How to Play Rummy: A Detailed Guide to Rummy Rules

how to play rummy


If you you someone who wants to enjoy a round of Rummy but doesn’t understand its rules, or wants to level up their game, then you've come to the right place. Here, you will find all the information on how to play Rummy online. So, don’t hesitate to try your hand at an online Rummy game, even if it's your first time.

The objective of Rummy

The objective of Rummy is to arrange the cards dealt to each player into valid combinations of sets and sequences. 

You will aim to form at least two sequences, out of which one must be a "pure sequence" (a sequence without any wild cards or jokers). These combinations can consist of runs (consecutive cards of the same suit) and sets (groups of cards of the same rank but different suits). The first player to successfully meld all their cards into valid combinations is declared the winner of the game.

How to form sequences?

A sequence in Rummy comprises 3 or more consecutive cards of the same suit. There are two types of sequences:

  • Pure sequence: To form a valid hand in Rummy, you must create at least one pure sequence out of the 13 cards dealt. A pure sequence consists of consecutive cards of the same suit, without the Joker cards.
  • Impure sequence: An impure sequence includes cards of the same suit but allows the presence of Joker cards. While forming your hand, you must have another sequence, either pure or impure, alongside the pure sequence to declare a win.

How to form sets?

In Rummy, a 'set' refers to a combination of three or more cards of the same rank but different suits. Players can utilize wild cards and jokers to form a set. Examples of sets include combinations like A♥ A♣ A♦ and 9♦ 9♣ 9♠ 9♥, among others.

How to play Rummy card games?

  • In Rummy, the number of players typically ranges from two to six, as per the game rules.
  • The number of decks used in each game depends on the number of players involved.
  • At the start of every Rummy game, each player is dealt 13 cards. The remaining deck is placed face down, forming the Closed deck, while the top card is placed face up to create the Discard pile.
  • Players must begin their turn by drawing a card from either the Closed deck or the Discard pile.
  • Having drawn a card, the player now has 14 cards temporarily and must end their turn by discarding one card onto the Discard pile.
  • The chance then passes to the next player. The game progresses in turns until a player completes the game by forming valid sequences and sets.
  • Points for other players are calculated based on the value of the cards left in their hands.

Quick tips to win the Rummy game

Here are some valuable tips and tricks to enhance your skills in 13-card Rummy, while adhering to the game's rules:

  • Begin by forming a pure sequence at the outset, as it is an essential requirement for winning.
  • Keep a close watch on your opponent's moves, noting their strategies to gain insights into the game dynamics.
  • Before declaring your hand, carefully review your cards to ensure you're not missing any potential combinations and to minimize the risk of losing.

Important terms to know for understanding Rummy rules

  • Joker Cards and Wild Cards: Special cards that can be used as substitutes for any other card in the game.
  • Rummy Table: The designated surface where the game of Rummy is played, typically a flat surface where players sit around.
  • Sorting of Cards: Arranging the cards in a systematic order to facilitate gameplay and strategy.
  • Deal/Round: A specific period during the game when cards are distributed to players, typically comprising several turns.
  • Dealing of Cards: The process of distributing cards to players at the beginning of each round or deal.
  • Meld: A valid combination of cards arranged in sets or sequences required to win the game.
  • Chips: In-game currency used to keep track of scores and bets in Rummy games.
  • Cash Tournaments: Competitive Rummy games where real money is at stake, often involving entry fees and prizes for winners.

Rummy Rules for Making a Valid Declaration

To make a valid declaration in Rummy, follow these simple rules:

  • Have at least two sequences: Arrange your cards into sequences. You need at least two sequences to declare.
  • Include a pure sequence: Ensure that one of your sequences is pure. A pure sequence consists of consecutive cards of the same suit without any jokers.
  • Arrange the remaining cards in sets: After forming the required sequences, organize the rest of your cards into sets. Sets consist of cards of the same rank but different suits.

