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How To Play

There are many variations of rummy, with each variation having slightly different rules, but the basic rules and customs of rummy remain the same regardless of the variation. Rummy is the worldโ€™s most exciting card game. You can play rummy at its finest by reading on and finding out how to play it.

To help you learn how to play the game of rummy, we have broken down the rules for you. Before you begin, make sure you understand what a standard deck of playing cards consists of. It will make understanding the rules and gameplay much easier.

A deck of playing card

The standard deck of cards has 52 cards in total (excluding the Jokers, which are supernumerary). These 52 cards are divided into four different suits, each consisting of thirteen cards. The suits are clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. A total of thirteen cards make up each suit, including an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and nine numericals of pip cards ranging from 2 to 10. They are arranged in a variety of ranks.

Number of players

Two to six players are required for most forms of rummy. However, in six player rummy, two decks of cards are used.


There is no more complicated than dealing. The players sit in a circle or near-circle arrangement to ensure everyone has a good view of the table and the cards lying on it. Depending on the variant, each player is dealt a different number of cards. In Indian rummy, for example, each player is dealt 13 cards. The undealt cards are kept face down on the table. This pile is known as the stock pile.

Players discard cards during the course of the game, which are kept next to the stock pile.


It is the playerโ€™s objective once the cards are dealt to arrange their cards in melds. The process of arranging the cards in melds is known as melding. There are two types of melds1.

  1. A set is an arrangement of three or more cards with the same rank. For example, 4 4 4.
  2. 2. Sequence or Run โ€“ A sequential arrangement of three or more successive cards that are all of the same suit, such as J Q K or 7 8 9 10. This arrangement may be pure (three or more consecutive cards of the same suit) or impure (three or more consecutive cards of the same suit, including a Joker).

In a meld, wildcards (or jokers) may represent any of the cards, and the meld will be valid if they are used.


When the players have received their hand of cards, they begin to build melds. Each player picks up a fresh card from the stock pile and discards a card to the discard pile. This continues until one player asks for a showdown.


Upon arranging his hand into at least two melds โ€“ one pure sequence and another arrangement arising from either a pure sequence or an impure sequence โ€“ a player may request a show of cards. If there are more than two melds, the third and fourth may be either pure sequences, impure sequences or sets.
When a show is called (usually by the player calling out โ€˜Rummyโ€™), the cards are validated. Deadweight cards are those that do not form a meld.


Rummy scoring involves adding up the points of the cards in the invalid melds.

Calculation of points

It is important to note that different variations of rummy have different scoring rules. However, Indian rummy follows the following scoring method.

  • Ace, King, Queen, Jack โ€“ 10 points each
  • Joker โ€“ 0 points
  • Numerical cards โ€“ Same points as face value

What is a drop?

Whenever a player leaves a game before it is over, it is called a drop. For each drop, the player loses the following points:

  • 1st drop โ€“ 20 points
  • Middle drop โ€“ 40 points
  • Last drop โ€“ 80 points

Declaring the winner

As each game is played, a score is added to the tally of each player. Games usually continue until a target score is reached.

Variants of rummy

There are several popular variants of this game, including:

  • Indian rummy (13 cards rummy with further sub-variants namely Points Rummy, Pool Rummy and Deal Rummy)
  • Rummy 500
  • Gin Rummy
  • 21 Cards rummy or Indian Marriage
  • Canasta
  • Rummikubh
  • Oklahoma Rummy
  • Kalooki Rummy
  • Contract Rummy

Rummy Duniya, the fastest-growing online Rummy platform in India, has over 10 lakh players playing on its platform, and has one of the most diverse rummy communities in India.

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