The rules of rummy: all the info for playing cards

Rummy is an exciting card game also for larger rounds, where you can help your luck with tactics. Since, as with almost any card game, there are some variations, it is always a good idea to agree on the appropriate rummy game rules at the beginning.

So that you can get started right away, we have summarized the most important and proven rummy rules for you here at a glance!

Contents of this article

The basics of rummy rules to start the game

  • Number of players:2-6
  • Number of rummy cards:110.Just take two normal decks of cards with 52 hands each + 3 jokers. With thisyou then start directly.
  • Playing cards per round:13 cards are dealt to each player at the beginning of the round
  • Stack on the table:1 face down pile to pick up cards, 1 face up discard pile
  • Action per player:Pick up 1 card, if necessary. Laying out or laying up cards, discarding 1 card .

What the Rummy rules are about:

Rummy is played in several consecutive rounds – the more players there are, the longer a round lasts. But you can always decide together how many rounds to play until the game is over. In contrast to the rummy rules, you can also decide the number of rounds spontaneously during the game.

The round is won by the first player to run out of rummy cards. The points of the remaining cards of the other players are counted and noted down. The complete game is won by the player with the fewest points.

You lay out your cards by forming matching groups and pairs and laying them out yourself or with others. The exact rummy rules for forming these groups can be found here:

"What must be collected to be able to lay out?" – These rummy cards belong together

These are the core rummy rules – the following sequences and groups can be laid out together:

  1. Groups (also called sets): Collect the same cards even of different suits, for example 3 kings or 4 x the card 4. It does not matter what suit (spades, hearts, clubs or diamonds) the rummy cards are in.
  2. Sequences (also called streets): A sequence is created when cards of the same suit (!) can be strung together seamlessly (example: 4♦, 5♦, 6♦, 7♦). It can be started in the middle.

Please always keep this rummy rule in mind: at least 3 cards must be laid out at a time.

So the goal of the game is, collect the corresponding sequences and groups, and then discard as many rummy cards as possible by laying out or laying in cards. Since there are only these two options, the rummy rules are fairly quick to internalize.

The core of the rummy game rules: The card values when laying out and

You can always lay out from a sum of 40 points in one or more groups. Add up your rummy cards as follows:

  1. The number cards 2-10 always have the exact value of their number, so 2 is worth 2 points, 8 counts for 8 points, etc.
  2. The court cards Have the following values:
  • Jack, Queen, King: 10
  • Joker: the amount of the replaced card
  • Ace: 1 at the beginning of a sequence, 11 at the end (after the king) or in a set.
  • Four aces thus add up to 44 points.

Rummy Rules: Here’s how a round goes

Preparations and start

One player shuffles the rummy cards well and deals 13 cards to each player in turn, clockwise. The remaining rummy cards are placed face down in a pile in the center of the table to form the receiving pile. Place the top card face up next to it – this is where the discard pile is formed. There are no more rummy game rules to follow when preparing the game!

All players pick up their rummy cards, hold them fanned out in their hand and make pairs and sequences as the round progresses. The player next to the dealer starts and picks up a rummy card; either face down from the pickup pile or face up from the discard pile. The player checks whether this card is useful and chooses a card to place on the open pile. Now it is the next player’s turn.

Laying out

The most important rummy rule: As soon as a player whose turn it is can form pairs and/or sequences of at least 40 points with his or her hand, he or she can lay out. The player discards only those rummy cards that add up to at least 40 points. These must be in groups of at least 3 cards together.

Once a player has successfully laid out, Whenever it’s his turn, he can add to already laid out cards, as soon as he has one or more suitable cards. The game is over when a player has discarded all rummy cards. Note the points of the cards that the other players still have in their hand: they decide the placement at the end. The new round starts with the next player clockwise.

Special feature of the Rummy rules:

When counting the remaining cards at the end of the round, the joker has 20 points and the ace 11. All other cards are counted in the same way as during the game.

Variations: Special Rummy Rules

To make the game easier or harder, you can vary and adjust the rummy rules according to your preference. Here we present some popular variants that you can decide together in advance:

Simplify laying

A rummy rule to Simplify is the possibility of laying out already from 30 points. A side effect of this: as a rule it shortens the game rounds.


The additional rummy rule of tapping makes the game more exciting and dynamic. Knocking also gives a player whose turn it is not, a chance to get a freshly laid card (but only this card). It is thereby at the same time probably the most popular individual rummy game rule. So if you want to pick up a discarded card of a fellow player, but it’s not your turn, you quickly and clearly tap the table with the knuckles of your fist. This must be done before the player whose turn it is has drawn his card. This player then also decides whether to give the knocking player the rummy card from the discard pile or to take it himself. As soon as the tapping player is allowed to pick it up, he must also immediately discard a card. For this card may then be tapped. Another important rummy rule in this variation: Only the player who knocks first has a turn. So it pays twice to be attentive and fast.

Exchange jokers

If jokers are laid out, a player may replace them and pick them up himself if he has the matching card in his hand or drawn. The only condition: He must have already laid cards himself. This rummy rule is also very common.

If you have any questions about the variations and the interpretation of the game, we recommend to have a look at the detailed paragraphs (PDF) of the German Skat Association about the Rummy rules!

And so that the fun and the time spent together are in the foreground, it is always important to briefly agree on the rummy rules at the beginning of the game. So nothing stands in the way of a nice game evening any more.

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