Rummy Rules

The rules of rummy vary slightly based on the specific version you’re playing. Nonetheless, the core rule of the rummy card game stays the same, with just minor differences in how points are calculated.

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Rules for Playing Rummy Online

Here are the various rules for playing rummy:

  • Basic Objective
  • Card Value Rules
  • Joker Rules
  • Sequence Rules
  • Rules for Sets
  • Guidelines for Discarding, Dropping, and Showing
  • Rules for Calculating Points
  • Frequently Asked Questions

The Fundamental Goal of a Rummy Game

In a rummy game, every player receives 13 cards. The goal is to form valid sequences. Based on rummy rules, sequences are divided into pure sequences (3 or 4 cards in order from the same suit), impure sequences (3 or 4 consecutive cards using a joker), and triples (3 cards of the same rank, but from different suits). To win in any rummy variant, you must have at least one pure sequence in your hand.

Rummy Card Value Rules

In Rummy, cards are ranked from low to high as follows: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and King. The face cards, which are the Jack, Queen, and King, are each worth 10 points. The Ace is flexible; it can be worth either 1 point or, when used in sets, it can act like a face card and be valued at 11 points.

Joker Rules in Rummy

In rummy, a joker can be a printed joker card or a card chosen at random at the beginning of each game. If the game uses two decks, then two joker cards are used. The joker card is very flexible in rummy; it can stand in for any other card. This lets players finish an impure sequence by using the joker in place of a missing card.

Sequence Rules in Rummy

In rummy, there are five types of sequences:

  • Pure Sequence
  • Impure Sequence
  • Triples
  • First Life
  • Second Life

Pure Sequence

In the game of rummy, a pure sequence consists of three or more cards in consecutive order from the same suit, placed together as a run or group. This is a crucial part of the game because a player cannot declare a win without having a pure sequence. For instance, 9♥ 10♥ J♥ or 5♠ 6♠ 7♠ 8♠ are examples of a pure sequence.

Impure Sequence

An impure sequence is a group of three or more cards in a row from the same suit, with one of the cards replaced by a Joker. For example,

  • 2♦ 3♦ Q♠ 5♦ (Here, Q♠ acts as a joker)
  • 10♠ 4♥ Q♠ K♠ (In this case, 4♥ is the joker)


Three cards that have the same rank but different suits are called Triples. For example, the Ace of Diamonds, the Ace of Spades, and the Ace of Hearts together make a triple.

First Life

In a rummy game, the pure sequence is known as the first life.

Second Life

In the game of rummy, the term “second life” refers to either a second pure or impure sequence you need to form.

Rules for Sets

In Rummy, a set refers to a grouping of three or four cards with the same rank but different suits. It’s essential to remember that Joker cards can be included in sets. Yet, the game rules state that sets are only recognized as valid once a player has formed both a pure sequence and an impure sequence.

Also, check out: How to Play Rummy?

Rules for Discarding, Dropping, and Showing in Rummy

The fundamental guidelines for discarding, dropping, and showing in rummy are as follows:

  • Guidelines for Discarding
  • Guidelines for Dropping
  • Guidelines for Showing

Rules for Discarding Cards in Rummy

In Rummy, each player starts with 13 cards. To play their turn, a player picks a card from either the discard pile or the draw pile. Afterwards, they have to put one card back into the discard pile. The next player can then choose the top card from that pile.

To win, a player must

discard their last card face down and announce their victory by saying “Rummy,” then show their cards to everyone.

Drop Option Rules

In Rummy, if a player feels they’re unlikely to win, they can choose to drop out to reduce their penalty points. Dropping means leaving the game. Dropping before picking any card costs 20 points. If a player drops after their first turn, the penalty increases to 40 points.

Show Rules in Rummy

A player ready to declare their hand in Rummy, after creating valid sets and sequences, can ask for a Show. This requires having 14 cards, setting one aside face down for the declaration.

The player must then organize the other 13 cards into sets (cards of the same rank in different suits) and sequences (cards in order). A mistake in this process results in an 80-point penalty.

Rules for Calculating Points in Rummy

The way you score points in Rummy changes depending on the version you’re playing.

In the game, cards are given points from highest to lowest as follows: A (the highest), then K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (the lowest).

  • The winner’s score works like this: The player who successfully makes a valid declaration, which includes one pure sequence and a mix of sets and sequences, earns 0 points.
  • To calculate the winner’s score, you use this formula: (Total points of all opponents) x (Value of the point in money) – Platform Fee.

Let’s explore how we calculate the winner’s score with an example:

Imagine three players are involved in a game where points are worth Rs 2 each. When player 1 wins by declaring rummy, the other two players lose by 20 and 40 points. As a result, the winner earns Rs 120, which is calculated as 2 times the sum of 20 and 40 points.

Additionally, players receive penalty points for any cards they haven’t grouped. For instance, if a player holds the cards 6 of Hearts, 10 of Spades, and Ace of Clubs, the total penalty points would be 26, based on the point values of the individual cards.


If a player lacks a pure sequence in their hand, the points from all cards will be summed up. However, if the player has a pure sequence, only the points from the unarranged cards are counted as a penalty.

Summary of Rummy Playing Rules:

Primary Objective
Form valid sets and sequences by arranging cards.
Number of Decks
2 standard decks of 52 cards.
Number of Players
Played between 2 and 6 players.
Melding Rules
Create sets (same rank, different suits) and runs (consecutive cards, same suit).
Wild Cards
Order of Cards
A (highest), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (lowest).
Pure Sequence
Consecutive cards of the same suit without jokers.
Impure Sequence
Discarding Rules
Draw a card, then discard one to maintain hand size.

FAQs on Rummy Game Rules

In Indian rummy, each player gets 13 cards. The goal is to arrange these cards into certain groups and declare them before anyone else. On their turn, a player must draw a card from either the open or closed deck and then discard a card onto the open deck.

Indian rummy, also known as 13-card rummy, is a game for 2 to 6 players that uses a standard deck of cards along with two printed jokers.

The golden rule of rummy is to first create the pure sequence, as it’s a crucial step towards making a valid declaration.

In nearly every version of rummy, each player receives 13 cards. However, there are a few exceptions, such as the 21-card rummy, where players get 10 cards instead.

In Rummy Game, when a player calls for a show, they signal their readiness to display their cards on the table. This move is made whenever they’ve managed to form a valid declaration, which consists of one pure sequence and either a pure or impure sequence, or sets. However, if a player is unable to achieve a valid declaration, they will incur an additional 80 points to their final score.

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