or face card.
    1. Examples of Valid Sets:
      1. King♣ King King
      2. 7 7 7♣ 7♠
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  11. Jokers: In an Indian Rummy game, where Jokers are used, a Joker can be used or deployed as a substitute for another card to form a set or sequence.
    1. Types of Jokers: Essentially, there are two kinds of Jokers that are used in the game of Rummy: They are:
      1. Printed Jokers: These can be understood to be the cards with the word and the picture of joker on them
      2. Wild Jokers: A Wild Joker is a card chosen at random by the players in the game from the closed deck, and it is denoted to be the ‘Wild Joker’ for that particular game
    2. Please be aware that
      1. The rules concerning Jokers apply to both Wild and Printed Jokers
      2. A Joker can be used to make impure sequences, but not to make pure sequences. (More on pure and impure sequences later.)
    3. Here are two examples of valid sequences and sets with a Joker
    4. Sequence with a Joker: 4♠ Joker 6♠ 7♠ (In this case, the Printed Joker is used instead of the 5♠)
    5. Set with a Joker: 4♣ 4♥ 4♠ 6♠ (In this case, the Joker (6♠), or denoted Wild Joker is used instead of the 4♦)
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  12. Please Note: We will go into greater detail about Sequences, Sets and Declarations further down in this guide. For more information, skip this section and go down further.

  13. Card Values: This section will deal with the value or points that each card carries
    1. ‘Face Cards’: The Jack, the King and the Queen cards typically have pictures or faces on them corresponding to each card, and are typically called ‘face cards’. Note that the face cards all carry a value of 10 points each.
    2. The Ace: When forming sets, the value of the Ace is 10 points
    3. Number Cards: As might be obvious to you, the Number cards carry the same number of points as the number printed on them. For example, the 2♦ is worth 2 points, and the 4♥ is worth 4 points, and so on and so forth.
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  15. The Dealer: As the name betrays, the Dealer in a game of Rummy is the player chosen at random at the start of each game to be the Dealer for that game. Every player at the table will be subsequently chosen to be the Dealer for the games that follow.

Playing Rummy: The Rules and How to play

Well, now that you’ve familiarized yourself with all the terms, jargon and the very basics of the game, you can proceed to the next stage with a strong foundation and indeed a great deal of confidence.

The next stage is learning how to play the beautiful game of Rummy. You may pick up some fresh terms, tips and tricks and more as we go along. So strap in for the ride. Let’s go!

Here are the basic processes or steps which are common to any Rummy game:

Step 1

At the start of the game, the two decks of cards should be thoroughly shuffled

Step 2

After the cards are shuffled, the Dealer should go ahead and deal 13 cards to every player in the game, in a cyclical motion

Step 3

Once 13 cards are dealt to every player, the remaining cards are placed face down on the table. This stack of cards is known as the ‘Closed Deck’

Step 4

Now, that all the players have their 13 cards, and the closed deck has been placed face down, a wild joker is chosen from the closed deck at random, and we’re ready to play!

Note: Before gameplay begins in a Rummy game, a random card selected from the deck serves as the Wild Joker. On the off-chance that a printed Joker is picked up during this process of choosing the Wild Joker, all the Ace cards from all the suits will duly serve as the Wild Joker for that particular game.

Step 5

Now gameplay can begin! The players go around the table in the designated order, and should now draw a card, i.e., pick up a card from the closed deck, and let go or discard one card from their hand into a new pile of cards on the table called the ‘Open Deck’. The cards in the open deck are placed ‘face up’ unlike the ones in the closed deck. Players can choose whether to pick up cards from the open or closed deck depending on the sequences and/or sets they are trying to make. Do note that every time a player picks up a card from either the closed or open decks, he should drop one card from his hand into the open deck.

Step 6

With this, the actual gameplay is in full-swing, and all manner of manoeuvres are at play, as each player now looks to make his or her sequences and sets before all the other players.

Step 7

This process of picking up and dropping cards by players, as discussed above continues till one of the players successfully manages to form valid sequences and sets from the cards in his or her hand, and declares or shows it to all the other players. This act is called a ‘Show’ or ‘Declaration’.

