Learning how to play Kalooki 51 Rummy is relatively easy if you already understand the basic principles of Rummy Games. The slightly different rules of this game make it more fun and exciting than most others. Below you will find the general rules of Kalooki 51 Rummy; these should be reviewed before starting game play.
Rules at a Glance:
Number of players: 2-4
Number of decks: 2 decks with Jokers
Objective: Be the first player with no cards left
Meld requirements: 3 or more cards
Difference between sets and runs: a set has up to 4 cards a run can have as many as 14
Rules of turns: the game play consists of drawing and discarding
In Kalooki 51 Rummy, a card can also be taken from the discard pile; the stipulation is that only the card played last can be picked up. Another interesting rule is that a player may indeed make a third move during his/her turn. They can build on cards already melded or meld their sequences to the melding area.
The reason the game is called Kalooki 51 Rummy is that you have to have a meld that has a total of at least 51 to make a play for the first time. The addition of the jokers also adds to the interest factor in this game. The Joker takes on the point value of whatever card it is being used as at the time (if you meld 4’s and use a joker the point value will be 4); it can also be valued at 13.
When the game is ended all players with cards still in their possession has to count up the cards and the total is the amount of the penalty. This penalty determines the rankings of each player. The player who has the lowest penalty point total comes first. This is where the joker becomes an unwelcome card. If you have it in your hand at the end of the game it is valued at 25 points toward your penalty. The ace is counted at 11 points and the royal cards are valued at 10 each.
In Kalooki 51 Rummy there are two ways to win the game. You can go out, or as they say “go Kalooki” by melding all the cards at one time. This way you give your opponents an additional 25 points in penalties or you can gradually meld cards from turn to turn and become the first one to get down to zero cards. In the game of Kalooki 51, if you meld as you are going to “go Kalooki” you cannot meld onto any preexisting melds of any other players. The winner receives 75% of the pool and the rest is distributed based on number of points.