Lesson 2: Talk About Your Rummy Rules

Spiele Palast
Lesson 2: Talk About Your Rummy Rules

Which Rummy rules do you know? Short deck, first meld with 40 points or no first meld at all, cyclic sequences, strict groups, knocking?

Not bad if you know all these terms! But there is a catch: Some of your fellow players will not be on that same page as you. The Rummy variant you have known all your life is not the standard everywhere and might even be a thing of rarity. That is why it is so important to clarify which rule set applies to your table before playing. A lovely evening with friends should not end in arguments, after all.

Which Rules Apply at the Rummy Palace?

When playing Rummy online at our Palace, all players will see if and which custom rules apply to the table at the beginning. That way, we avoid misunderstandings.

Our basic game relies on the rule set that is most common in Germany. That means 110 cards – 6 of which are Jokers – and two to four players. And each player starts with 13 cards in their hand.

Rummy variants come in many forms: They affect the utilized cards, start conditions, rules for playing cards, winning requirements, and finally, even the scoring. You can also combine many of these rules, which results in plenty of exciting game modes that we do not want to keep from you, of course! That is why you can choose from a multitude of custom rules at the Rummy Palace. Combine them to create the rule set you are used to, or try out new styles of playing Rummy.

Play a Bit Different

In the game, you will see the button “Create Table”, where you can select which rules are in place at your table this time if you have a Premium membership.

Rummy Menu: Custom Rules
At this table at the Rummy Palace, all custom rules that go together are selected. You could also swap the rules concerning the first meld and the Jokers.

Of course, you can play at tables with active custom rules anytime without having a Premium membership, simply by joining. You can tell if a table at the Palace comes with custom rules by checking for the red fan of cards in the table list. Upon clicking the card fan, you will see a display of active custom rules and other table settings. When joining that table, you will see the table info once more before the game starts. And during play, you can check it whenever you want to, using the respective button at the screen margin.

Table Info in the Lobby of the Rummy Palace
By clicking the red card fan, a window like this one will open which lists all active custom rules among other things.

The Custom Rules at the Palace

We will make our way through the Rummy variants at the Rummy Palace with the course of the game as a guideline. Even before the game starts, different preferences come up already!

Different Cards

With our basic Rummy rules, you are playing with two decks of French-suited playing cards and six additional Jokers. That means each of the 13 ranks (Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace) occurs twice in each of the four Suits (Clubs, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds). That checks out at 104 cards, and after adding the Jokers at 110. With any number of players, each player receives 13 cards each.

Rummy Icon: Short Deck

Short Deck

You are using only half the cards in this Rummy variation – one deck of French-suited Rummy cards, i.e., 52 cards and three Jokers. Thus, there are also fewer hand cards: Two players get ten each. Otherwise, the number is seven. Additionally, there is no score threshold for the first meld.

Rummy Icon: No Jokers

No Jokers

All Jokers are removed from the deck when using this custom rule. Instead of 110 cards, the basic game comes with 104 cards now. You can also combine this rule with Short Deck, which then leaves 52 cards in the game.

Modify the First Meld

After agreeing on the cards in use, it gets intense once more, as opinions differ on the value of the first meld. If you are not playing with a Short Deck anyway, you can either raise the threshold for the first meld or leave it out entirely.

Rummy Icon: 40 Points for First Meld

40 Points for First Meld

The score requirement for your initial meld of each round is raised from 30 to 40 points with this custom rule.

Rummy Icon: Without First Meld

Without First Meld

There is no score requirement for the first meld of each round at this table.

Melding, Adding Cards, Drawing

Now, let us move on to the playing field: Without custom rules, groups can contain each suit only once and they are complete with four cards once no more Jokers are among them. The order of cards in a group is arbitrary.

Sequences consist of 13 cards at most. The Ace is either at the beginning (before the Two) or the end (following the King); it never lies between two other cards.

You are relatively free when using the Jokers. They only cannot outnumber natural cards in any meld.

You receive new cards only by replacing a Joker or drawing a card at the beginning of your turn. Of course, there is plenty of room for variation!

Rummy Icon: Cyclic Sequences

Cyclic Sequences

With this custom rule, the Ace can also sit between other cards in sequences – between the King and the Two. But sequences are still limited to 13 cards at most.

Rummy Icon: Strict Groups

Strict Groups

Here, the order of suits in groups is specific: Clubs, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds must always be followed and cannot be interrupted. Thus, you need to pay extra attention when placing Jokers: Clubs – Joker – Hearts is allowed, as only Spades is missing, which is replaced by the Joker.
On the other hand, the sequence Joker – Clubs – Spades is not allowed, as Clubs is the first suit of the order. Hence, the Joker cannot replace any card before it.

Rummy Icon: Strict Jokers

Strict Jokers

In this variant, you can neither discard Jokers, nor have two consecutive Jokers in a meld. Before swapping a Joker in a group with your hand card, the group must be complete, i.e., contain four cards. And you must play swapped Jokers within the same turn. Immediately, the game gets trickier!

Rummy Icon: Knocking


With this highly popular rule, you can acquire more cards for more combinations: Even when it is not your turn, you can gain the last discarded card by knocking. Upon receiving the card, you must draw an additional card from the stock. The quickest player, the one who knocks or draws first, gets the card. Afterward, the next player in regular order can draw from the stock or the discard pile as usual. You cannot knock for a card you just discarded. Hence, this rule only makes sense with three and more players.

Rummy Icon: Training


This rule is the classic for practicing. With this custom rule, you are keeping any aspect of the game out of the league. That means, points you might gain here are not counted in the league, your rating will neither fall nor rise, and potential Chips are disregarded in the league. That way, you can learn how to play Rummy risk-free. Of course, you are still gaining experience points.

Winning Variants

We have reached the end of a round now. Here, you need to agree whether the last card should be discarded or placed on the playing field when finishing the game. And it would be best if you are scoring the remaining cards in the same manner, too.

Rummy Icon: Win Without Discarding

Win Without Discarding

To win, you usually have to discard the last hand card in our Rummy game. But with this custom rule, you can meld it or add it to a meld in the playing field, instead.

Rummy Icon: Casino Scores

Casino Scores

You can find the scoring info in our basic Rummy version in the respective chapter of our manual. The Casino Scores go about it quite differently:

  • As usual, the opponents lose points equal to the values of their remaining hand cards.
  • Like before, the winner gains points equal to the sum of all their fellow players’ hand card values.
  • Additionally, the winner now receives points for all the cards they placed on the playing field.
  • That score is evenly split among the other players as further penalty points.

The cards’ individual scores change as well: Jokers count zero points, pip cards from Two to Nine count five points, the Ten and face cards each count ten, the Ace 15, and the Queen of Spades scores 40 total points.

It is up to you – wild combinations for the most exciting game or your usual settings. All options are open to you, so, try them right away! If you would rather check out the standard rules in place at the Rummy Palace in detail, click and read our Rummy manual.