Step 8

After one player makes a ‘show’ or declaration, he or she should wait for every one of the other players at the table to make a ‘show’, as well. This essentially brings the gameplay to an end.

Declarations

Here are three things to be considered as far as successful ‘Declarations’ or ‘Shows’ are concerned

  1. For a declaration to be valid, it should consist of two sequences, one of which must be a pure sequence, while the other cards can be arranged as sets
  2. Pure sequences: A Pure Sequence is a sequence which
    1. Consists of not less than three cards
    2. These cards should all be from the same suit, but the sequence should be formed without a joker
  3. Impure Sequences: A Sequence is deemed to be Impure if it:
    1. Consists of not less than three cards
    2. These cards should all be from the same suit, and the sequence can be formed with a joker or jokers

Scoring the game

This section will provide information about:

  1. How to calculate the points in the game
  2. How a winner is determined

Crucial point on points in Rummy

First things first, and this is the most crucial aspect to keep in mind concerning points and the scoring of points in the game of Rummy: The object of the game is to score as few points as possible, and where achievable, to try and score no points at all or zero points.

In a way, Rummy works in the opposite way to most games, where the player who scores the most is deemed to be the winner. This isn’t the case with Rummy, in fact it is the very opposite.

Here are how points are calculated in Rummy

  1. The winner: As discussed previously, the winner of the game is the player with the fewest points or the player with zero points.
  2. The second player in the game who makes a valid declaration will be awarded two points
  3. The points of a non-winner is calculated as follows:
    1. If the player does not declare two sequences, one of which should be a pure sequence, then all of the numbers on their cards are added together so as to arrive at their points total. The maximum number of points penalty that can be awarded in this case is 80 points.
    2. If the player does show two or more sequences, one of which is a pure sequence, only the cards that are not part of sequences will be considered. As such, all the numbers on their cards will be added up to arrive at their score.
  4. Wrong declarations: Please be careful while making declarations, as a wrong declaration will result in the player being awarded an 80 point penalty.
  5. First Drop: A player can choose to drop out of the game, or concede the game at the very first turn if they deem their cards or the hand they are dealt to be unsatisfactory. This action is known in the game to be a ‘First Drop’, and the player will be awarded a 20 point penalty for this. Once the player drops out, they will take no further part in that game.
  6. Middle Drop: A ‘Middle Drop’ in Rummy is when a player chooses to drop out of the game any time after the first drop. Doing so will earn the player a penalty of 40 points.
  7. It will also be considered a ‘Middle Drop’ if a player chooses to leave the game after they have drawn a card from the closed deck, and they will duly receive a 40 point penalty.
    1. Do keep in mind, however, that if the player in question chooses to leave the table or drop out without looking at the card (drawn from the closed deck), it will only be considered as a ‘First Drop’ and earn them a penalty of 20 points.
  8. Dropping Penalties: Based on the type of Rummy, here are the dropping out penalties:
    1. 101 Pool Rummy:
      1. 20 point penalty for a ‘First Drop’.
      2. 40 point penalty for a ‘Middle Drop
    2. 201 Pool Rummy
      1. 25 point penalty for a ‘First Drop’.
      2. 50 point penalty for a ‘Middle Drop
  9. Please note the values or points for each card
    1. All face cards and Aces are valued at 10 points each
    2. Printed and Wild Jokers are valued at zero points
    3. All other cards are valued at the number printed on them

Sequences

As discussed before in this Rummy guide, there are essentially two kinds of Sequences. They are:

  1. Pure Sequences
  2. Impure Sequences

Pure Sequences:

A Sequence is termed a Pure Sequence, if it fulfills all of the following criteria:

  1. Must contain three or more consecutive cards
    1. By consecutive cards, we mean for example: 4♠ 5♠ 6♠
  2. All these cards should be from the same suit
  3. The sequence must not contain either a Printed Joker or a Wild Joker

Let’s explain Pure Sequences further through the use of two examples.

