A Comprehensive Tutorial on Indian Rummy
Rummy is a captivating card game that takes skill, strategy, and a lot of practice to win. Whether you're new to the game or a seasoned pro, our rummy tutorial is a valuable resource to enhance your skills and understanding of this classic game.
If you are new to playing Rummy online, you may want to read all our tutorials and guides as well as trying out practice games before attempting to play cash games. An online game interface can be daunting. Even seasoned offline Rummy players make rookie mistakes the first time they play the online version of the game. So do take the time to read through our tutorials and practise on our app.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the fundamentals and rules of the game for beginners, as well as some nuanced gameplay tactics that will assist more advanced players. Towards the end of this tutorial, we cover the different formats of the game available on our platform and some hints of the best approach to each of them.
Setting the table
Rummy is played between 2 to 6 players with an ordinary deck (or decks) of cards. For 2-4 players, the game is played with 2 decks, while 3 decks are used for 5 or more players. Each deck consists of the standard 4 suits (♠, ♥,♣, ♦) of 13 cards each and two printed ‘Jokers’. The importance of the jokers will be covered later on in this rummy tutorial.
Before cards are dealt to all players, a ‘Toss’ is carried out. One card is placed face-up in front of each player. The player with the card of Highest face-value is the winner of the Toss and will begin play. The person to the left of this player is the ‘Dealer’.
Each player is dealt 13 cards. The remaining cards are placed in the ‘Closed Deck in the centre of the table. The topmost card from the ‘Closed Deck’ is placed face-up in the ‘Open Deck’.
Now that the table has been set, play is ready to begin. You will have a few seconds to arrange your cards before play begins. Once the first person begins, play continues in a rapid succession in an anti-clockwise direction.
Objective of the Game
The objective of a game is to create a minimum of two ‘Sequences’, one of which must be a ‘Pure Sequence’, each containing at least 3 cards. The remaining cards can be arranged into more Sequences or ‘Sets’.
A ‘Sequence’ is a combination of continuous numbered cards of the same suit.
A ‘Set’ is a combination of cards of the same ‘number’ across different suits.
There are certain conditions that have to be fulfilled for a sequence or set to be considered ‘valid’.
All sequences must contain 3 or more cards arranged in sequential order and must belong to the same suit. There are two types of sequences:
- Pure Sequences: These types of sequences cannot contain any joker
- Impure Sequences: These are sequences in which one or more joker can be used to complete the sequence
Sets are created by melding 3 or 4 cards of the same number or face value. Every card in a set (excluding the joker) must belong to different suits. Only one joker (either Wild or Printed) can be used to complete a set.
Declaration and Winning the Game
To successfully declare, your hand must contain:
- At least 2 sequences, one of which must be a Pure Sequence
- All 13 cards melded into either a sequence or a set
Once all of your cards have been arranged into a sequence or a set you can ‘Declare’ for the game. The first person who has a valid declaration is the winner. The winner is assigned ‘0’ (zero) points at the end of the game. The hands of all other players are then scored based on cards not melded.
(As easy as this sounds, there’s a lot more that goes into creating valid sequences and sets. Continue reading the detailed rules in the sections below.)
Playing the Game
At Taj Rummy, the cards you are dealt will be automatically sorted into suits and arranged in sequence. This feature was introduced to make it easier for you to plan your strategies.
The game progresses with each player drawing a card either from the Open Deck or Closed Deck. The player then evaluates whether to retain or discard that card.
This is commonly known as ‘Draw and Discard’. All discarded cards are placed face up in the centre. The next player can decide to either draw the topmost card from the Discard pile or from the Closed Stack.
This continues until one player ‘Declares’ his hand. If this is a valid declaration, i.e. if the player has fulfilled all requirements of sequences and sets, he is considered the winner. The hands of the other players are then evaluated and points are added to their tallies. To understand the scoring system, read the section below on Scoring.
Some important points to remember:
- Play continues in an anti-clockwise direction around the table. You can pick a card only when it’s your turn.
- You can draw the topmost card of either of the decks (Open or Closed) in the centre of the table.
- Once it’s your turn, you will have 30 seconds to pick, evaluate and discard a card. If you do not complete this within the assigned time, you will be dropped out of the game.
The joker is arguably the most important card in a game of rummy. There are two types of jokers, the Wild (or Cut) joker and the Printed (or Face) joker.
Every deck contains two Printed jokers. Once the game begins and the cards are dealt, the deck is ‘Cut’ for the joker. All cards in the deck that are of the same number or face value as the cut card are jokers.