Declaring without meeting the prerequisite of having at least one pure sequence and another sequence (which can be impure) is considered an invalid declaration.



SET 1 & SET 2

It Is Compulsory To Make To Win

NOT COMPULSORY (Can Make To Fulfill Minimum 2 Sequence Requirement)

NOT COMPULSORY (Can Make To Complete 13 Cards Valid Grouping)

3 Or More Cards Are Needed To Make A Pure Sequence

3 Or More Cards Are Needed To Make An Impure Sequence

3 Or 4 Cards Without Joker Are Required OR 3, 4 Or More Cards With Joker Are Required

The Cards Are Of The Same Suit And Are In A Consecutive Order

The Cards Are Of The Same Suit And Are In Consecutive Order But With Wild Card Joker Or Printed Joker

These Cards Have The Same Value But Are Of Different Suits

Joker Or Wild Card Cannot Be Used

Joker Or Wild Card Can Be Used

Joker Or Wild Card Can Be Used

How are points calculated in a Rummy game?

Common Rules for Point Calculation

Points in a Rummy game are calculated based on the value of the cards that players have at the end of each round. Here's a simple explanation of the common rules for point calculation:

  • Face Cards: Cards like Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces carry 10 points each.
  • Numbered Cards: All other numbered cards carry points equivalent to their face value.
  • Winner's Points: In some variants, the winner may receive points from the losing players based on the cards they hold at the end of the round.
  • Maximum Points: There's usually a maximum limit on the number of points a player can accumulate in a single round. Once this limit is reached, additional points are not counted.

 By totalling the points of the cards in hand, players can determine their score for that round. The player with the lowest score or who meets the winning conditions (depending on the variant being played) wins the game.

Point Calculation for Losing Players

In Rummy games, the points for losing players are calculated based on the cards they hold in hand that are not part of any valid sequence or set. Each card carries a specific point value, typically determined as follows:

  • Face Cards: Cards such as Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces usually carry 10 points each.
  • Numbered Cards: All other numbered cards carry points equal to their face value.

The losing player's score is calculated by adding the points of the cards in their hand that do not contribute to any valid sequence or set. The total points accumulated by the losing player determine their score for that round or game.

  • Ace, King, Queen, and Jack (face cards) each have a value of 10 points.
  • The numbered cards carry the same value as their face cards.
  • The score for every losing player is determined by the remaining cards in their hand that are not part of any valid combination (deadwood).
  • If a player decides to drop the game at any point, the initial drop value will be 10 points, and the middle drop value will be 30 points.

How are your winnings calculated in Rummy cash games?

In Points Rummy, all players receive points based on their melded hands. If a player has 2 correct and 2 incorrect hands, they will receive 0 points for each correct hand, while points for incorrect hands are determined based on the Rummy points system. The player with the correct declaration receives the sum of points from all opponents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you play Rummy with 2 players?

Yes, Rummy can be played with 2 players. Each player is dealt 10 cards in 10 Cards Rummy, while in regular Rummy, both players receive 13 cards.

How is Indian Rummy played?

Indian Rummy is played by drawing and discarding cards to form valid sets and sequences. A player wins by melding their cards into valid combinations before others.

Is Rummy illegal in India?

No, Rummy is legal in India, with online Rummy games being permissible in most states. Court rulings affirm its legality, as it's considered a game of skill.

Is Rummy a skill or luck?

Rummy is primarily a game of skill, with players relying on strategy and decision-making. While luck plays a role in card distribution, skill greatly influences the outcome.


In summary, knowing the rules of Rummy is crucial for enjoying and getting better at this classic card game. Understand the game's goal, card values, and how to make sequences to start playing confidently. Improve your skills by playing often, either online or with friends and family, to become better at the game. Pay attention to what your opponents are doing, predict their moves, and adjust your strategy accordingly to stay ahead. By following these tips, you'll not only become skilled at Rummy but also enjoy the experience more.

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