21 Card Rummy Game

How to Play 21 Card Rummy


21 Card Rummy, a variant of Point Rummy, is an engaging card game for 2 to 6 players. With three decks of cards and the introduction of Up and Down Jokers, it offers a more complex gameplay experience than traditional rummy.

21 Card Rummy requires players to form 3 pure sequences and utilise extra Jokers for optimal strategy. This blog serves as your comprehensive guide, offering insights into how to play, the intricate rules governing the game, and a detailed explanation of the point system. By the end of the read, you'll be fully equipped with the fundamentals to engage in the game.


The primary goal in 21 Card Rummy is to strategically arrange or meld the 21 Cards dealt to each player into valid sequences or sets. To achieve victory, players must aim for a minimum of 3 pure sequences, each comprising at least 3 cards. In the absence of 3 sequences, the hand is counted for points, with exceptions made for pure sequences and Jokers. By adhering to these objectives, players can navigate the game effectively and improve their probability of winning the game.

What Is 21 Card Rummy

21 Cards Rummy is an interesting and fun variant of rummy. The standard rules of online rummy games apply to this game too. Thus, there is no change in the nomenclature or the way cards are arranged or melded or declaration is done. 

The only change is that in the 21 Card rummy game, there are additional points that a player gets if the value cards are there in a player’s hands. In this manner, a player who has a full hand can minimise his losses, if he has these value cards in his hand.

Common terms in the 21 Card Rummy Game

In order to be well-versed with the 21 Card Game Online, it is important to understand a few basic concepts or terminologies related to the game.

  • Tunnela: Tunnela is comprised of 3 matching cards. It is a pure sequence in this game.
  • Dublee: Dublee is the pair of cards of the same suit & same face value.
  • Toss: This option is used to decide which player will make the first move.
  • Joker: A Joker can be used as a substitute for any other card to make a sequence or a set.
  • Upper Joker: The card which ranks over the cut Joker of the same suit.
  • Lower Joker: The card which ranks under the cut Joker of the same suit.
  • Sequence: It is a combination of 3 or more cards of the same suit.

How To Play 21 Card Rummy

How to play 21 Card Rummy – Step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Deal the Cards

  • Begin by dealing 21 Cards to each player at random from three standard decks.

Step 2: Understand Winning Combinations

There are various ways to win in 21 Card Rummy:

  • Three pure sequences of the same suit (without a Joker) and the remaining cards form sets and sequences
  • A group of eight Jokers
  • Eight dublees (pairs of cards of the same rank and suit or two Jokers) in separate groups
  • Three tunnelas (sets of three cards of the same rank and suit) in different groups

Step 3: Utilise Jokers

  • Designate the topmost card from the closed deck as the Joker
  • All cards of the same rank across suits become Sterling Jokers
  • Three printed Jokers are Cut Jokers. All these Jokers can replace missing cards in sets and sequences
  • Identify Upper and Lower Jokers based on the designated Sterling Joker

Step 4: Form Marriages

  • If you have a Joker (of the same suit) along with an Upper Joker and a Lower Joker, you form a Marriage
  • Each Marriage earns you 100 points in 21 Card Rummy

Step 5: Aim for Points

  • In 21 Card Rummy, scoring is crucial. Ensure your score doesn't fall below 120 points to avoid disqualification

Step 6: Declare Your Hand

  • Once you've arranged your cards following the specified rules, declare your hand to signify your attempt to win the round

Step 7: Strategic Play

  • Adapt your strategy based on the cards you receive, the designated Jokers, and the moves of your opponents
  • Remember, winning a round of 21 Card Rummy involves intricate combinations and strategic thinking, making it more complex than other rummy variants

21 Cards Rummy Rules

A winning declaration in 21 Cards Rummy Online includes the following combination:

  • Form a minimum of 3 pure sequences, with the remaining cards allowing combinations of valid sets or sequences
  • A "tunnela" is considered a pure sequence in this game, defined as three cards of the same suit with the same series. For example, 3♥3♥3♥ is a valid tunnela
  • Ensure at least 3 tunnelas are created from separate groups, leaving room for various combinations with the remaining cards
  • In 21 Card Rummy, a "dublee" consists of a set of two cards with the same rank and suit, like 9♣ 9♣
  • Eight dublees are equivalent to three pure sequences. These pairs are arranged in individual groups during the declaration
  • Keep an eye out for the special Star Cards: A♠️ & 2♣️.  Each Star card carries 10 points and cannot be treated as a Joker
  • Include up to 8 Jokers in a single group during the declaration phase
  • No specific order is required for arranging the Jokers

How To Calculate Value Card Score

In 21 Card Rummy, understanding the calculation of value card scores is integral to determining a player's performance. Here's a detailed explanation of how value card scores are calculated:

  • Points Assigned to Number Cards: Number cards (2–10) are assigned points corresponding to their face value. For example, the 2 of Hearts is worth 2 points, and the 7 of Diamonds is worth 7 points
  • Points for Picture Cards: Picture cards, including the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack, carry a fixed value of 10 points each
  • Jokers' Value: Jokers, both printed and wild, are valued at 0 points in the scoring system
  • Unmatched Cards (Deadwood): Only unmatched cards contribute to the point total. Calculate the points for each player's unmatched cards
  • Points for Valid Sets and Sequences: Players who successfully meld all their cards into valid sets and sequences receive zero points for the round. This includes having a pure sequence (without a Joker) and impure sequences (with Jokers)
  • Scoring for Losers: Losers accumulate points based on the total value of their unpaired cards. The points from unpaired cards are added together to determine each non-winning player's round score
  • Score of the Winning Player: The victorious player, who successfully melded all their cards, attains a score of zero for the round
  • Cumulative Scoring: In multi-round games, points are cumulative. The total of each player's round scores contributes to their overall score
  • Deciding the Winner: At the conclusion of the game or a predetermined number of rounds, the player with the lowest cumulative score is declared the winner. Consistency and strategic play contribute to achieving the lowest cumulative score over multiple rounds

What are Value cards?

