Indian Rummy is usually played by from 2 to 12 players. The deck used for the game is dependent on the number of participants. For 2 or 3 players, one deck is usually used. For 4 to 6 players, two standard 52 card decks are used. And, for 7 or more players, three such decks are used. In addition, for each deck used, one specific Joker is added. The ranking of the cards in the deck are the same in most other forms of Rummy (from high to low); Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace (low). As will be noticed, an Ace can be used as either high (above King) or low (below two) in this game. The Jokers are wild cards and can be used during the hand to represent any other card.
Determination of first dealer and seating positions is usually done using the following procedure. The deck is shuffled and each player draws one card from the face-down and shuffled deck. If any players draw a card of the same denomination, those players must discard that card and draw another. This continues until there are no tied cards. The player who draws the highest card has the first choice of seats at the table and will be the first player to receive cards in the deal. The player with the next highest gets second choice and this continues until all players are seated at the table. The player who ends up in the position to the immediate left of the player drawing the highest card becomes the dealer, thus ensuring the player to his right is the first to play during the hand. Thereafter, the deal rotates in a counter-clockwise rotation around the table.
Once seating positions and the first dealer are determined, the dealer shuffles and the player to his left cuts the deck. The dealer then distributes 13 card hands to each player in counter-clockwise rotation, one face-down card at a time. After dealing the hands, the dealer then takes the top card of the deck and places it face up next to the stock pile to start the discard pile. He then takes the next card from the stock and places it sideways and partially underneath the stock pile. All cards of the same denomination as this partially exposed card are considered wild along with the actual printed Jokers. If the card exposed is an actual printed Joker, then only the other printed Jokers remaining the deck are considered wild for this hand. The actual card itself that is exposed is not used further in the actual hand and is left partially covered by the stock pile.
The player to the immediate right of the current dealer takes the first turn. On a player's turn, he first draws a card. He may draw either the top face-up card of the discard pile or the top face-down card from the stock pile. He may then meld if able and willing and then completes his turn by discarding one card from his hand face up onto the discard pile. The turn rotates in counter-clockwise rotation around the table. A player drawing the top, face-up card of the discard pile may never discard that same card on the same turn. At the completion of his turn a player may declare "Rummy" if able.
The allowable melds in Indian Rummy are as follows:
Double Score on Printed Jokers
: One variant of this game doubles all scoring during the current hand if the card exposed to determine the Jokers is an actual printed Joker. Only the remaining printed Jokers are considered wild during the hand.
: Another variant is played in which all Aces are considered wild if a printed Joker is turned when determining the wild cards to be used for the hand.
No Additional Jokers
: In some games, only the printed Jokers are considered wild during the game. Thus, no card is exposed to determine extra wild cards for the hand.
: In this variant, the printed Jokers are not used and neither is any card exposed. Thus, in this version, there are no wild cards in play.
At the Block
: In standard Indian Rummy, if the stock is exhausted and no player is able to go Rummy the hand ends with no score. However, sometimes a variation is played in which, if the last card from the stock pile is drawn, all but the top card of the discard pile is turned over, shuffled and used to start a new stock pile.
21 Card Indian Rummy
Twenty one card Indian Rummy is a variant of Indian Rummy which is also widely played both online and at physical tables. It uses three standard 52 card decks plus three printed Jokers and is usually played by from 2 to 6 players. The ranking of the cards in this deck is the same as in the standard version of the game. Selection of seats and dealer are the same as in the standard Indian Rummy game as is the shuffle and cut. The deal is similar, however in the 21 card variant, each player receives a total of 21 face down cards to form their hand. Also similar to the standard version, after the players hands are dealt an additional card is exposed from the top of the stock and laid partially under the stock. This card will be used to determine which cards will be wild during the hand (see Wild Card section below). After this card is exposed the top card of the stock is turned face up beside the stock pile to start the discard pile.
The following are the allowable melds in this 21 card variant:
- Sequence: A sequence is three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive, numerical sequence. As Aces can be considered either high or low, an Ace can be played at the top of a Sequence after a King or at the bottom of a sequence before a two. However, Aces are never permitted to be in the middle of a sequence. A standard Sequence meld may also contain wild cards substituting for specific cards in the sequence.
- Pure Sequence: This is the same as a Sequence meld, however it may contain no wild cards.
- Set: A set consists of three or four cards of the same specific rank. Each card in the set must be of a different suit. A set may contain wild cards.
- Tunnela: A Tunnela is three cards of the same rank and same suit. A Tunnela may never include wild cards with the one exception that a meld consisting of three printed Jokers may be grouped together to form a valid Tunnela. A Tunnela is often also called a London or sometimes a Trinala.
