How To Play Rummy Card Game - Know The Rummy Rules
- What are Rummy Rules
- Glossary: Rummy Terms you’ll Need to Know
- Rummy Basics
- Gameplay: What does a game look like from start to finish
- Show: Valid & Invalid
- Score Calculation
Quick Examples in this Guide:
A warm welcome into the exciting world of online rummy, where you can enjoy the thrill of this Indian 13-card classic game as much, if not more than with your buddies at a physical game table. Taj Rummy makes it possible for you to not only play with friends but also against skilled strangers, who like you, would appreciate the adventurous twist to this evergreen card game, the nation’s favourite timepass with friends and family.
Read on to know the basics and the rummy rules of the game and its variants, and learn how to play rummy like a pro seamlessly from your computer or mobile device. Taj Rummy is loaded with features that make the game and every transaction secure. We were the first in this industry to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to ensure our players have the best possible experience while playing. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, we have a plethora of games for you that are enjoyable and fun to play.
For new rummy players, there is no better place to learn than here. We have put this guide together especially for you to understand the nuances of the game well enough to become an expert in no time. You may play our practice games side by side as you refer to these rules we have carefully curated for you to play along with.
Rummy is a strategic game of skill with a set of clear objectives. At a single table, anywhere from 2 to 6 players can play a game at a time, and the underlying purpose is to emerge as the triumphant winner at the end of the game.
The ultimate goal of an online rummy game is to be the first player at the table to create winning combinations out of the 13 cards that have been dealt, to place a show before the rest of the players do and to end the round/ game with zero points. Even if you’re not the winner of a given round, the aim is to make as few points as possible, as in doing so you could win the overall game.
There is skill and strategy involved at every stage of the game, so take your time to read this guide carefully. You could always use the Taj Rummy practice games to watch what you’re reading. These will go a long way in helping you level up your skills.
What are Rummy Rules
Rummy Rules are a set of definitions for how the game is played, which actions are permissible and which are not, and how the players at the table must conduct themselves during gameplay. Rummy game rules are fun to learn and easy to play, so at a glance, here’s how to play rummy:
One or two 52-card decks are usually used depending on the number of players, and 13 cards are dealt to each of them. They must then take turns to draw and discard cards from the closed or open decks on the table in order to make combinations of card groups, i.e. sequences or sequences and sets before placing a valid show and declaring their cards to the remaining players.
We’re sure this summary will excite you to dig in and learn these rules in detail. We’re only getting started!
Glossary: Rummy Terms you’ll Need to Know
Rummy terms of gameplay are quite simple to understand, but if you don’t know what they are or mean, it can make playing the game slightly overwhelming. We’ve put together a list of terms you’ll frequently hear while playing online rummy so you can familiarize yourself with them and explore our practice and rummy cash games at Taj Rummy.
This is a virtual table that is pretty much like a physical one, except online, and can seat two to six players that are all set to play a game of rummy
A player is chosen at random at the start of each game to be the Dealer for that game. Every player at the table will subsequently be chosen to be the Dealer in the games that follow.
Dealing of cards
At the start of a game, 13 cards are “dealt”, or distributed, to each player randomly. This is called Dealing of cards.
Cards are automatically sorted at the beginning of a game as soon as they are dealt. Players can use the Sort button during the game to keep sorting their cards in order to spot winning combinations easily.
Players can choose to “drop”, or leave, a game at any point, at the cost of penalty points.
In order for the game to proceed further, players must “draw”, or pick, cards from the closed or open decks.
During every turn, after drawing a card from one of the decks, players must strategically discard one into the open deck too, thus maintaining 13 cards throughout the game
This is the heap of cards that are placed facing down, therefore “closed”, as you have no idea what they actually are.
This is the heap of cards that are discarded during gameplay. These are placed facing up, therefore “open”, and if you’re paying attention, you can keep track of what they are and use this to your advantage during the game.
A “Show”, or Declaration is the act of displaying or declaring to your opponents that you have created the requisite number of Sequences and Sets. The player declaring has to immediately display their cards to all their opponents, and ask all their opponents to do likewise.
In order to place a show, players “meld”, or arrange, their cards in winning combinations. When a player places a show, the rest of the players are also given a chance to meld their cards in the best combinations possible from their cards in hand.
