Rules For Rummy

Rummy Card Game Rules

The basic game of Rummy is best played with two players, but still works with up to six. The rules for Rummy can be played one of two ways. You can either choose a fixed number of deals to play up to, and once you reach that number of deals, the game is finished, or, you can set a target score. Whichever way you choose to play, this must be determined before you begin the game of Rummy. The game of Rummy is a fun game and rewarding to play, learn the rules for Rummy and discover the joy this game brings to millions of Rummy players around the world.


To begin your turn, you must draw a card from either the stock pile or the discard pile and add it to your hand. The stock pile is face down, so you won’t know which card you’re drawing until after you have added it to your hand. The discard pile is faced up, so you will know which card you’re drawing before hand. Choose which pile you choose from carefully, as each card in your hand is crucial to your end score.

If you have a valid set or run in your hand, the next part of your turn is when you can meld. Place the combination faced up in front of you for both you and your opposing player(s) can view them. In the standard rule book, you are only allowed to lay down one meld per turn. Remember, melding is optional. If you can not form a valid combination, don’t stress. The next part of your turn is another optional play—laying off. Laying off is when you add more cards to previous melds already out on the table. Even if you have already melded in your current turn, you may still lay off. There is no limit to how many cards you can lay off in one turn. Finally, the last part of your turn is discarding. At the end of every turn, one card must be discarded faced up in the discard pile. At the beginning of your turn, if you chose to draw from the discard pile, you may not discard the same card you drew. You can discard it in later turns, but not within the same turn. If you drew from the stock pile, you may discard this in the same turn if you wish.

If the stock pile happens to run out of cards in a turn, and the player does not want to draw from the discard pile, then the discard pile becomes the new stock. Flip the faced up cards upside down and place them where your old stock pile used to be. Do not shuffle the cards. A player wins a hand by getting rid of all of their cards in their hand by either melding or laying off. This is considered going out. If a player goes out, the game immediately stops. Even if the opposing player(s) has valid runs or sets in their hand, they may not play them.


If a player has gone out, all of the opposing player(s) add up the point value of the cards remaining in their hands. Kings, Queens, and Jacks are all worth ten points. Numbered cards are worth their number value (for example a four of clubs is worth four points and a seven of hearts is worth seven points) and aces are worth one point. All of the scores from the other players are added on to the winner’s score. From there, you continue to play until the number of deals has been played or the number of points have been reached (you decided this before you began to play).


Standard rules for Rummy are fun, but sometimes, your party will want to switch it up. The following are flexible, optional house rules for Rummy you can play instead of the standard rules for Rummy.


There are two ways you can alternate the rules for melding. You can play both in your game, or you can play just one. In a game, you may want to allow players to lay down as many melds as they want in a single turn. This is called multiple melds. Another alternate way to play is if a player has not previously melded or laid off any cards in a game, and they achieved going out in a single turn, then they earn a special bonus. The bonus can either be doubling their score, or just simply adding an extra ten points.


In some games, you may wish to create an alternative rule for laying off. In this case, you would not allow a player to lay off any cards on any other players’ melds until that player has laid down at least one meld of their own.


In the standard rules for Rummy, aces are low cards. They are worth one point and may only ever be used in a run of ace, two, and three. However, some people may want to play that aces can either be a high card or a low card. In this case, the ace’s point value becomes fifteen instead of one, even if it’s used as a low card and can be used in a run of ace, two, and three as well as queen, kind, and ace.


In some games, you can change the discard rule. Instead of being able to completely go out with melds and lay offs in a player’s turn, you can change the rule so that in order for them to go out, they must make melds and/or lay offs as well as discard their final card.


In the standard rules for Rummy, if the stock pile runs out of card, you turn the discard pile upside down without shuffling and use that as your new stock pile. However, in more recent rules for Rummy, they suggest that you do shuffle. Reason for this being is that a player could memorize the order of the cards in the discard pile, which could ultimately give them an advantage. You can play with or without shuffling. It is up to you and your party.

Another standard rule for Rummy is that you keep reusing the discard pile if the stock pile runs out of cards until somebody wins. This may lead to problems. If each player has one card left, and the opposing player(s) has a card that someone else needs, they won’t discard that card. They will keep drawing from the stock pile and discard the same card in that turn. This is cause the game to become endless. So, a suggested alternative rule you could use is to set a limit on how many times a discard pile may be reused as a stock pile. Once that limit is up, the game ends, the players add up their points, and a new game begins.

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