The Rummy family of games

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Some of the most popular games around the world are Rummy-type. Draw and discard rules apply – players draw a card (or tile) from the Stock or from the discarded pile, then potentially meld a combination, and finally discard a card.

There is just something about the objective of the free Rummy games that is so satisfying. In Rummy online, you are collecting and matching cards either with the same value or with the same suit. And if you do it faster than your opponents, you win.

Rummy games appear to have originated in China. Despite their widespread popularity today, games of this type were unknown outside Asia until the 20th century.

We will focus on 6 of the most famous card and board games with this set of rules – from Gin Rummy to Mahjong.

1. Gin Rummy

In Classic Rummy, you are not allowed to close the game while holding cards that are not part of melds (called deadwood cards). Gin Rummy differs from that rule. If you have deadwood cards with a combined value that is 10 or less, you can finish the round. This move is called knocking. You can declare Gin if you do not have any deadwood cards, thus winning more points.

Another thing worth mentioning is that you can not meld until someone Knock. Be careful if you decide to Knock because this is not a guaranteed win. Other players can have a better hand than yours, with the sum of the deadwood cards being less.

Find more information on how to play Gin Rummy.

2. Canasta

Canasta has many variations worldwide. Although the game originated in Uruguay, a specific version of Canasta is mainly played in North America. Other card games called Samba and Hand and Foot are also known variations. We are going to talk about the rules of the so-called Classic Canasta, as they are easier to understand.

Usually, Canasta is a card game for 4 players. They use two standard decks of cards, jokers included (108 cards in total). The goal is to create melds of sequences and sets of cards, but there are some twists. Jokers and 2s are wildcards and can be used as substitutes when creating collections. Players are allowed to meld three or more cards. An example of a valid meld with four cards is J-J-J-2.

A seven-card meld is called a “canasta”. If you don’t use a wildcard, it is called a natural (clean) canasta and rewards more points. To end the game, your team must have at least one canasta on the table.

Read the full rules of Canasta.

3. Rummy 500

As the name suggests, this variation of Rummy ends when a player reaches 500 points. The game is also known as Pinochle Rummy, 500 Rum, or Joker Rummy.

Rummy 500 is played with a 52-card deck and 2 jokers (54 cards total). When creating a meld, jokers may be used as wild cards. In contrast with the Classic Rummy, you are able to draw more than one card from the discard pile or even might pick a card further down (not the top one), but there are limitations. You either meld the card right away or take all the cards discarded since.

So the game can be fun, but you have to choose your strategy carefully (just like Crazy 8s).

4. Burraco

Burraco is a card game similar to Canasta. The two main variations are Italian Burraco and Brazilian Buraco. There are a few differences between them, so we will explain how to play the Italian Burraco version.

Burraco is played by 4 players (forming 2 teams) with two french decks of cards plus the jokers. After each player receives 11 cards, two sets of 11 cards are put in the corner of the table. They are called “pozzetto” and have a role in the gameplay. The rest of the cards form the Stock.

When a player melds or lays off all of their cards, then they can take the pozzetto. The round continues until one of the 3 situations occurs: closing (going out), only 2 cards are left in the Stock or stalemate. Stalemate happens when the discard pile contains just one card, and every player decides to take it and then discard another (meaning there is no progress made, no new melds).

5. Rummikub

This is a board game played with 106 tiles divided into 4 colors – usually blue, red, black, and yellow. The tiles have a number between 1 and 13. Each number appears twice per color (4x13x2 = 104 tiles). The set includes 2 joker tiles which players can use as substitutes when creating melds.

Although it’s a board game, the gameplay of Rummikub is very close to the Classic Rummy. Players can meld runs and groups of tiles. A sequence of tiles of the same color is called a run, for example 6-7-8-9 red tiles. A valid group is made from tiles with the same value but different colors.

Players are allowed to manipulate melds that are already on the table. They can add new tiles to existing runs/groups or even split them to form new ones.

Variations of the game can be found around the world with different names, for example, Remi in Romania and Okey in Turkey.

6. Mahjong

Mahjong is definitely one of the most popular board games. It originated in China in the nineteenth century and has spread worldwide since the early twentieth century. Usually it is played by four people, but there is also a famous solitaire version. The design of the game tiles is based on Chinese characters and symbols, thus giving mahjong a truly distinguished look.

Although mahjong is а matching type game, the fact that there are 7 different types of tile sets can make it a little overwhelming for the new players. The total number of Mahjong tiles used in a game is 144.

Each player starts with 13 tiles. Players take turns drawing and discarding tiles until they have a legal hand. This type of hand consists of four sets of melds and 2 pairs (called an eye). To achieve a legal hand, players must use 14 tiles – 13 plus the last drawn.

7. Conquian

Conquian is a card game typically played by two players with a 40-card deck. The goal of the game is to form valid combinations of cards through melds. A valid meld consists of three or more cards of the same rank or in sequential order within the same suit.

Players draw one card from the stockpile or discard pile each turn and then discard one card to the discard pile. When a player draws a card and can’t immediately use it to form a meld, they are required to discard it right away.

To win, a player must meld a total of 11 cards. If a player runs out of cards in their hand but has only melded 10 cards, they must continue drawing until they can meld one more to achieve victory.

Here at VIP Games, we have a wide variety of card and board games to choose from. Whether it’s from the Rummy family or not, you will definitely have a good time playing.

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