Pure Sequence Example No. 1

5 6 7

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From this example it is clear to see that:

  1. All three cards are in consecutive order, in this case 5,6 & 7
  2. All three cards are from the same suit, in this case ♦
  3. The sequence has been formed without the use of a Printed Joker or a Wild Joker

Therefore, this Sequence is a Pure Sequence

Pure Sequence Example No. 2

7♥ 8♥ 9♥ 10♥

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From this example above, you will notice that:

  1. All four cards are in consecutive order, in this case 7, 8, 9 & 10
  2. All four cards are from the same suit, in this case ♥
  3. The sequence has been formed without the use of a Printed Joker or a Wild Joker
  4. A Pure Sequence can contain four cards

Therefore, this Sequence is a Pure Sequence

Impure Sequences:

A Sequence is considered to be an Impure Sequence if it is formed through the use of a Printed Joker or a Wild Joker. This is different from a Pure Sequence, which does not use a Joker (Either Printed or Wild).

Therefore a sequence is considered to be an Impure Sequence if it fulfills all of the following criteria:

  1. Must contain three or four consecutive cards
    1. By consecutive cards, we mean for example: 2♠ 3♠ 4♠ 5♠
  2. All these cards should be from the same suit
  3. The Sequence contains either a Printed Joker or a Wild Joker

Let’s explain Impure Sequences further through the use of two examples.

Impure Sequence Example No. 1

6♣ Joker 8♣

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From this example above, you will notice that:

  1. All three cards are in consecutive order, if we consider the Joker to play the part of the 7♣ in the Sequence
  2. All three cards are from the same suit, in this case ♣, if we consider the Joker to play the part of the 7♣ in the Sequence
  3. The Sequence has been formed with the use of a Printed Joker

Therefore, this Sequence is an Impure Sequence

Impure Sequence Example No. 2

10 Jack Joker King

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From this example above, you will notice that:

  1. All four cards are in consecutive order, if we consider the Joker to play the part of the Queen♦ in the Sequence
  2. All four cards are from the same suit, in this case ♦, if we consider the Joker to play the part of the Queen♦ in the Sequence
  3. The Sequence has been formed with the use of a Printed Joker
  4. 7. An Impure Sequence can contain four cards

Therefore, this Sequence is an Impure Sequence

Sets

Like Sequences, Sets are an integral part of the game of Indian Rummy. A Valid Set in Rummy should fulfill all the following criteria:

  1. Should consist of a group of three or four cards
  2. All of these cards should be of the same value or number, for example: 5♣ 5♦ 5♥ 5♠
  3. Two or more of these cards in the Set should not be from the same suit
  4. A Valid Set may contain a Joker

Let us further explain Valid sets through two examples

Valid Set Example No. 1

Jack♣ Jack♦ Jack♥

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From this example above, you can notice that:

  1. Three cards are used to form the set
  2. All the cards have the same value, in this case the value being ‘Jack’
  3. All the cards are from different suits
  4. None of the cards are from the same suit

Therefore, this Set is a Valid Set

Valid Set Example No. 2

8♠ 8♦ Joker 8♥

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From this example above, you can notice that:

  1. Four cards are used to form the set
  2. All the cards have the same value, if we consider the Joker to play the part of the 8♣ in the Set
  3. All the cards are from different suits, and the Joker is used in place of the 8♣ to complete the Set
  4. None of the cards are from the same suit

Therefore, this Set is a Valid Set

Invalid Sets

Now that we’re familiar with what a Valid Set is, it’s important that we also understand what an Invalid Set is, so that we can steer clear of creating one.

In simple terms, a Set is considered to be an Invalid Set if the ‘Set’ in question contains:

  1. Cards of the same value
  2. But still contains cards two or more cards from the same suit

Here examples of Invalid Sets

Invalid Set Example 1

9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 9♦

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  1. The cards all have the same value, in this case the value is ‘9’
  2. However, two cards are from the same suit , i.e., ♦
  3. Therefore, this Set invalidates the criteria of a Valid Set which states that two or more cards cannot be from the same suit

Therefore, this Set is an Invalid Set

Invalid Set Example 2

Ace♥ Ace♥ Ace♦ Ace♣

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Declarations

Now, we have arrived at the most exciting part of any Rummy game. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s time to learn all about Declarations!

What is a Declaration?

