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Rummy – By no Means just for old Gentlemen!
What would we have done without playing Rummy? Do you remember the countless rounds of Rummy on warm summer evenings, gray afternoons in autumn, and long winter nights? Within the family circle, with grandparents, parents, children… All important business had already been discussed, coffee or hot chocolate with cake were had. What now? A small leather case was fetched from the shelf and opened. After taking the cards from the two compartments and a quick discussion it was decided: We’re playing Rummy today!
Combine and stay on top of things!
“Rommé”? This name has a French ring to it and the game is played with French playing cards. Though rommé is not a French word, but a German one! The game it refers to is called Rami in France and Rummy in Northern America. It has a long history, similar to other card games like Skat, Mau-Mau, Doppelkopf, Solitaire, Spider, Canasta and Schafkopf.
While Skat has a traditional cracker barrel nimbus, Rummy is a game for everyone! What counts is the ability to combine, a skill well trained while playing. Players must stay on top of things, managing 104 playing cards and a couple of highly adaptable Jokers, capable of taking on any other card’s identity, and all their potential combinations.
The game is designed for two to six people. When playing with friends or family, it’s best played in a group of four, ideally at a larger table. You will need that space for the melds. Rummy for two is suitable for beginners. Playing with six people might result in bigger breaks between your turns but the challenge increases with the number of melds.
Brainteasers are best solved by oneself. In the same vein, Rummy is played without alliances, which would be found in Skat or Doppelkopf, for example.
The round can be won by playing all cards received during the round in melds and discarding the last card from the hand onto the discard pile.
The first meld (a combination of at least three cards with a score of at least 30 points in total) enables the player to play further melds, laying off cards by adding them to existing melds and swapping Jokers. The set of rules is vast yet manageable. Feel free to have a look at our manual, where everything is explained in detail. For a short overview and explanation of individual terms check out our glossary. If a question comes up while playing, our in-game help is there for you.
When a player discarded the last card, they exclaim “RUMMY” – they won the round! When playing several rounds, the losers’ penalty points get listed: The score of the cards left in each player’s hand informs their negative points. The winner gains the sum of all the scores as positive points. A table of Rummy ends either after a previously determined number of rounds or when one player reaches 500 negative points. The player with the highest score wins the table!
Jack, Queen, King, Ace…
Rummy requires two sets of French playing Cards of 52 cards each. They have a neutral pattern printed on the backside and pips, images and symbols in the front.
The pip values range from two to ten, according to the number printed on each card. The Ace is special: It scores one if played before the pips. If played after the King, it scores 11.
The cards’ scores matter in two ways:
- When playing the first meld, a total score of at least 30 points must be reached.
- The cards left in the players’ hands at the end of a round determine their respective penalty points. The winner gains the sum of these scores as positive points.
The picture cards or face cards – Jack, Queen, and King – score ten points and complete the natural cards of the deck.
Each pip card, Ace, and face card carries symbols, commonly called suits: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades. The suits are another determiner for possible combinations in melds.
The Joker – funny Allrounder
Added to the 104 cards of the French decks, six Jokers complete the Rummy deck. The Jokers are the catch when playing Rummy, which makes them the most desired cards.
There are varying depictions of the Joker. The most common is a funny, young man in a fool’s costume, playing the mandolin, sitting cross-legged. He is enjoying life and has every reason to do so since he is as adaptable as a chameleon.
Adaptable means: He can replace any other card in the game to complete a meld. But careful! Once played in a meld, he can be replaced with the fitting cards by any player. They can then use the Joker for replacing a card missing in one of their combinations. It is possible to place several Jokers in one meld if it is clear which cards they are replacing.
The Joker’s score is adaptable as well: When scoring the first meld, the Joker scores the value of the card it replaces. But if a Joker is in your hands by the end of the round, it scores 20 points – more than any other card.
Want to play Rummy but can’t find fellow players? No problem! Just play by yourself, or rather: Play with Rummy fans all over the world, easy and comfortably online!
This virtual world of Rummy is the perfect supplement to your living room table to gather around with family and friends. Playing at the virtual card table can help refresh your knowledge before your next time to shine at a night of Rummy in the family circle!
For relaxed playing without worrying about the cost, Rummy Palace is the place to be: Playing here is for free, guaranteed. Enjoy the fun free to play, well designed, and on many platforms!
At the Rummy Palace, cross-platform means playing on any device – on your home PC or on the go with your laptop, tablet or smartphone! This means you will always find fellow players – no matter the time of the day, where you are, and where the others are!
Just try it out and play a round!