The origins of Rummy are centuries old. The game, along with its many variations, is among the hottest card games on the earth today. Rummy belongs to a gaggle of card games that share similar rules and traits, which are known as ‘draw and discard’ games.

The game is generally played by between and 4 players but often more. The thing of the game is for players to do away with all their cards by way of a sequence of rounds and turns.

A turn consists of actions:

Picking up a card, and discarding a card on the end of the turn.

A player can either pick up cards from the deck, or pick up the card that was discarded by the previous player. When discarding cards, players will often select to discard the card that is of least value to their hand or a high worth card in terms of penalty factors – the latter being calculated on the end of a game.

On receiving cards in each round, the player must decide on their usability in ‘melds’ (‘sets’ and ‘runs’). To be able to throw down cards, players should form sets or runs and lay them down within the meld area. One card must be kept within the hand in order to complete a turn.

Run – at the very least three consecutive cards from the same suit – a bit like a straight really.

Set – a minimum of three cards, with the identical value, from totally different suits.

When a player has no cards left in their hand – they win the game. The opponents left holding cards are penalised in line with the cumulative value of these cards.

Traditional Rummy can finish after one or three rounds. Players have two fundamental options – either to gradually lay down melds / units / runs as a way to reduce the risk of being ‘caught’ by an opponent, or attempt to lay down all their melds without delay, in a type of win called a ‘hunt’ win.


Rummy has many variations all around the world. Your country will decide the type of Rummy variation played.

For example, in Europe Rummy is healthier known as: Ramino, Rummikup, Remi, Kalooki, Chinchon, Okey, Bribas, Romme, Rummy 500 or Rami, depending on which country you’re from. In North America the game is known better as: Gin Rummy or Oklahoma Gin. In South America the game is best known as: Burraco, Canasta or Conquian. In Australia and New Zealand, ‘Tonk’ is the favored version. Within the Far East, it goes by the name of Mahjong.

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