Among my favourite childhood memories are many “late night” game sessions of rummy - one of the perfect three player card games. I don't remember how late it actually was, but the lights were on, it was dark outside, and my cousin had some incredible skills in shuffling the deck. But, now with the online Rummy version that too with 24/7 availability, you can play the game on the go. You no longer have to gather at a particular place or convince your family or friends to play your favourite game, especially in today’s busy life.
Ever wondered why rummy is so prevalent in India? The first reason is the availability of the game in various apps. The second reason is it gives you a more significant choice of players. Apart from playing with family and friends, you can also play with random players across the world. Although you are playing with total strangers, the only thing that is binding together is the common love and passion for the game.
What’s interesting in playing online rummy is its variations. There are many rummy variants which rule the aspect of boredom and hands out interesting choices for rummy enthusiasts to maneuver their skills according to the best of their capability. The variants have undoubtedly spiced up the games adding a zing to it. Each of the rummy variations has its own set of rules and at different fun levels. However, all types of rummy are basically about card melding, i.e. grouping of the same cards.
There are no definite rules to play this game, as different countries have different sets of rules to play. Due to the difference in the rules, there are different types of rummy games which often creates confusion. So, to avoid confusion and expand your knowledge among the variation of rummy card games, let’s discuss them.
Variations of Rummy card game
13 card rummy
For decades, 13 card rummy has been an intrinsic part of the Indian household. It is also known as Indian rummy, and the game is fun and dead easy to learn. 2 to 6 players can play this variant with a single deck of cards and a single joker is drawn randomly as a wild card. It is a blend of gin rummy and 500 rummy. The joker can be used as a substitute for any card. The use of jokers adds an exciting twist to the game of rummy. The objective is to meld all the cards into valid sets and sequences. It is mandatory for a player to make one pure sequence (without the joker) to win the game. The thirteen card rummy is the variant that has taken the world by storm.
21 Card Rummy
The 21 card rummy is a very fascinating and challenging card game. Unlike other rummy types, 21 card rummy requires a lot of concentration. It is not easy to analyze the opponents move as there are more cards. It is played between 2 to 6 with 3 decks of cards and makes use of an extra group of jokers known as an upper joker and lower joker apart from the wild joker.
When forming sets and sequences, jokers are used to substitute as a missing card. At the commencement of the game, the joker is randomly picked, which is known as wildcard joker. So, if 7♣ is the wild card joker, 8♣ will be the upper joker, and 6♣ will be the lower joker.
This rummy variant uses two types of melds - Trinala and Dublee. Trinala is a group of 3 cards of the same suit and the same rank. For example, 9♠9♠9♠ is a Trinala. This will be considered as a pure sequence. Dublee is a combination of 2 cards of the same rank and suit. For instance, 3♣3♣ is a dublee. A joker cannot be used with any other card to form Trinala. To win a 21 rummy game, you must make at least three pure sequences and other remaining cards into valid sets and runs before any of your opponents.
Gin rummy is mostly popular among the European countries, but with technology, this variant is reaching players all across the globe. It is a two-player game, played with a single deck of cards with no joker. Among all other variations of rummy card games, gin rummy is said to be the faster one. Also, it is quite simple in terms of its gameplay. The dealer deals each player 10 cards. Like other rummy variants, a player has to meld their cards into valid sets and sequences before their opponents.
But unlike other variants of rummy, there is one more way to finish a partial game rather than declaring a show. First, a player can declare their partial game by ‘knocking’. They can knock only if they have deadwood (unmatched) cards equal to or below 10 points. The other way is when a player can declare gin (known as ‘Going Gin’). This means a player melds all of their cards and has zero deadwood count, they can declare gin and will earn an additional 25 points bonus to the deadwood count of their opponent.
Thus, to win the game in this way, a player must aim at melding all their cards. The Ace holds 1 point, all face cards, i.e. jack, queen, and king have a value of 10 points each and the remaining cards are valued to their respective face value. You must learn the best Gin Rummy strategies to follow in order to be successful in this game.
Contract rummy is an exciting version of the rummy card game and is based on gin rummy. This rummy variant is easy to learn if you know how to play gin rummy. It can be played by up to 8 players with both printed and wild jokers which makes the game more exciting when played with family and friends. It is a game that changes from hand to hand! On each hand, players have a different “contract” to fulfil in order to go out: some hands need a certain number of sets, whereas others require a specific number of runs.
The game is played for seven deals where the rules of each deal change in every round. For each deal, there is a different contract that must be fulfilled. For instance, the first deal of the contract is two sets and two sequences, and another may require one set and one run. The game continues until the players meld all of their cards.
Each player deals with 10 cards in the first four rounds and 12 cards in the last three rounds. The objective of this variant is to be the first player to meld and lay off your cards into valid sets and sequences. In contract rummy, the Joker cards are valued at 25 points; the Ace carry 15 points, the face cards: Jack, Queen, and King cards carry 10 points each, and the remaining cards correspond to their respective value.