As an example- if the Q♠ is cut, all of the Queens (Q♠, Q♣, Q♥, Q♦) are the Wild jokers.
These cards can be used as a substitute for any other card to complete Impure Sequences or Sets. A Wild joker can also be used as its original value in a pure sequence.
Dropping out of a rummy game
If you feel that you do not have a winning hand, you may drop out of the game by clicking the ‘Drop’ button. However, you can only do this when it’s your turn.
Please remember that there is a penalty for dropping out of the game. The penalty incurred depends on the variant of the game you are playing, as well as the point at which you drop out of the game.
A "First Drop" is when a player opts to leave the game before drawing their initial card. First Drops incur the following penalties:
- 51 Pool Rummy – 10 points
- 101 Pool Rummy – 20 points
- 201 Pool Rummy – 25 points
- Points Rummy – 20 points
- There is no option to drop out in Best of 2 and Best of 3 Rummy games
A ‘Middle Drop’ occurs when a player chooses to exit during the course of the game. The penalty for a middle drop are as follows:
- 51 Pool Rummy – 20 points
- 101 Pool Rummy – 40 points
- 201 Pool Rummy – 50 points
- Points Rummy – 40 points
- There is no option to drop out in Best of 2 and Best of 3 Rummy games
A ‘Full Count’ is the highest possible score or penalty points that a player can incur in a single round of Rummy. For all variants of the game, the Full count is fixed at 80 points. Scoring in Rummy
Scoring in Rummy is very straightforward. The points assigned to each card is equal to the number of the card. All Face cards are assigned 10 points.
|2♠, 2♣, 2♥, 2♦||2 points|
|3♠, 3♣, 3♥, 3♦||3 points|
|4♠, 4♣, 4♥, 4♦||4 points|
|5♠, 5♣, 5♥, 5♦||5 points|
|6♠, 6♣, 6♥, 6♦||6 points|
|7♠, 7♣, 7♥, 7♦||7 points|
|8♠, 8♣, 8♥, 8♦||8 points|
|9♠, 9♣, 9♥, 9♦||9 points|
|10♠, 10♣, 10♥, 10♦||10 points|
|J, Q, K, A of (♠, ♣, ♥, ♦)||10 points|
The below rules are followed in scoring:
- In case of no Pure Sequence in Hand: All Cards are scored and tallied.
- If Pure Sequence has been melded:
- If there is no other valid sequence in the hand, then all cards (excluding cards in the pure sequence) are scored.
- If there are two valid sequences in hand (including the pure sequence), then only cards which are not part of valid sequences or sets are scored.
As a bonus, here are some strategies to enhance your gameplay:
- Always focus on melding a pure sequence first. Without a pure sequence, all of your cards will be scored.
- After the first sequence, meld a second sequence (either pure or impure)
- Focus on melding high value cards first to minimise points
- Ensure you rearrange and re-meld your cards if required before submitting your hand in case another player has ‘Declared’. This can sometimes reduce your points.
Variants of the Game
At Taj Rummy, there are multiple variants of the game of Rummy that you can play.
Points Rummy is the fastest variant of the game. In this format, each game lasts for a single round. At the end of each round, the winner gets the chips of the other players.
The Pool Rummy variant or the Syndicate variant is the most popular format of the game. Players in a single pool play multiple rounds with each other. The score at the end of each round is continuously tallied. Once a player reaches a predetermined score, they are eliminated from the game.
51 Pool Rummy
Players in the pool are eliminated once their score reaches 51 points
101 Pool Rummy
Players in the pool are eliminated once their score reaches 101 points
201 Pool Rummy
Players in the pool are eliminated once their score reaches 201 points
In the Deals Rummy variant, there are only 2 players in each game. Players either play 2 or 3 rounds against each other. The player with the lowest score at the end of all rounds is the winner.
In this format, no player can choose to drop from the game.
In our tournaments, large groups of participants play-off against each other. Each player starts off with an equal number of chips and plays for the same period of time. At the end of this time, the person with the lowest score is declared the winner.
Types of Multi Table Tournaments:
- Cash Tournaments: Players can join using their Taj Rummy cash balance
- Freeroll Tournaments: Players can join for Free and win a cash prize
- Special Tournaments: Mostly around festivals and other events. Thousands of players generally compete for prize chips running into millions.
Develop your Skills Further
Learning the game and its rules is not sufficient to become a proficient player. We have a variety of resources to help you hone your skills. As a next step, we strongly recommend you read our Rummy Tips, Tricks and Strategies article.