Rummy is one of the more popular card games in the world. Believed to originate from a variation of Poker, Rummy shares several similarities with Poker games.

Rummy History

One of the first forms of Rummy found in history was called Conquian which is believed to have originated in Spain then brought to Mexico by the Spanish in the 1800’s. The game later crossed the US border into Texas in the late 19th century where it was called Cooncan. The game also made its way over to England where it was named “Rum” then crossed back across the Atlantic where it received the name Rummy as we know it today. During the 1800s a variation also reached over to asia where it was known there as Khanhoo.

How to Play Rummy

The object of Rummy is to be the first player to get rid of all of your cards. The game can be played with between 2 to 6 players, but is most commonly played with 2-4 players with a standard 52 card deck of playing cards.

The Deal: The first dealer is chosen randomly (usually players will receive one card and the player with the highest card is designated as the dealer). For 2 players each player receives 10 cards, for 3-4 players each will receive 7 cards, and for 5-6 players each player will receive 6 cards.

The Draw: Each round players draw one card from the drawing pile. They then add this card to the cards in their hand to try and dispose their cards using one of the ways below.

There are 3 ways that players can get rid or dispose of their cards:

Melding – Taking a series of cards and placing them face up in front of you on the table. Two types of hands can be melded. These are:
- A sequence or run which consists of 3 or more cards in sequence of the same suit. For example: 3,4,5,6 all spades OR T,J,Q all hearts.
- A group , set, or book consists of 3 or 4 cards of the same rank (ie. 7s, 7h and 7d)
Laying Off – Adding a card or multiple cards from your hand to a meld already on the table. These cards must be added to make a new valid meld. For example, if another player had melded 3,4,5,6 all spades you could then add a 2 and 7 of spades plus any other consecutive cards after that.
Discarding – If you cannot Lay Off or Meld you are allowed to discard a single card from your hand to the discard pile at the end of each turn.

As soon as one player has gotten rid of all their cards the play is stopped and the cards in the hands of the remaining players are scored. The play can end in 2 different ways, a player can go out (which simply means they got rid of all of their cards through melds, lays and discards) or a player can go rummy (which means a player plays all of his cards (in any combination of melding, laying off, and discarding) in a single play, having played no cards at all previously during that hand). If a player goes rummy, all penalty points for the remaining players are doubled for that hand.

If the stock pile (or drawing pile) runs out, the top card remains and the rest of the cards are reshuffled to create a new stock pile.

Rummy Scoring

Players left with remaining cards add up the remaining cards based on the following scoring table and receive penalty points:
- Aces are worth 1 point
- Number cards (2-10) are scored based on their value. For example: A 7 would be scored as 7 points.
- Face Cards are worth 10 points.
Based on this you should always be trying to get rid of your higher valued cards first especially when discarding.

The game ends as soon as one player reaches 100 points and the player with the lowest score wins the round.