Rummy is a game of cards where you have to group or match cards of the same suit in sequences and sets. Many different forms of the rummy game exist, yet the main objective of any Rummy is to put together card combinations of three or four cards of the same kind or sequences of three or more cards of similar suits.
Rummy has become one of the most recognized and played card games globally. It is more popular as a family card game and can be played by anyone who understands the basics – i.e., without an age barrier. This unique card game uses the “draw and discard” system popular among card games, as the playing pattern allows you to get rid of the cards you do not need and take up new ones in a bid to build a winning combination of valid sequences or sets.
About Rummy Game – Where Did It Come From?
The origin of the rummy game has been known to have many theories. However, due to the authenticity of the facts behind each theory, choosing to select one and rejecting the others would be wrong. This section will deal with how to better know and understand the game by highlighting and discussing some popular theories/origins.
History confirms that before the 1800s, no record of the Rummy game existed, or rather, no record of origination at that time. Theories of the origin of this card game which are generally confirmed as authentic, are four in number – the Poker Theory, Rum Poker Theory, the Chinese Theory, and the Conquian Theory.
The first theory is the “Poker Theory.” This theory affirms that Rummy’s origin was a result of the evolution of the Poker card game. The cards are combined in similar patterns, sequences, groups, and concepts in both games but differ slightly from the rules that both games obey.
The second theory suggests that Rummy was derived from a game called “Whiskey Poker,” which later got renamed “Rum Poker,” gradually morphed to simply “Rum” and eventually was called the “Rummy.”
The third is the “Chinese Theory.” This theory suggests that Rummy has an East Asian origin due to its similar features to ‘The Chinese Mahjong Game.’ The Rummy shares similarities in drawing and discarding features with Chinese Mahjong and many other Chinese card games with origins dating from the 18th century.
The final theory is the “Conquian” or Spanish Theory. This theory states that “Rummy games” originated from the Spanish game called “Conquian,” introduced by the early Spanish indigenes while settling in the then New World. This Rummy theory further claims that this is the mother of all Rummy games and reveals what seems like the closest similarity with the recognized modern game of Gin Rummy.
Gin Rummy is statistically the most accepted variant of the Rummy games. It has known origins dating back from the first decade of the 20th century in New York. And according to reliable sources, it is confirmed that the addition of Gin to the usual Rummy is derived from its maker’s acute liking for Gin (alcoholic drink).
According to Rummy history, the game gained its first massive fame during the 1930s and 1940s, as it was adopted by Hollywood’s elite and famous movie stars as part of their acts during live filming as their choice leisure game.
The second time it gained massive acceptance was, ironically, during the Great Depression. Its reason for such massive acceptance was that it was easy to get and play. Most people then lacked the financial resources to play standard board and card games and had no other alternative than to choose from the limited game options available. It was at this time that other variations of the card game began to spring up. One of them was ‘Contract Rummy.’
Conclusively, the history of Rummy cannot produce a clear-cut answer to questions relating to its origin. This is owing to different opinions, and all available theories might be stories. Nonetheless, all the available theories are backed by genuine facts, locations, and world events and, as such, cannot be ignored.
Playing Rummy Online
It did not take long for rummy lovers to take the globally accepted to the most available medium known to man – the internet. Mobile versions have now become very common. Rummy has become so easy to access and play virtually by people connecting to online servers without the need to come together to a physical table. This development has certainly helped its popularity grow even further.
The internet eliminates its most obvious disadvantage – the distance barrier. Many mobile and online rummy players have reported that the replica of the rummy game gives them a sense of authenticity when they play. After all, the same rules apply, and the method of playing remains the same.
How to Play Rummy?
It is worthy of note that when it comes to Rummy, there is no difference between playing it online and physically. Rummy is played with a deck (or two) of cards, a standard deck consisting of 52 cards which are ranked in any other you choose: king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and most importantly, the ace. Two to six people can play rummy; as they say, ‘the more, the merrier.’
The most used and understood Rummy card game is the 13 Card Rummy. It follows the “draw and discard” method and is usually played with two card decks. It’s typically played by a minimum of two players and a maximum of 6 players with two card decks and two Joker cards.
Basically, in the 13-card game, each player is given 13 cards from a shuffled deck, and the game is won when at least one impure or pure sequence is grouped in each variant of the 13-card rummy that comes with a slight change in rules, or play pattern. The number of cards shared out decreases as more than two people play the game.