A Declaration is the culminating part of the Rummy game, in many ways it’s a crescendo of sorts, and brings things nicely to a head. A Declaration (or Show) is the penultimate part of the game, where a player (We’ll call him or her the original player) ‘shows’ his or her cards, and invites all the other players to do likewise. This ‘show’ by the original player signifies that he or she has the Valid Sequences and Sets to constitute a Declaration, and that the game should therefore end by all the other players showing their cards as well. Remember, the object of the game is to make a Declaration faster than your opponents, and thereby score fewer points.

There are two kinds of Declarations:

  1. Valid Declarations
  2. Invalid Declarations

A Valid Declaration

A Valid Declaration should fulfill all of the following criteria:

  1. A Valid Declaration must use all 13 cards
  2. Must Contain two Valid Sequences
  3. Must contain at least one Pure Sequence
  4. Must contain two Valid Sets

This is better explained through two examples.

Valid Declaration Example 1

7♥ 8♥ 9♥ 10♥ - Valid Sequence No. 1

4♦ 5♦ 6♦ - Valid Sequence No. 2

3♦ 3♥ 3♣ - Valid Set No. 1

Ace♣ Ace♠ Ace♦ - Valid Set No. 2

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As is evident from the above example, the Declaration is a Valid Declaration, as it:

  1. Uses all 13 cards
  2. Contains two Valid Sequences (Both are Pure Sequences)
  3. Contains two Valid Sets

Valid Declaration Example 2

4♣ 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ - Valid Sequence No. 1

Jack♦ 3♣ King♦ - Valid Sequence No. 2 (3♣ is the Wild Joker for the game and fulfills the role of the Queen♦)

8♣ 8♠ 8♦ - Valid Set No. 1

Ace♣ Ace♦ Ace♠ - Valid Set No. 2

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As is evident from the above example, the Declaration is a Valid Declaration, as it:

  1. Uses all 13 cards
  2. Contains two Valid Sequences
    1. Sequence No. 1 is a Pure Sequence
    2. Sequence No. 2 is an Impure Sequence
  3. Contains two Valid Sets

Invalid Declarations

Now that we know what Valid Declarations are, let’s learn what Invalid or Wrong Declarations are, so that we can avoid them while making Declarations.

What is an Invalid Declaration?

A Declaration is considered to be Invalid or wrong if any of the following criteria are fulfilled:

  1. Does not use all 13 cards
  2. Does not contain two Sequences and Sets
  3. Both Sequences are Impure
  4. One or both of the Sequences are Invalid
  5. One or both Sets are Invalid

Let’s further explain this with the help of two examples:

Invalid Declaration Example 1

3♠ 4♠ Joker 6♠ - Valid Sequence No. 1

Jack♦ 2♣ King♦ - Valid Sequence No. 2 (2♣ is the Wild Joker for the game and fulfills the role of the Queen♦)

8♣ 8♠ 8♦ - Valid Set No. 1

Ace♣ Ace♦ Ace♠ - Valid Set No. 2

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In the above example, you can observe that the Declaration is an Invalid Declaration because it does not contain even one Pure Sequence, even though both Sequences are Valid Sequences. As Sequence1 and Sequence 2 contain a Printed Joker and a Wild Joker respectively, they cannot be considered to be Pure Sequences.

Invalid Declaration Example 2

6♣ 7♣ 8♣ 9♣ - Valid Sequence No. 1

4♦ 5♦ 6♦ - Valid Sequence No. 2

3♦ 3♥ 3♣ - Valid Set No. 1

King♥ King♠ King♥ - Invalid Set No. 2

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In the above example, you can observe that the Declaration is an Invalid Declaration because it contains one Invalid Set. Set 2 is considered Invalid because though the cards are all of the same value (King), this Set contains two cards from the same suit i.e., ♥.

Conclusion

With that, we’ve come to the end of this Indian Rummy guide or the online Rummy tutorial. We do hope this guide has been useful to you. You are now empowered to take on the online world of Rummy and win!

At the beginning, if things feel a bit complicated, we suggest that you come back and refer to this page to clear up any questions and doubts that you might have. After that, and in no time at all, we’re sure you’ll be able to put your best foot forward in every Rummy game and rack up some huge wins. So, come on over to Taj Rummy, register for cash games, hit the big time, and win!

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