The Value Cards are like Jokers because they can be used as normal Jokers, but they are also “valuable” in the sense that if a player possesses any of these cards, all the other players in that game, will give certain additional points for these value cards, to the player who has these value cards in their hand irrespective of the fact that the player has declared or not in that particular game. Similarly, all other players will get points for the value cards they have in their hand, from each of the players, at the time of playing that particular game.

Example of Value cards:

Let us assume that 5 of Hearts is the cut Joker that has been opened in a particular game.

Then all 5s are Jokers, as in a normal Rummy game.

  • 6 of Hearts - is a value and carries 20 points. Each 6 of Hearts in each player's hand will get 20 points from all the other players. It will also be called Paplu
  • 4 of Hearts - is a value too and carries 20 points. Each 4 of Hearts in hand will get 20 points from all the other players. It will also be called Nichlu
  • 5 of Hearts- is a value and carries 20 points . However please remember, we are playing with 3 decks of cards and hence there will be only two 5 of Hearts. Each 5 of Hearts in hand will get 20 points, from each of the other players in that particular game. It will also be called Titlu

The most interesting aspect of the 21 Cards Rummy game is, if a player in a particular game has - 4 of Hearts, 5 of Hearts, and 6 of Hearts, then it is called Marriage Hand. Marriage in a Rummy game will attract 100 points. Each marriage in hand will get 100 points. This marriage is also treated as a pure sequence.

How The Winning Amount Of 21 Rummy Online Is Decided?

The winning amount can be calculated by multiplying the total score of the winner with the rupee value of the point and by subtracting the rake amount from the multiplied figure or amount.

Value Cards Used in the 21 Card Game

Value Card Points (1 card)

Sterling Joker


Paplu (Upper Joker)


Taplu (Lower Joker)


Marriage Cards


Printed Joker




Joker Trinala


Ace Of Spade


2 Of Club


The points are also based on the drops that will be discussed at the end of this section.

While all these points are calculated, along with the drop, in order to count the score of the non-winning players, there are some exceptions to these rules too! Do remember those exceptions before doing the final calculation.

How to calculate the winning amount?

Winning amount = Multiply the positive score of the winner with the point value and subtract the rake amount from that!

How does drop work?

In 21 Cards Rummy, understanding the concept of dropping is vital, providing players with a strategic option to play safe. Players in the 21 Cards rummy game have the flexibility to opt for different types of drops, each with its distinct impact on the game. 

The first type, known as the "First Drop," occurs when a player decides to drop out even before picking or discarding cards, typically in the initial round. Opting for the First Drop incurs a penalty of 30 points for the player. 

On the other hand, the "Middle Drop" comes into play when a participant chooses to pick one or more cards and subsequently decides to drop. In this scenario, the player faces a penalty of 70 points. 

These drop options add an extra layer of strategy to the game, allowing players to assess their hands and make informed decisions to minimise potential point deductions.

  • Initial Drop: Initial drop penalty of 30 points
  • No values are honoured, either in the hands of the person opting for the initial drop or values in hand of other players on the table
  • Middle Drop- Middle Drop penalty of 60 points
  • All values are honoured - either in the hands of the person opting for initial drop or values in the hands of other players on the table
  • Leave Seat- Not allowed after the game starts
  • Exit Room- : Full points levied i.e. 120 points. Always allowed, a warning is shown if player leaves the room after dropping
  • No values are honoured - either in the hands of the person opting for initial drop or values in the hands of other players on the table
  • Like cut Joker, even value cards cannot be picked from the discarded pile except the very first time

Frequently Asked Questions

How do You Play 21 Card Rummy?

In 21 Card Rummy, players aim to form 3 pure sequences or unique combinations like 8 Jokers or 8 dublees. Arrange cards strategically, utilising Jokers, and declare to win. Manage points wisely for victory.

What Are The Rules of 21 Card Games?

In 21 Card Rummy, players must create at least 3 pure sequences, along with combinations of valid sets or sequences. Unique elements include tunnelas, dublees, and diverse winning declarations, adding complexity to the traditional rummy rules.

Is Rummy The Same as 21?

No, Rummy and 21 Card Rummy differ. While both involve creating sequences and sets, 21 Card Rummy introduces additional complexities with unique combinations like tunnelas, dublees, and diverse winning declarations, setting it apart from traditional Rummy.

What is a Cut Joker?

In 21 Card rummy, one card is selected as a ‘wild Joker’ right at the beginning of the game. That card is called a cut Joker.

What is Dublee?

Dublee is the pair of cards of the same suit & same face value.


In conclusion, 21 Card Rummy stands as an exciting variant of the classic game, offering a distinctive blend of complexity and strategy for 2 to 6 players. 

Its unique combinations, such as tunnelas, dublees, and marriage hands, make it more engaging than traditional rummy. Moreover, the inclusion of value cards and the nuanced scoring system adds layers of excitement, ensuring every move is a critical decision. 

Through this blog, we hope you’ve gained insights into the rules, scoring system, and value cards, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate this card game effectively. 

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