The rummy game is relatively easy to comprehend. Anyone who plays Rummy after a while gets interested and easily gets the hang of the basic playing style and rules. Typically, the game starts with one of the decks closed, making it impossible for the players to see the content of each card picked from the deck before picking.
The second deck is called the discard pile; it is an open deck with all discarded cards. The primary aim of every player competing in the game is to be the first on the table to make valid sets and sequences from the card deck successfully. A player can declare and win a game when the melds are formed.
The face cards (King, Queen, Jack, and Ace) carry 10 points each, while the other numbered cards hold points equal to the value on their card’s face. For example, the five hearts cards are worth 5 points, and the nine spade cards are worth 9 points. The player with zero or the least points is the winner of the card game.
What Is the Objective of Rummy?
To win in the game of Rummy, you must arrange your 13 cards and show them in legal sets and sequences. According to the rummy sequence regulations, each player must create a minimum of two sequences, one of which must be pure. The second sequence is allowed to be either pure or impure.
The most rummy sets you can create with the same cards from different suits are two. It would help if you had a pure sequence to make a valid declaration. You lose the game and receive penalty points if you declare without a pure sequence.
Each game begins with a coin toss to determine who moves first. Your strategy will differ depending on whether you are playing on a 2-player (1 deck) table or a 6-player table (2 decks). However, it would help if you prioritized creating a pure sequence regardless of strategy first.
Looking for more information on how to play Rummy and its rules? The 2-player table rummy game is fast-paced, and strategizing is easier because you can count your opponent’s discarded cards. Continue reading.
Some Important Rummy Terms
To understand and appreciate Rummy better, knowing certain terminologies is key. With these terminologies, you can relate with game players better and stand a better chance to win more. Below are some terms used in Rummy:
A table is a virtual or physical table where the rummy card game is played. According to rummy rules, each table seats about 2 to 6 players. Before you play, it is best to study your table and the different players that are on it.
A deck is made up of 52 cards and a printed Joker. Each deck contains four sets of 13 cards, each with a different suit rank – Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds. These cards include Ace, King, Queen, and Jack sets and other cards ranging from 2 to 10.
- Joker Cards and Wild Cards
To form sets and impure sequences, the Joker and wild cards can be used as replacements for the desired card. A printed Joker Card is included in each open deck. Following the distribution of the cards to the players, a wild card is chosen randomly. Aces are considered wild cards if the open Joker is a printed joker. At the game’s end, all these cards are worth zero points.
Sorting cards entail arranging the cards at the start of the game after they have been dealt. Each player sorts their cards in a specific way to aid in forming sets and sequences and prevent card mixing.
- Rummy Points
Each card in the game is worth a specific number of points. For example, the face cards Ace, King, Queen, and Jack each have ten points. The other cards have the same number of points as their face number. A 6♠, for example, is worth 6 points.
In Rummy, a sequence is a group of three or more cards of the same suit in a successive manner. A sequence can be both pure and impure.
- Pure Sequence
A pure sequence does not contain a Joker. On the other hand, a wild card joker of the same suit can complete a pure sequence.
- Impure Sequence
A sequence containing a joker card is always impure.
A set is a group of three or four identical cards of the same rank but different suits. A wild card or Joker can also be used to complete a set.
In a rummy game, a player can leave at any time but will be penalized; this is called a drop. The penalty for leaving the game at various points depends on the players’ agreement before the game starts.
Rules for Rummy Card Sequences
Knowing the rummy game sequence rules is important when learning how to play at the beginner level. Rummy card sequences are formed by grouping three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. Pure and impure sequences are the two types of sequences that are formed. Each player must make at least one pure sequence for a valid declaration, according to the rummy card sequence rules.
- Pure Sequence
A pure sequence is established by the consecutive arrangement of three or more cards of the same suit. The use of Joker to form a pure sequence, on the other hand, is restricted. Here are two pure sequence examples:
A♠ 2♠ 3 ♠ 4♠- A pure sequence comprising four Club cards arranged in sequential order. A Joker cannot replace any of these cards.
6♥ 7♥ 8♥ – A pure sequence of three Hearts cards arranged in consecutive order. A Joker cannot replace any of these cards.
- Impure Sequence
An impure sequence is created by arranging two or more cards of the same suit sequentially, along with one or more Jokers as replacements. Here are two impure sequence examples:
10♥️ J♥️ Q♥️ PJ – This sequence is impure because a printed Joker is used to replace the King of Hearts.
6♦️ 7♦️ J♠️ 9♦️ – The J card is the game’s wild Joker in this sequence, and it has been used to replace 8♦️, making it an impure sequence.
- How Do You Form Sets?
