Learn Pool Rummy on Taj Rummy
Pool Rummy has an intriguing twist on the classic Indian Rummy. In this version, you have to pay an upfront entry fee to play the game. The fees contribute to the game's prize pool- thus the name 'Pool Rummy'. This rummy variation has three distinct formats: 51 pool, 101 pool, and 201 pool.
Players within the pool play multiple rounds of the game accumulating points at the end of each round. Within each format, you face elimination when your score hits 51 points in 51 pool, 101 points in 101 pool, or 201 points in 201 pool. The 'Prize Pool' is awarded to the winner, or split between winners at the end of the game.
Pool Rummy is the most forgiving variation of Indian Rummy as you do not lose in a single round. This makes it the easiest format for beginners.
Playing Online Pool Rummy
In the game of Pool Rummy, the primary objective is to strategically organise the cards in sequences, or sequences and sets, culminating in a valid declaration or the lowest points possible. An essential requirement for a successful declaration is having a minimum of two sequences, one of which must be a pure sequence, constituting a crucial game rule. The remaining cards must be skillfully structured into additional sequences or sets to ensure gameplay adheres to the established norms.
Players need to aim for lower scores and avoid reaching the established maximum pool limit, which varies based on the chosen format: 51 points for 51 pool, 101 points for 101 pool, or 201 points for 201 pool. If you reach this limit, you will be eliminated from the game. Ultimately, the victor- the last player remaining at the table when all others have been eliminated.
Pool Rummy is available in three distinctive variants, each offering its own set of challenges and dynamics:
- 51 Pool: In this format, players aim to stay below the 51-point threshold. The first player to cross this limit gets eliminated.
- 101 Pool: This variation features a more extended journey, with the threshold set at 101 points. As with the 51 pool, players must outlast their opponents to claim victory.
- 201 Pool: The most challenging of the three, 201 pool demands a high level of skill and patience. The threshold of 201 points adds an extra layer of complexity, making it a test of endurance.
Toss and Dealing
On the Taj rummy platform, you can choose to play either a 2-player game or the 6-player game. One card is given to each player at the table. The person with the highest card begins the game. After the toss, two standard decks, each comprising 52 cards and two Printed Jokers per deck are shuffled and 13 cards are distributed to each player.
Once the players have been dealt their 13 cards, the remaining cards are stacked face down on the table to collectively form the Closed Deck. Simultaneously, the top card from the Closed deck is revealed and positioned face up on the table, effectively creating the open deck - as the game proceeds, this deck grows from discards made by players.
Cutting for The Joker
The Joker assumes a pivotal role in the proceedings, introducing an element of unpredictability and strategy. A random card is 'cut' from the Closed Deck. All cards of the same value now form the Wild or the Cut Joker. This Wild Joker along with the existing Printed Jokers can be used in place of any other card in the deck in order to complete Sequences or Sets.
Wild Jokers may be used as a 'Joker' or as the original printed card in a Pure Sequence.
- K♠-Q♠-J♠ (WJ): Here “J” is the wild joker. However, it has been used as the J♠ to complete a Pure Sequence.
- 4♥-5♥(WJ)-6♥-7♥: Although 5♥ is the wild joker, it has been used to connect 4♥, 6♥ and 7♥ to create a Pure Sequence.
- Avoid using jokers to create 'complete' sets as they can be used more efficiently elsewhere.
Before the game starts, players will get a 10 second window to arrange and sort their cards into melds and evaluate what their score would be. On the Taj Rummy platform, the system automatically sorts your cards into suits and arranges them consecutively, making it easier for you to strategize your play.
On your turn, draw a card from one of the Decks in the centre of the table. Remember- you will be able to Drop from the game only before drawing a card once it's your turn. After you've drawn the card, decide if you want to keep it or discard it. Discard one card into the centre Open Deck. You can only draw the topmost card from either of the Decks.
Meld the cards in your hand into valid sequences and sets following the rules given below:
Form 1 Pure Sequence
A pure sequence is a group of three or more cards of the same suit, placed in consecutive order. You cannot use any Joker or wild card.
Here are a few examples of pure sequence.
- 5♥ 6♥ 7♥ (Pure sequence with three cards and there is no Joker or wild card used)
- 3♠ 4♠ 5♠ 6♠ (Pure sequence with four cards. There is no use of Joker or wild cards here)
Form a second Sequence
This can be either a Pure or Impure Sequence. You are allowed to use as many jokers as you wish in the second sequence.
- 6♦ 7♦ Q♠ 9♦ (Here Q♠ has been used as a wild Joker replacing 8♦ to form an impure sequence)
- 5♠ Q♥ 7♠ 8♠ PJ (Impure sequence with Q♥ as the wild joker, replacing 6♠ and the Printed Joker, replacing 9♠)
Meld all cards into Sequences or Sets
All the cards in your hands should be melded into Sequences or Sets. You may form any of the following combinations:
- 2 Sequences (One Pure)
- 2 Sequences + 1 Set
- 2 Sequences + 2 Sets
- 3 or more Sequences
Declaring for the win
The objective is to skillfully arrange your 13 cards in accordance with the rules of the game. You can declare for a round by discarding the 14th card into the designated "Close Card Slot." The first player to successfully achieve this is the winner of that specific round.
