How to Play Rummy?

Rummy is one of the most played card games in India, especially in South India. The standard deck of cards is used to play the rummy game. Two jokers are used. This game is perfect for two to six players. If there are more than four players, two decks of cards are used.

Rummy is a draw-and-discard card game. Players draw cards from the open deck and discard cards in the closed deck. Want to learn more about the rummy game? Let us go through rummy rules, how to play rummy, how to declare your cards, and rummy tips and tricks.

Let’s begin with rummy rules.

Rummy Rules

  • Players are given thirteen cards in the rummy game.
  • These cards are arranged in valid sets and sequences.
  • Two sequences are mandatory in rummy.
  • One must be a pure sequence and the other sequence can be an impure sequence.
  • All the remaining cards must be in valid sets or sequences.
  • The goal of players is to get rid of deadwood cards and arrange all the cards in valid sets and sequences.

Rummy Hand Rankings

Before we get into any further details, let us see how the cards are ranked in rummy. The ranking of cards from low to high is Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and King.

Scoring System in Rummy

The cards Ace, Jack, Queen, and King have 10 points. The remaining cards 2 to 10 are given points as per their face value. For example, card 2 is equal to 2 points, card 3 is equal to 3 points, card 4 is equal to 4 points, and card 10 is equal to 10 points.

  • Ace – 10 points.
  • King – 10 points.
  • Queen – 10 points.
  • Jack – 10 points.
  • 10 – 10 points.
  • 9 – 9 points.
  • 8 – 8 points.
  • 7 – 7 points.
  • 6 – 6 points.
  • 5 – 5 points.
  • 4– 4 points.
  • 3– 3 points.
  • 2 – 2 points.

Sets and Sequences in Rummy

Since sets and sequences are an important part of the rummy game, shall we find out what is a set and what is a sequence?


Three or more cards of the same rank but different suits form a set. Wild cards and jokers can be used to form a set.

Examples of Valid Set

  • K♥ K♣ K♦ (In this set, Kings are of different suits, and they are making a valid set.)
  • 5♦ 5♣ 5♠ 5♥ (In this set of four cards, 5 in different suits is making a valid set.)
  • 4♦ Q♠ 4♠ 4♥ (Here Q♠ has been used as wild joker replacing 4♣ to make a set.)
  • 6♦ 6♣ 6♠ PJ (Printed joker replacing ♥ to make a set.)
  • 7♦ 7♣ Q♠ PJ (Here Q♠ has been used as wild joker replacing 7♠ & Printed joker replacing 7♥ to make a set.)
  • 2♦2♣ PJ Q♥ Q♠ (This is a set of 5 cards with Printed joker & Q♥ as wild joker replacing 2♠ 2♥. The extra wild joker Q♠ to complete grouping of 13 cards rummy and make a valid declaration.)

Examples of Invalid Set

  • K♥ K♥ K♦ (There are two Kings of the same suit ♥ making it an invalid set.)
  • K♠ K ♦ K♠ Q♥ (It has two kings of the same suit. The wild card Q♥ as the fifth card is valid but having two Kings of Spades is making it an invalid set.)

Pure Sequence

What is a Pure Sequence?

A pure sequence is a set of three or more cards of the same card suit that are arranged in sequential order. A player cannot use a Joker or a wild card to form a pure sequence in a rummy card game.

Examples Of Pure Sequence

  • 8♥ 9♥ 10♥: This is a Pure sequence with three cards and there is no Joker or wild card used.
  • A♠ 2♠ 3♠ 4♠: This is a pure sequence with four cards and there is no Joker or wild card used.

Impure Sequence

What is an Impure Sequence?

  • A group of three or more cards of the same suit that includes one or more Joker cards is known as an impure sequence.

Examples Of Impure Sequence

  • 2♦ 3♦ Q♠ 5♦: In this case, Q has been used as a wild Joker in place of 4 to form an impure sequence.
  • 7♠ Q♥ 9♠ 10♠ PJ: In this case, the wild joker replaces 8 and the Printed Joker replaces the J.

How to Play Rummy Game Like a Pro?

Let us have a look at the different variants of rummy and see how to play rummy.

How To End a Rummy Game?

Players declare their sets and sequences in the rummy game. Remember what you just read? There must be at least one pure sequence to make a valid declaration. If a player declares their cards without a pure sequence, then a foul is committed.