: Although not usually a meldable combination of cards, 21 card Indian Rummy also includes the concept of a Dublee (which can earn various bonuses for a player at the end of a hand). A Dublee is two cards of the same rank and same suit. A wild card may not be used to form a Dublee, unless the Joker is being used as it's actual original printed value. In addition, two printed Jokers could be used to form a Dublee.
Jokers and Wild Cards
: Similarly to standard Indian Rummy the printed Jokers are considered as wild and can be used to represent a card of any other rank. Also similar to the standard variant, a card is exposed from the deck to help determine additional wild cards for the hand. In the 21 card variant all cards that match this card in rank and suit are considered wild cards. However, in addition to these cards, all cards one numerical rank higher (called the High or Upper Jokers) and one rank lower (called the Low or Lower Jokers) of the same suit as the exposed card are also considered wild.
There are several special cases for specific cards that might be exposed as the Joker. If an Ace were the exposed card, all printed Jokers, Aces of the same suit as the exposed Joker, Kings of that same suit and twos of the same suit would be considered wild cards during the hand. Similarly, if a two were exposed, all printed Jokers, twos of the same suit as the card exposed, Aces of that same suit and threes of that suit would be considered wild during the current hand. If an actual printed Joker is the exposed card, then all printed Jokers, the Aces of all suits, Twos of Spades (♠) and Kings of Spades (♠) are wild cards for the hand. However, in determining bonus points for Jokers (described below), only the Ace of Spades is considered a Value card and earns bonus points for those combinations.
As in standard Indian Rummy, a player draws and discards during his turn. He may draw either the top card of the stock or the top, exposed card of the discard pile. However, if a Joker is discarded by any player, it may not be picked from the discard pile. Thus, at any time the event the top card of the discard pile is any Joker the player must pick the top of the stock unless the Joker was the first card turned to start the discard pile.
: A player may also elect to drop on any turn during the game. If a player elects to drop on his first turn he earns a penalty of 30 points. If a player drops during any other turn of the game, he earns a 70 point penalty. A player who drops discards his cards to the side and takes no further action in the current hand.
: On a player's turn he may declare a Show. He does this immediately after discarding at the end of his turn. When doing so the player would then arrange his hand into valid melds face up on the table in front of himself. In order to declare a Show, a player must be able to meld their hands in one of the following combinations:
- Eight Jokers: If the player has a total of any eight Jokers that are not part of melds with any other cards, that player may make a valid Show. The remaining cards in the hand need not be in matched sequences or sets.
- Eight Dublees: If a player has a total of eight or more Dublees in hand, they may also declare a valid Show. The player's remaining cards do not need to be part of matched sets or sequences.
- Three Tunnelas: If a player has three or more Tunnelas in their hand, they may also declare a Show. The remaining cards in the players hand do not need to be part of matched sequences or sets.
- Complete Hand Meld: If a player is able to meld all 21 cards into legal melds he may also declare a Show. However, he must have at least three Pure Sequence melds in his hand in order to do so.
Once a player declares a Show and displays his melds, the remaining players then also show their valid melds of three cards or more. The hand is then scored.
: If a player has no meldable pure sequences in their hand at the end of the hand, that player would earn penalty points for all cards in his hand (including his meldable ones). If a player has one or two meldable pure sequences in their hand, all other cards except the cards contained in these sequences will be counted as penalty points. If a player has three or more meldable pure sequences in their hand, only deadwood (unmatched cards) would be counted. If all of a player's cards can be melded in valid sequences and sets, that player earns only 2 penalty points for the hand. If the player has 6 or more separate Dublees they would also earns only 2 penalty points for the hand. If the player has 7 or more Jokers which are not being used as part of another meld in the hand, only 2 penalty points are earned. In all cases, the maximum penalty points a player can earn on any hand in this way is 120. If the player has more than 120 points in cards in their hand, they only earn 120 such penalty points. The winner of the actual hand wins an equal sum to all such penalty points accrued by all other players during the hand.
The value of the individual cards found in the players hand as per these rules is as follows:
|Ace, King, Queen, Jack||10|
|2 to 10||Point value marked on card|
In addition the winner of the hand earns the points from each player who dropped during the hand; 30 points for each player who dropped on their first turn and 70 from each who dropped on a subsequent turn.
: In addition to the points the winner earns, all players during the hand can also earn bonus points for having combinations of Jokers in their hand (called Value cards).
- Same Suit Jokers: A player can earn bonus points for holding identical Jokers of the original turned up rank. Having one such Joker earns the player 10 points, having 2 earns 30 and having all 3 earns the player 50. Note that having all three same suit Jokers can only occur if the original card selected as the Joker for the hand was a printed Joker in which case the three Aces of Spades would be considered the same suit Jokers.