Rummy 500, Pinochle rummy, 500 Rum, or Michigan rummy is another popular variant of rummy game. In this variant, the gameplay is fast and furious. Rummy 500 is a point rummy game with each player having 13 cards. The main difference from the actual standard rummy is the players have a chance to draw more than one card from the discard pile, but in order to do so, it is essential to pick all the cards on top of the desired card. To master this game, you can easily learn how to play Rummy 500 in just 13 easy steps.
You can play this game with 2 to 8 players. In rummy 500 points are scored by melding, that is, by laying down certain combinations of cards from your hand. It is played over multiple rounds, and the points are scored for the cards that are melded and deducted for cards that are not melded. The objective of the game is to be the first one to reach the target score, i.e. 500 points to win the game.
Kalooki rummy has many dialects like Caloochie, Kaluki, Kalougie, Kaloochi, and Kallochie. It is a version of Contract rummy and is very popular in Jamaica. Also known as Jamaican rummy people play different variants of this game, i.e. Super Kalooki and Baby Kalooki. It can be played with 2 to 5 players. Two decks of cards are used along with 2 printed jokers. 13 cards are given to each player. The joker carries the highest value, followed by the Ace, royalty cards and other number cards. People of all ages play this game for fun and entertainment. The goal is to be the first player to meld all your cards into sets and runs and laying them down.
Shanghai rummy is also known as California rummy. It is a variant of contract rummy with almost the same rules as well as gameplay of gin rummy. It is the oldest form that can be played with 3 to 8 players. For 3 to 4 players, 2 decks and 1 joker is required. For 5 to 8 players, 3 decks and 2 jokers are needed. The dealer will deal 11 cards to each player. The joker carries 20 points, the Ace has 14 points, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten carry 10 points, and the remaining cards hold their face value. The goal of the game like other variants is to meld the cards into valid sets and sequences, and the player with least points wins the game.
If you're looking for a quick and simple form of 13 card rummy game that ends up in a few rounds, go for points rummy. It is fast-paced and keeps you on your toes. Between 2-6 players can play this format of the rummy variant with 2 deck of cards. The chip value is pre-decided in this variant.
Whether you are playing with 2 players or 6 players, the pace at which the cards are picked and discarded to form sequences and sets are pulsating. The speed at which this variant rummy is played, you are cautious, your mind is processing, and your heart is pounding with enthusiasm. Millions of players choose to play this format because they can win real money in a very short time.
For a relaxed afternoon or a fun evening, deals rummy is the perfect way to spend your time. Deal rummy is perfect for those who prefer to play skill-based games as well as with time on their hand. In this game, between 2 to 6 players can play. For two players, 1 deck of cards are used, and for more than two players, 2 decks of cards are used. In this rummy variant, the number of deals is predetermined, and the chips are distributed. The player with the highest number of chips at the end of the game is the winner.
If you are a professional rummy player, pool rummy certainly has an element of nostalgia for you. Remember the time when you used to play pool rummy with your friends in the club. Building that passion, many online rummy free games platforms are introducing it in digital format. Although the fundamentals and the rules remain the same, the excitement increases to another level. In this rummy format between 2 to 6 players can play. All fellow players at the rummy table, pool as their entry fee and no buy-in, the entire winning amount goes to the winner.
The objective of the game is to avoid going to 101 and 201, depending upon the game you select. This is because any player who gets 101/201 points or more gets eliminated from the game. The game continues until all the players are eliminated and the one who with the minimum number of points wins the game.
Oklahoma Gin Rummy
Oklahoma gin rummy is a popular version of gin rummy and between 2 to 4 players can play. A standard deck of 52 cards is used along with one joker randomly selected. In this format of rummy, if there are 2 players each player gets 10 cards each, and if there are more players, each gets 7 cards. The face cards have a value of 10 points each, the Ace holds 1 point, and the number cards have the value of their respective card value. The objective is the same as other variants, i.e. to be the first one with no cards left, having laid down all of your sets and sequences. The first player to do so is the winner of the game.
In this format, the game will end in either of three ways called knock, undercut and gin. A player can ‘knock’ when they declare all the cards in hand and the remaining cards are equal or less than the face value of the opening card. ‘Undercut’ is when any of a player has knocked their opponents out, they get a chance to meld their cards in order to decrease their deadwood points. They can only add to the melds of the player that knocked. A player can go for ‘gin’ when they have melded all of their cards and discard the final card into the discarded pile. The player wins the game, and there is no way to undercut this procedure.
Rummy is a game of skills, strategies and tactics. The more you play, the finer you get at it. Apart from online rummy strategy, it is essential to know about the rummy tips and tricks in order to increase your chances of winning. So, pick any variant of your choice and enjoy playing online rummy anywhere, anytime from the comfort of your couch.