Rummy is an exciting collection of game variants renowned for identical matching-card games and similar rule-based gameplay. The most basic aim in any version of rummy is to construct runs or combinations that will be used to whittle down the opponents score to a lower number. Rummy is played by two or more players with each player facing a tableau composed of two, four, six or eight people in a circular room. The object of the game is simple – form runs by matching up cards from all the round tables. Rummy is usually played with a single deck of playing cards but the base game variation allows the use of three decks.
A wide variety of versions of rummy have emerged from Africa to Australia. All feature a variant of the basic rules of regular rummy but vary greatly in the way they are played. Variations may include playing with wild cards or using a restricted or unlimited deck of cards. There are also versions that allow players to add extra cards to their hand after they have been played, a feature available in many of the more popular online versions of this classic game.
At the heart of each variation of rummy are its matching rules and the general scoring system. A round of rummy generally consists of two rounds of betting whereby each player may choose to either raise or fold. Once both rounds of betting have ended, then the player may choose to draw from the discard pile and make a new run or match. Whichever rule variant is applied, the goal is the same – knock the other players off their hands and win the game.
In the English version of rummy there is one rule change that differs slightly from the traditional version. Rather than having the piles of cards arranged in an ascending or descending order, they are arranged in a “power” format. This means that the first ten cards in the sequence are worth the same amount as the last ten, and the first suit is worth as much as the second suit. If any card is worth more to the dealer than it is worth to the players, it simply gets put into the discard pile instead of being kept for use in the subsequent games.
Some variations of rummy require players to have certain cards in their pile at all times. These cards are known as aces. The Ace is the highest value card in the deck, followed by the Queen, King, Jack and Deuce. At the start of each round of rummy, each player is dealt a single ace, king, queen or deuce card face up. Players may then choose to either call raise or fold. If a player calls, then they will receive two cards face up, one for themselves, another to be placed in the discard pile, and another card to be reshuffled into the deck.
Another variation of rummy involves the “royal” sequence. A player may take one card from the discard pile and any cards of the same suit that are in the same deck. If a player does not have a card of the same suit, they must call, raise or fold. If a player bets, then the game is considered to be a “bet”. In the standard game of rummy, the highest value card is called the “king”. The “queen” is worth ten points, the “deuce” is worth eight points, and the “king” is worth six points.