A round typically begins with the dealing of cards to each player and ends when a winner successfully declares their hand
A Full Count is the highest possible score or penalty points a player can incur under any circumstances in one round of Rummy. For all variants of Rummy, the Full Count is fixed at a maximum of 80 points.
Players get free chips to play Practice Games when they register on Taj Rummy; these can be reloaded when they are used up. A certain number of chips are deducted from their total chip balance when players join a practice game. Any chips won are credited to their account.
Players can play Free Tournaments (without paying any fees) to win instant cash prizes or Cash Tournaments (with an entry fee) to win real money in prizes.
The intricate nature of Rummy is what makes it so beautiful, riveting and ultimately exciting. To truly appreciate the game and to be a good exponent of the Rummy arts, you will have to get down to the basics of Rummy and understand them just like you did the glossary of Rummy terms.
Know your Cards
- Number of cards: Depending on the number of players at the table, one or two standard decks of 52 cards each are used to play Indian rummy games
- Card Distribution: 13 cards are dealt to each player at the beginning of a game
- Suits: Cards bearing each of these symbols are part of separate suits: ♦ (Diamonds) , ♥ (Hearts) , ♣ (Clubs) and ♠ (Spades)
- Number Cards: 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.
- The Ace: When forming sets, the value of the Ace is 10 points
- ‘Face Cards’: The Jack, the Queen and the King cards typically have pictures or faces on them corresponding to each card, and are called ‘face cards’. Each of these cards carry a value of 10 points each.
Jokers: Printed & Wild
The Joker cards deserve a separate section of their own for better understanding! There are two types of jokers you’re likely to come across:
The wild joker, on the other hand, is randomly picked from the deck at the start of the game. Cards at the same rank and different suits can all be used as wild jokers in that game. Taj Rummy makes it easy for you to identify these as well with a small Joker icon on the card.
Jokers are vital assets to the set of cards you’ve got at hand and can help you win the round as you’ll see further down these basics. The sole role of a Joker is to act as a substitute for a card while creating a sequence or set.
This one is very easy to identify as it has the picture of a joker with no other number, suit or letter on it.
Sequences: Pure & Impure
A valid sequence is considered to be a group of three or four cards in consecutive order from the same suit. Following the strict rules of Indian Rummy, the Sequences you form should have the following order: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen & King. In a sequence, an Ace can be used either as a face card or a ‘1’ card.
There are two types of sequences that are formed:
A pure sequence is a group of three or more cards in successive Images for these specific examples - put the correct cards order; the cards need to be of the exact same suit, not just the matching colour. However, a Wild Joker can be used to create a pure sequence as long as it is a part of the same suit. Here are a few examples of pure sequences:
An impure sequence is a group of three or more cards of the same suit, but a Printed/ Wild Joker is used to complete the sequence. Examples of impure sequences:
Note: To win the game, you need at least one pure sequence in your rummy hand.
Sets: Valid & Invalid
A set comprises three or four cards, of different suits, but where each of the cards bear the same number or face card. Sounds simple, but it’s also important to know that there is a possibility of having invalid sets. Let’s check these out with the help of some examples.
Here are some valid sets with descriptions of what makes them valid:
Now, these examples of invalid sets should act as a guide of how NOT to form your sets:
Gameplay: What does a game look like from Start to Finish
Armed with the Rummy Glossary and Basics, you’re now ready to learn what to do with all that knowledge, i.e. build your rummy playing skills. A step-wise description of the game from start to finish will help you with what to expect when you play a game of rummy. So here goes:
At the start of the game, the deck(s) of cards are thoroughly shuffled. This takes place automatically in online rummy and ensures fair play.
The Dealer is chosen at random among the players and deals 13 cards to every player in the game. This takes place automatically as well.
Once 13 cards are dealt to every player, the remaining cards are placed facedown at the center of the table. This stack of cards is known as the ‘Closed Deck’
Now, that all the players have their 13 cards and the closed deck has been placed facedown, a Wild Joker is selected (automatically in online rummy) from the closed deck. The players are ready to play!
Note: On the off-chance that a printed Joker is picked up during this process of choosing the Wild Joker, the Ace cards from all the suits will duly serve as the Wild Joker for that particular game.
The game starts with a toss, the winner of which gets to start first and the rest of the players go around the table in the designated order. Each player must draw a card, i.e., pick a card up from the closed deck and discard or let go of one card from their hand into a new heap 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.
Note: Every time a player picks up a card from either the closed or open deck, they should discard one card from their hand into the open deck, thus maintaining 13 cards during the entire game.
