In rummy all players play for themselves, there are no teams.
All 52 cards from the standard French deck are used in the game. Depending on the session options, the Low Ace or High Ace rule is applied:
- In Low Ace, the rank of cards in which sequences can be formed is:
A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K
- In High Ace, the rank of cards in which sequences can be formed is:
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A
The card values used for calculating the hand score are as follows:
- Face cards (K,Q,J) are worth 10 points each.
- Aces are worth 1 or 15 points. depending on the session options (Low Ace or High Ace, respectively).
- Number cards are worth their face value – for example, a six is worth 6 points, a four is 4 points, and so on.
- The first dealer is selected randomly.
- The dealer for the next games is the next one in a clockwise direction.
- Dealing is in a clockwise direction
- The number of cards dealt depends on the number of players:
10 for 2 players
7 for 3 and 4 players
- After cards are dealt, the remaining form the Stock.
- The top card from the Stock is placed separately face-up, forming the beginning of the discard pile.
Playing the cards
Players take turns in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player to dealer’s left.
Each turn consists of the following parts:
The player must begin by taking one card from either the top of the Stockpile (without showing it to other players), or from the top card on the discard pile, and adding it to his/her hand.
- Melding or Laying off.
When possible, the player could do some of the following:
If the player has a valid group or sequence in his hand, he may lay one such combination face up on the table. The player can meld one or more combinations in a turn. Melding is optional; players are not obliged to meld, even if they can.
- Laying off
The player could add cards to groups or sequences already melded on the table. There is no limit to the number of cards a player may lay off in one turn.
Identically to melding, laying off is optional; players are not obliged to do it even if they can.
At the end of the turn, the player must discard one card from his hand and place it on top of the discard pile face-up:
- If in this turn the player took a card from the discard pile, it is not allowed to discard the same card in the same turn. Discarding it in the next turn is allowed.
- It is allowed to discard the card that was taken in the same turn from the Stock.
- If after discarding there are no more cards in the player’s hand, the player becomes a winner.
If, while playing, the stock runs out, the next player may choose to draw from the discard pile or to turn the discard pile over to form a new stock. After forming the new stock, the top card is drawn to form the new discard pile, just like after the deal. Consider that exhausting the stock for a second time would end the round.
The first player who remains without cards wins the round. When this happens, the values of the cards that remained in the hands of the losing players are added. This is the number of points the winner scores for the round.
If you plan your turns carefully you can win a round with Rummy, thus scoring twice more points. To announce Rummy, during your last turn you meld or lay off all your cards (except one), and then you discard your last card. Consider that you can only do this if you haven’t melded or laid off any card in your previous turns.
When the round ends because the stock was exhausted for a second time, the winner would be the player whose hand has the lowest value. In this case, the value of the losing hands is reduced with the value of winner’s hand. Then values calculated this way are added – this is the number of points scored by the winner. For example, assume player’s hand values are 6 (Alice), 15 (Bob), 7 (Carol), and 21 (Dan). Alice is the winner. The values of the losing hands are reduced by 6, so they are 9, 1, and 15 (respectively). Alice scores 25 points.
The session goes on until a player reaches the winning score, for example, 150 points. This player wins the session. For custom games, the winning score can be changed, for example to 100.