A set comprises three or four cards of the same suit but different ranks. Wild cards and Jokers can be used to replace a card while forming a set. Here are some examples of sets:
2♥️ 2♠️ 2♣️ 2♦️ – This set is made up of two various suits and does not include a Joker.
A♥️ A♣️ A♦️ – Three Aces of different suits are used to form a valid set in this set.
4♦️ 4♣️ 4♠️ PJ – This set is made up of fours of various suits and a printed Joker to replace four ♥️.
7♠️ 7♣️ K♥️ – This set is made up of seven various suits and K♥️ as a wild Joker.
It is important to note that using two or more cards of identical suit to produce a set is considered an invalid declaration. However, you can use more than four cards and a Joker to frame a valid set of five cards.
Here are some examples of invalid sets:
K♥️ K♥️ K♦️ – This is an invalid set because it contains two Ks of the same suit (hearts).
7♠️ 7♥️ 7♦️ 7♠️ Q♥️ – This is an invalid set because it contains two 7s of the same suit (Clubs). The Q♥️ is a wild joker that serves as the fifth card in the set, but it does not invalidate the set.
- How to Group Cards Online
Card grouping and sorting are important parts of learning how to play Rummy. After the cards are dealt, tap the sort icon while playing online. The sort tab will sort all the dealt cards and automatically group them by suit.
To organize the cards into sequences and sets, tap on each card to add to a group and tap on the ‘Group’ icon. You can also move cards around in the required group by dragging and dropping them.
Types of Rummy Games
Here are the main Rummy card game variations:
- Points Rummy
This 13-card Rummy variant is a variant in which players play for points after deciding on the prize (usually cash). A Points Rummy game is won by declaring and receiving a score of 0. The loser must calculate the remaining points in non-sets, and that score will be added. The winner will receive all the prizes or titles based on the total points of the opponents.
- Deals Rummy
The deals Rummy is another variant of the 13-card Rummy game. Typically, a fixed number of cards are given to each player. At the start of a deals rummy game, each player is given an equal number of chips to be used to play the game. Based on the scores, the winner of each round will receive chips from the losing player. The player with the most chips wins at the end of a deals rummy game.
- Pool Rummy
Pool Rummy is another Rummy variant. The variant is available in most mobile applications when playing Rummy online. Pool Rummy is a round-based game. Pool Rummy, like Points Rummy, is played until one of the players accumulates more than 101 or 201 points. In Pool Rummy, the points are deducted rather than added. As a result, Pool Rummy takes slightly longer to complete than other variants.
Features of Rummy-style Games
Any card game with matching and grouping cards is based on Rummy. Most Rummy-style games feature the two – six-player rule, the draw and discard method and the use of the Joker cards to serve as replacements for other cards while in play. Popular examples are Canasta, Cribbage, Old Maid, and Italian Canasta.
Are all Rummy Variants the Same?
No. Rummy variants differ because they each have their own set of rules. The general rule is to create pure and impure sets and sequences for a valid declaration.
Best Sites to Play Rummy Online
Playing online Rummy requires thorough analysis and strategic thinking to win the game. However, it is not rocket science, but it does require coordination with the other players and learning the art of dealing cards. You can earn money while playing Rummy on these websites and apps. If you decide to play for money, you have a chance to earn well as you improve. To earn big bucks, you’ll need skill coupled with good fortune, which is why understanding the game is essential.
It is advised you consider the following factors when selecting your go-to virtual rummy apps and sites:
- Fast withdrawals
- Easy deposits
- Multiple game options/variants
- Lots of player traffic and adequate server to carry high traffic load
- Good reviews from consistent players
- Secured banking options.
- Security system for an anti-fraud and fair policy
- Exclusive rewards and welcome bonus
- User-friendly software
- 24/7 customer support
Below are the top 10 online sites to play Rummy:
Many game experts have rated the Rummy game as one of the best games for everyone. People who have been consistent with the game have been discovered to have developed intellectually more than their peers who do not play the game. The game is known to help one discover their true personality and also help stimulate brain cells as a result of the skills needed for proper equipping to win rummy games.
The game is not luck-based as some people think it to be; certain skill sets must be developed to become an expert in the game. Some skill sets needed for proper equipping for a game of Rummy include; fast decision making, risk evaluation, persistence, and caution, amongst others.
So if you have been lacking these qualities and desire certain developments, you should consider boosting those qualities by engaging in Rummy games. It is also important to note that Rummy games are legal in many countries, so do not be scared to stake a couple of bucks when you play with your online buddies.