With this, the actual gameplay is in full swing, and all manner of maneuvers are at play, as each player now looks to make their sequences and sets before all the other players at the table..
Players take turns to pick up and discard cards until one of them successfully manages to form valid combinations of sequences and sets from the cards in their hand.
Once a player has cards that will lead to a win, they must click on “SHOW”, post which they must arrange the cards and click on "DECLARE".
The rest of the players then arrange their cards and click on DECLARE to gather the least points possible.
Points are calculated based on the cards that every player has melded and shown, and the winner of the round is promptly announced along with a tally of all the points accumulated by all the players at the table. This essentially brings the gameplay to an end.
Show: Valid & Invalid
To place a valid Show, players must arrange the 13 cards in their hand into sequences and/ or sets. This should be done following the above-mentioned basics and examples.
After melding or arranging their cards into valid combinations, the player must finish the game by selecting the final unwanted card and clicking the ‘Show’ button instead of the Discard button they would usually click to discard it. They will then get the option to check their groups before finally declaring their cards to the other players.
The player who makes a valid show first wins the game and gets 0 points. The rest of the players are then invited to declare their cards after making the best possible groups or card combinations from those they have in hand, adding them up to the least number of points.
For a valid Show, players need to satisfy these conditions:
- All 13 cards need to be grouped or melded into the correct combinations
- There must be two sequences, one of which must compulsorily be a pure sequence
- The second sequence could either be a pure or an impure one
- The rest of the cards need to be arranged as either sequences or sets of 3 or more cards
We’ve made you a handy table for easy reference to help you in placing valid shows:
|Pure Sequence||Impure Sequence||Set 1||Set 2|
|Criteria for requirement||Mandatory||To make minimum 2 sequences||To complete valid melding of 13 cards||To complete valid melding of 13 cards|
|Number of cards||3 or more||3 or more||3 or 4 (without Joker) 3, 4 or more (with Joker)||3 or 4 (without Joker) 3, 4 or more (with Joker)|
|Cards of same suit||✓||✓||𐄂||𐄂|
|Cards of same value||𐄂||𐄂||✓||✓|
A few examples will bring everything into perspective and you’ll be nodding understandably as you start to figure things out clearly, so here are some:
If a player shows their cards without fulfilling the conditions to validate a show as described above, the declaration is invalid.
This will also be clearer with some examples, so here they are:
In the event of a player placing an invalid Show in a 2-player game, they lose the game instantly and the opponent is announced as the winner even if their card combinations are nowhere close to satisfying the validating conditions.
If there are more than two players seated at the table, the rest of the players keep playing in turn until one of them places a valid Show.
We have briefly described the cards and their values in the Rummy Basics section (Know your Cards), now here they are in a tabulated form for easy reference if you would like to calculate your score:
|Type of Card||Value (in Points)|
|Printed Joker/ Wild Joker||0|
|Face cards (K, Q, J)||10 (each)|
|Numbered cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)||As per the number on the card (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) Ace|
|10 if grouped with face cards (A, K, Q, J)||1 if grouped with sequential number cards (A, 2, 3)|
The winner of the game places a valid Show and ends the game on a high, but with 0 points. This is the main objective of a rummy game and is not really rocket science to deduce. The winner doesn’t need to bother with adding points up at all.
Points for Losing Players:
While the winner takes it all, albeit by scoring 0 points, the rest of the players end up collecting points based on their gameplay. This list below shows the points corresponding to all sorts of possible losing situations:
|Player does not have 2 sequences||Value of all cards added up or 80, whichever is lesser|
|Player does not have a pure sequence||Value of all cards added up or 80, whichever is lesser|
|Player has formed 2 valid sequences||Value of the rest of the cards that are not a part of the valid sequences|
|Drop at the beginning of the game (First drop)||20|
|Drop during the game (Middle drop)||40|
|51 | 101 | 201 Pool Rummy First Drop||10 | 20 | 25 respectively|
|51 | 101 | 201 Pool Rummy Middle Drop||20 | 40 | 50 respectively|
With that, we’ve come to the end of this Indian Rummy guide detailing How to Play Rummy with special attention to what it's like to play it online. 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 complex, we suggest that you come back and refer to this page to clear up any doubts and answer any questions 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.
Register at Taj Rummy or download the Rummy app, play practice and cash games and win brilliant prizes!