- Upper Jokers: Having the Upper Jokers in a player's hand can also earn bonus points. Having one earns a player 10 points, two earns 30 and having all three earns the player 50 bonus points.
- Lower Jokers: Similarly, having Lower Jokers earns a player bonus points. Having one earns 10, two 30 and all three earns 50.
In addition, special combinations of such Jokers can earn a player positive bonus points. These combinations (called Marriages or Jackpots) are as follows:
- One Upper Joker, one Lower Joker and one Same Suit Joker: This combination earns the player 100 points
- Two Upper Jokers, two Lower Jokers, and two Same Suit Jokers: This combination earns the player 300 points
- Three Upper Jokers, Three Lower Jokers and three Same Suit Jokers: This combination earns the player 500 bonus points.
Each Joker generally only earns points from one of the scoring categories. Thus a Joker used in a Marriage does not also earn points as an individual or group of Jokers. For each bonus positive point a player earns, each other player must subtract an equal amount from their own score. Players who have dropped, of course, do not subtract or add any additional points for the hand once they have dropped.
There are also several special cases regarding the scoring during a Show. If a player shows before some or all of the players have had a turn in current hand, all players who have not yet had a turn need only earn half the normal bonus points (the winner thus only earns half the bonus points from these players). The maximum penalty points a player could accumulate in that circumstance would be 60.
The game should continue for a set number of hands, after which time the player who has accumulated the highest total positive score is declared the game winner.
: Hand is a Rummy type game which has many similarities to Indian Rummy. It is very popular in several Middle Eastern countries such as Kuwait and Qatar. Distribution of cards, direction of play and movement of deal all rotate in a counterclockwise direction during the game. Hand uses either one or two standard 52 card decks, dependent on the number of participants in the game. For two or three players, one deck is used. For four or five players, two standard decks are shuffled together and used. Two Jokers are then added to the pack, regardless of the number of decks to be used in the game. The ranking of the cards in this game is (from high to low); Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. As will be noticed, an Ace can be either the lowest card in a sequential meld which also contains the two and three of the same suit or it can be the highest card in a sequential mode which also contains the Queen and King of the same suit. An Ace can never be a middle card in a sequence meld.
Any standard method can be used for determining seating positions and first dealer. Once this is determined, the dealer then distributes 14 face-down cards one-by-one to each player. However, the player to his immediate right, who will also have the first turn, is dealt one extra card, for a total of 15.
The player to the immediate right of the dealer then makes the first play. Each players turn normally consists of drawing the top card from the face down stock pile, declaring Hand if willing and able and then completing his turn by discarding to a discard pile (called the field) at the center of the table. A player may only draw the top card of the discard pile (field) on the same turn he will make an announcement or declare he has a "Hand". Or, if that player has already made an announcement during the current round, he may draw the top card from the field providing he uses it immediately to create a new meld or add to one of his own existing melds. For a declaration of "Hand", however, this will end the current round. Note also, that the first player on his first turn (who originally received 15 cards) does not draw a card since he initially received one extra card in his hand. This player simply completes his turn by discarding one of his fifteen cards to the field.
The goal of Hand is to be the first player to make a "Hand" and declare it. There are several different types of Hand, which are described further below. A player having such a "Hand" would thus be able to arrange all his cards into various melds and display them on the table.
The following are the valid individual melds which can be made in the game:
- Sequential Meld: A sequential meld is three or more cards in sequence of the same suit. It may contain any number of cards (up to 14).
- Value Meld: Three or four cards all of the exact same denomination but each a different suit.
