How to Play Russian Rummy

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Russian Rummy is an interesting variant of traditional rummy along with some twists of contract rummy. The objective of the game is to arrange all in-hand cards into “books” or “straights” where a book is three of a kind (different suits but same rank). A straight is sequence of four cards of the same suit.

Each game consist of five hands, and each hand ends when any one of the players discard all his cards. The scores from the five hands are added for each player and the player with the lowest score is declared as the winner.

  • This game can be played by 2 and 8 players. When two players play, a single deck can be used. If more than two players are playing then 3-4 decks can be used as per the requirement.
  • All cards are shuffled properly and the dealer of the game deals the cards to all players. Place the rest of the cards face down at the center of table to form a “drawing pile.”
  • The topmost card from the drawing pile is picked up and placed at the right side to start the pile discard. The game is initiated by the player to the dealer’s left, who will draw a card either from the top of the discard pile or from the drawing pile. And has to discards one card to the discarded pile.
  • If another player wants the card at the top of the discard pile, they can try to claim it, but it is up to the player who is drawing to decide whether he wants the card. If he decides he doesn’t want the card, the player that claimed that card may pick it up, but also must pick up a card from the draw pile as a penalty. Play continues in a clockwise motion round the table
  •  The turn moves in clockwise direction and all players follow this order of drawing and discarding card.
  • If all cards in the drawing pile have been used before the game ends, the discard pile is shuffled and put face down on the table to form a drawing pile.
  •  The game gets over when a player has laid down all the in-hand cards or when there are no cards left to draw either from the discard pile or the drawing pile.
  • At the end, points of all players are summed up and the player with the lowest score is declared as the winner.
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