How To Play Rummy Card Game (Rummy Rules For 2024)

How To Play Rummy Game - Rummy Rules

Welcome to the exciting world of online rummy, where you can enjoy the thrill of playing the Indian 13-card classic game with your buddies or against skilled strangers. Taj Rummy offers a secure and enjoyable experience that you can seamlessly access from your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

We’re proud to be pioneers in the rummy industry, the first to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to ensure our players have the best possible gaming experience. Our platform is loaded with unique features to ensure all transactions and games are safe and fair. And with a variety of games to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re new to rummy, there’s no better place to learn than here. We’ve put together a solid guide to help you understand the nuances of rummy and become an expert in no time. You can also play our free practice matches to hone your skills, and refer to our carefully curated rules to play along. Let’s begin!

Rummy Objective

Rummy is a game of skill and strategy with clear objectives. The game can be played by 2 to 6 players at a single table. The main objective of rummy is to create winning combinations out of the 13 cards dealt and to be the first player to place a show. Each card carries a certain point value, and at the end of the game, the player with the lowest score wins.

Since skill and strategy are involved at every stage of the game, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the rules of rummy. You could also try our practice games to help you level up.

What are the Rules of Rummy?

Rummy is played with one or two standard decks of 52 cards, depending on the number of players involved. To begin the game, each player is dealt 13 cards, and the remaining cards are placed on the table in a closed or open deck. The goal of rummy is to form sets and sequences of cards of the same suit or rank.

A set is a group of three or four cards of the same rank but different suits, while a sequence is a group of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit.

Players take turns drawing a card from either the open or closed deck and discarding one card to the discard pile. The game continues until one player declares their hands by placing valid sets or sequences on the table. The strategy revolves around minimizing the points by forming sets and sequences while discarding high-value cards.

Glossary: Rummy Terms You Need to Know

If you’re new to playing rummy, you might find it a bit overwhelming to understand the game’s terminology. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a glossary of frequently used rummy terms that will help you become familiar with the game. Once you’re confident and well-versed with the game, you can try Taj Rummy’s cash games.

Rummy table

This is a virtual table that is pretty much like a physical one, except online, and can seat two to six players.


Dealer

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 selected 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 the Dealing of Cards.


Sorting

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.


Drop

Players can choose to “drop” or leave, a game at any point, at the cost of penalty points.


Draw

In order for the game to proceed further, players must “draw”, or pick, cards from the closed or open decks.


Discard

After drawing a card from one of the decks during every turn, players must strategically discard one into the open deck, too, thus maintaining 13 cards throughout the game.


Closed deck

This is the heap of cards that are placed facing down, therefore “closed,” as you have no idea what they actually are.


Open deck

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.


Show

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.


Meld

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.


Round

A round typically begins with the dealing of cards to each player and ends when a winner successfully declares their hand.


Full count

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.


Fun Chips

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.


Tournaments

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.

Rummy Basics

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 art of Rummy, you have to get down to the basics, learn the rules, and understand them.

Know your Cards

  1. 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
  2. Card Distribution: 13 cards are dealt to each player at the beginning of a game
  3. Suits: Cards bearing each of these symbols are part of separate suits: (Diamonds) , (Hearts) , (Clubs) and (Spades)
  4. 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.
  5. The Ace: When forming sets, the value of the Ace is 10 points
  6. ‘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 carries a value of 10 points each.

Jokers: Printed & Wild

There are two types of jokers you’re likely to come across.

Wild Joker:

The wild joker is randomly picked from the deck at the start of the game. Cards of 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 with a small Joker icon at the bottom of the card.

Wild Joker Rummy Rules

Jokers are vital assets to the set of cards you’ve got at hand and can help you win the round. The sole role of a Joker is to act as a substitute for a card while creating a sequence or set.

Printed Joker:

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. The sequences you form should have the following order: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and 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:

Pure sequence:

A pure sequence is a group of three or more cards in successive order. However, a Wild Joker can be used to create a pure sequence as long as it is a part of the same suit.

Pure Sequence Rummy Rules

Impure sequence:

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.

Impure Sequence Rummy Rules

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 each card bears the same number or face card. It 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.

Valid Set - Rummy Rules
Valid Set Rules

Now, these examples of invalid sets should act as a guide of how NOT to form your sets p>

Invalid Set - Rummy Rules

Gameplay: What does a game look like from Start to Finish

Armed with the Rummy Glossary and rules of rummy card game, you’re now ready to learn what to do with all that knowledge, i.e. build your rummy playing skills. A step-wise rummy card game directions from start to finish will help you with what to expect when you play a game of rummy. So here goes:

Step 1

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.


Step 2

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.


Step 3

Once 13 cards are dealt to every player, the remaining cards are placed face down at the center of 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 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.


Step 5

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 sets they try 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.


Step 6

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.


Step 7

Players take turns picking and discarding cards until one successfully forms valid combinations of sequences and sets from the cards in their hand.


Step 8

Once a player has cards that will lead to a win, they must click on “SHOW,” arrange the cards, and click on "DECLARE."


Step 9

The rest of the players then arrange their cards and click on DECLARE to gather the fewest points possible.


Step 10

Points are calculated based on the cards that every player has melded and shown. The winner of the round is promptly announced, along with a tally of all the points accumulated by all the players at the table.

Show: Valid & Invalid

Show Valid & Invalid - Rummy Rules

To make a valid show in rummy, players must arrange the 13 cards in their hand into sequences and/or sets. After organizing their cards into valid combinations, players must choose the final unwanted card and select the ‘Show’ button instead of the Discard button. This action will enable them 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:

  1. All 13 cards need to be grouped or melded into the correct combinations
  2. There must be two sequences, one of which must compulsorily be a pure sequence
  3. The second sequence could either be a pure or an impure one
  4. The rest of the cards need to be arranged as either sequences or sets of three or more cards

We’ve created a handy table for easy reference to Rummy rules concerning placing valid shows.

Pure Sequence Impure Sequence Set 1 Set 2
Mandatory 𐄂 𐄂 𐄂
Criteria for requirement Mandatory To make a minimum of 2 sequences To complete a valid melding of 13 cards To complete a 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 𐄂 𐄂
Sequential order 𐄂 𐄂
Printed Joker/
Wild Joker
𐄂
Valid Shows Examples - Rummy Rules
Valid Shows Examples - Rummy Rule

Invalid Show

If a player shows their cards without fulfilling the conditions to validate a show as described above, the declaration is invalid.

These rummy card game rules will also be clearer with some examples, so here they are:

Inalid Shows Examples - Rummy Rules
Invalid Shows Examples - Rummy Rule

If a player places 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.

Score Calculation

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. 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. The list below shows the points corresponding to all sorts of possible losing situations.

Criteria Points
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
Invalid Show 80
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

Conclusion

We have reached the end of this Indian Rummy guide, which explains how to play Rummy, with special emphasis on playing it online. We hope that this guide has been helpful to you and that you are now ready to take on the online world of Rummy and emerge victorious.

If you are finding certain aspects of the game difficult to understand, we recommend that you refer back to this guide. It will help you clear any doubts and answer any questions you may have. With a little bit of practice, you will soon be able to play Rummy like a pro and win big.

You can register at Taj Rummy or download the Taj Rummy app to play practice and cash games and win exciting prizes!