A Joker is a wild card and may be used to represent any other card in a valid meld. Any specific meld may contain a maximum of one Joker. For purposes of determining the value of cards in melds or for calculating values of unmelded cards left in a players hand when another player announces Hand, the cards in the deck have the following value:
|Ace||Normally 11, but when used in a low sequence meld also containing the 2 and 3, the Ace has a value of 1.|
|King, Queen, Jack||10|
|2 to 10||Numerical value marked on card.|
|Joker||Value of card the Joker is substituted for. When found unmatched in a players hand, its value is 20.|
During a players turn, after his draw but before his discard, a player can announce that he has a "Hand". He is thus stating that he can meld the cards in his hand into one of the following "Hands" which normally wins the round and allows the player to subtract a number of points from his current score:
|Hand Name||Description||Hand Winners Score||Announced Scoring Value||Unannounced Scoring Value|
|Announcement||A player can form valid melds from his hand totaling 51 or more points. Normally, when making an announcement, a player still retains some currently unmeldable cards. A player making this Hand announcement discards one card to the top of the field to end his turn. However, the round does not end in this case until this (or another) player is able to meld all the cards in his hand. A player cannot make an announcement until each player has had at least 8 turns.||-30||Value of all cards in the players hand, with each Joker counting 20.||100|
|Regular Hand||A players hand consisting of his entire hand (14 cards) which can be formed into valid melds and a last card they will discard to the field which ends the round.||-60||Doubled sum of all cards in the players Hand||200|
|Colored Hand||A Colored hand is when all 14 cards in a players hand are meldable and are of the same color. In addition, the 15th card discarded to the table must also be of this same color. To be considered to be of the same color, all the players cards must be of either Clubs and Spades (black cards) or Hearts and Diamonds (red cards).||-120||Quadruple value of all cards in the players Hand||400|
|Suited Hand||A Suited hand is when all 14 of the players cards can be legally melded. In addition, these cards must all be of the same suit, as must the card which is discarded to the field to end the players final turn.||-240||Value of all cards comprising the players hand multiplied by 8||800|
|Joker Hand||A Joker hand is similar to a Regular Hand. The only difference is that the 15th card played to the field must be a Joker.||-120||Quadruple value of all cards in the players Hand||400|
|Double Joker Hand||A Double Joker hand is similar to a Regular Hand. The only difference is that the player must discard two Jokers to the field to end his turn and the game.||-240||Total value of all cards in the players hand multiplied by 8||800|
|Joker Colored Hand||A Joker Colored hand is similar to a standard Colored Hand. A Joker Colored hand consists of 14 meldable cards of the same color and his last discard to the field being a Joker.||-240||Total value of all cards in the players hand, multiplied by 8||800|
|Joker Suited Hand||A Joker Suited hand is similar to a standard Suited Hand. This hand must consists of 14 meldable cards of the same suit. The player's last discard to the field must be a Joker.||-480||Total sum of all cards in the players hand multiplied by 16||1200|
|Double Joker Colored Hand||Thirteen meldable cards all of the same color, with the last two cards being discarded to the field to end the players turn and the round being the two Jokers.||-480||Total sum of all cards in players hand multiplied by 32||1600|
|Double Joker Suited Hand||Thirteen meldable cards all of the same suit, with the last two cards being discarded to the field to end the players turn and the round.||-720||Total value of cards found in the players hand, multiplied by 64||3200|
When a player has one of the Hands after drawing on his turn, he may thus announce he has a "Hand" which immediately ends the round.
When a player makes a basic "Announcement" (but not a "Hand"), the game continues. However, after an announcement, the announcing player must place all his applicable melds on the table which must total at least 51 total points. That player then continues the game, and may create new or add to his own melds. He may not, however, announce any of the "Hand" values once making this basic announcement. He wins the hand by, after continued play, melding all 14 of his cards and discarding his last on one of his turns.
A player may make an announcement during his turn even if another player has already made an announcement during the same round. Once a player makes such an announcement, they may continue to play valid melds or add to his own melds already on the table. No player may make a basic announcement until after each player has had at least 8 turns during the current round.
Normally a player cannot add to an opponents melds, however there is one exception to this rule. If a player has the exact card for which the Joker was substituted for in a meld displayed on the table, they may exchange that card for the Joker, adding it into their own hand for use in a meld of their own. If a three card Value meld contains a Joker, the Joker may not be exchanged, as it is not specifically clear which of the exact cards the Joker is replacing.
The player making one of the "Hand" announcements then subtracts the applicable points from the chart from his current score. A player who has previously made a regular announcement during the current round may not make a Hand announcement, but players who have not made any previous announcements during the current round may.
For each opponent who has previously announced during this hand, that player must add to their current score the value listed in the column of the chart labeled "Announced Scoring Value". For players who have not announced during the current round, they must add to their score the value in the column of the chart labeled "Unannounced Scoring Value".
Although most games have various penalties for making irregularities or mistakes during the game (usually unintentionally), Hand has special rules governing the play. An irregularity in this game would consider any of the following:
Taking the top card of the field without using it immediately in a meld.
Announcing a Hand when not actually having one.
Having two Jokers in the same meld.
Announcing with a total card meld value less then 51 points.
A value meld containing two cards of the same suit.
Making an announcement before the required number of turns (8).
Exchanging the Joker from an exposed Value meld which only contains three cards.
If the irregularity can be corrected immediately with no advantage to the player who makes the error, the game can continue with no penalty. However, if this error is found later or after the winner declares hand, a penalty is assessed to the offending players. The number of points is directly dependent on the winners hand, as per the following chart:
|Hand Name||Player Penalty Value|
|Double Joker Hand||1200|
|Joker Colored Hand||1200|
|Joker Suited Hand||1800|
|Double Joker Colored Hand||3200|
|Double Joker Suited Hand||6400|
After a predetermined set number of rounds are played (usually nine or seven), the player with the lowest total score is declared the winner of the game.
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