Popular Variants in Rummy

  • Points Rummy.
  • Pool Rummy.
  • Deals Rummy.
  • Indian Rummy.
  • Gin Rummy.

How to Play Rummy : Points Rummy?

  • Points rummy is a 13-card rummy game.
  • Each card has a pre-decided point.
  • The idea is to win the game with zero.
  • The player who makes the declaration first gets zero points and wins the game.
  • The rest of the opponents are charged as per the points they have.
  • The total number of points of all opponents equals the cash prize of the winner.

How to Play Rummy : Pool Rummy?

  • The winner of the round gets zero points.
  • Points of the losing players are accumulated. A player is eliminated when their points become 101 or 201.
  • The winner gets the prize pool. The prize pool is the total entry fee that was pooled to generate the cash prize. This is pool rummy.

How to Play Rummy : Deals Rummy?

  • Online deals rummy is played with virtual chips.
  • The number of deals is decided at the beginning of the game. A deal is nothing but a round.
  • At the end of all deals, the person who has the greatest number of chips is declared the winner.

How to Play Rummy : Indian Rummy?

There are two formats of Indian rummy. 13 cards Indian rummy and 21 cards rummy. Let us see how to play 13-card rummy as it is the most-played variant in India.

How to Play 13 Card Rummy?

  • Each participant is dealt 13 cards, with a wild joker or joker card that is chosen at random.
  • To build sets and sequences, the player must draw and discard cards.
  • To make impure sequences and sets, the player can employ the deck's wild joker or printed joker.
  • According to Indian rummy rules, a player can claim victory by arranging 13 cards in valid two sequences.

How to Play 21 Card Rummy?

  • Each participant is dealt 21 cards, three decks of cards, and three jokers are used.
  • The rest of the rummy rules are the same as 21 card rummy.

How to Play Rummy : Gin Rummy?

  • Gin rummy is played with two players.
  • Players are dealt 10 cards.
  • The rules of gin rummy are like classic rummy

How To Play Rummy Online?

  1. First things first, you would need a gadget such as a computer/laptop or a smartphone.
  2. The next thing you need is a stable internet connection.
  3. Go to a safe and secure website and do your research about the rummy platform. Read reviews and experiences of other players and start playing rummy online.

These are the obvious answers to how to play rummy online.

How to Win in a Rummy?

Following are the tips and tricks to win in rummy:

  1. Set your Goals in the Beginning

    You need one pure sequence and one impure sequence. You have to make a pure sequence at any cost. Your impure sequence can be made with a joker. Then you need to make valid sets with the remaining cards. This is fixed, and there can be no compromise in this. Your declaration needs to be valid at any cost or you will lose the game.
  2. Arrange your Cards Properly

    Keep everything organized to avoid getting confused while picking and discarding the cards. Find every way to make your game easier and play a few free rummy games online to get comfortable with the grouping and pick/discard process.
  3. Watch your Opponents

    When your opponents are picking and discarding the cards, you will get a fair idea about their cards. Ask questions such as is this player trying to make a sequence with XYZ cards? You need to match your cards in such a way that your opponent cannot meet their goals.
  4. Get rid of High-Value Cards if they are not Helpful

    Cards J, Q, K, and A are strong cards. However, they have 10 points. In Rummy, every unused card is given points. The person with the highest point loses. Therefore, it is wise to discard high-value cards if they are of no use.
  5. Use the Joker Card for Your Benefit

    The advantage of a joker in a rummy game should not be underestimated. The idea is to make a pure sequence and an impure sequence. See if you can make an impure sequence with bigger cards using your joker.
  6. Spot the Good Card

    Let us say that you have a 5 and 8. When you are picking cards, a 7 can be a good card because you can make a pure sequence of 5,6,7 or 7,8,9, or 6,7,8. So have a look at the card you receive and spot the card which can help your form a sequence or set easily.
  7. Don't Hold Cards for Long

    The idea is to avoid deadwood points. The deadwood points are the points that a player accumulates with unused cards. The lesser the deadwood point, the better you are. Having zero deadwood points makes you the winner of a rummy game.

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Poker is a lovely game. It is like Rummy. There are many similarities between the two games but a few differences. Did you know that rummy is a game that is popular only in India? On the other hand, poker is a game that is played all over the globe. Poker players are said to have a high IQ. This is because a player can win a poker game with the worst cards too. Have you checked your skills in poker?

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