The origins of Rummy are centuries old. The game, alongside with its many variations, is likely one of the most popular card games on the planet today. Rummy belongs to a group of card games that share related guidelines and traits, which are known as ‘draw and discard’ games.

The game is generally played by between and four players but often more. The object of the game is for players to eliminate all their cards through a sequence of rounds and turns.

A turn consists of actions:

Picking up a card, and discarding a card at 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 normally choose to discard the card that’s of least value to their hand or a high value card when it comes to penalty points – the latter being calculated on the end of a game.

On receiving cards in every spherical, the player must decide on their usability in ‘melds’ (‘units’ and ‘runs’). So as to throw down cards, players must kind sets or runs and lay them down within the meld area. One card needs to be kept in the hand in order to complete a turn.

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

Set – at least three cards, with the identical worth, from completely different suits.

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

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


Rummy has many variations everywhere in the world. Your country will decide the type of Rummy variation played.

For example, in Europe Rummy is better 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 popular version. Within the Far East, it goes by the name of Mahjong.

To find out more information regarding modern rummy have a look at our webpage.