Points and Scoring
In Pool Rummy, it's all about the points you accumulate after every round. You may not be the first to declare at the end of each round, but you can still win the Pool if you consistently score as low as possible.
Take a look at this example:
In a 51 Pool game with 6 players, 7 rounds have been played in total. Say you haven't won any of the rounds but have only scored 2-4 points at the end of each round. Whereas your opponents have scored 20-40 points in the rounds that they've lost. You will still be able to win the pool as you have the lowest total score.
Points assigned to cards
The number of points assigned to different cards is the same as with other variations of the game.
- Cards like Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Aces (the face cards) are valued at 10 points each.
- Numbered cards (2 through 10) are worth the same as their face value. A “6” is 6 points, for example.
- Jokers, both Printed or Wild are worth zero points, no matter which card they represent.
When a player wins a round, their score is zero points. The Score for the others at the end of each round is calculated on the cards left in their hands, and the melds they have successfully created.
- If you do not have a Pure Sequence, all your cards are scored- whether there are other impure sequences or sets.
- If you have managed to put together two sequences, one being a pure sequence, you'll only count the points of the ungrouped cards.
- If you declare without any sequence, all your cards - grouped or not - count in the points tally.
- There is a whopping 80-point penalty for making an invalid declaration.
- If you miss your turn five times in a row, you're out of the game with a 40-point penalty. This rule applies across all versions of Pool Rummy.
Calculation of Winnings
The Winner of a particular Pool is the last person remaining at the table after everyone else has been eliminated.
Their winnings are calculated with a straightforward formula:
Winnings = (Entry Fee x Number of Players) - Taj Rummy Platform Fees.
For instance, if you have a game with five players, each pitching in a fixed entry fee of Rs. 200, you'd have a prize pool of Rs. 1000. After the Taj Rummy platform fees are deducted, that's what the winner pockets.
The Split Option in Pool Rummy
In Pool Rummy, there is a unique opportunity to share the prize money. This is not available in any other variant of Indian rummy.
The Split Option is available in the following situations:
- 51 Pool: In this version, the “Split” option comes into play when each player's total score at the end of a round is 40 points or higher.
- 101 Pool: For 101 Pool, players can consider the “Split” only if their final round scores reach 80 points or more.
- 201 Pool: And in the grand 201 Pool, the threshold is set at 175 points for this option to become available.
Some restrictions on the Split Option:
- The option can only be used if there are 2 or 3 players remaining at the table AND one player has been eliminated since the start of the game.
- All players should agree to Splitting the Pool. If any player declines to accept, play continues until all but one player is eliminated.
The “Rejoin” option in Pool Rummy
Another unique feature of the Pool Rummy variant is the 'Rejoin' option. If a player quits a table, he is allowed to rejoin it after incurring a penalty score.
The following conditions apply:
- 51 Pool: No player is above the score limit of 39 Points.
- 101 Pool: No player is above the score limit of 79 points.
- 201 Pool: No player is above the score limit of 174 points.
Dropping in Pool Rummy
In Pool Rummy, making the right decision to drop at the right moment is a strategic move that can sometimes save you from accumulating too many points. Every time it is your turn, evaluate the score you would incur if you drop vs the points in your hands against the probability of another player declaring during their next turn.
Here's a tabulation of the penalty you would incur for Dropping in each variant:
|Variant||First Drop penalty||Middle Drop penalty||3 Consecutive Misses penalty|
|51 Pool||10 points||20 points||20 points|
|101 Pool||20 points||40 points||40 points|
|201 Pool||25 points||50 points||50 points|
Tactical Nuances to Win Pool Rummy
There are a number of strategies and nuances that come into play in Pool Rummy that are very different from other variations of the game. Here are some tips that can help you level-up your game:
- Pooling Strategy: In "Pool Rummy," the approach to managing your total score is critical. You must constantly monitor your point totals and make decisions regarding melding and dropping that are aligned to lowering your score in case you do not Declare first.
- Timing Declarations: The earlier you can 'Declare' for a round, the better the chance of your opponents accumulating higher scores. Arrange your cards so that you can quickly identify a more efficient melding that can help you declare faster.
- Adapting to Variants: The variant of Pool Rummy can impact strategy. In 201 pool, for example, players have more room to manoeuvre, whereas 51 pool is a more challenging and intense variation.
- Track Opponents Scores: The Unique feature of Pool Rummy is that you don't need to win every round to win the game. Even if some other player wins, if you keep your score down to the lowest possible, you might still be able to snatch the game from your opponents. This is why it is crucial to keep a tally of your score vis-a-vis your opponent's scores.
- Effective 'Drop' Management: Remember, having the lowest point tally is the goal. Sometimes, this can be achieved by Dropping at the right time rather than waiting for someone to Declare. Compare your hand against the penalty points for a Drop to evaluate if Dropping is appropriate for you.