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Kalooki Rummy Explained: Easy Rules for Beginners

By First Games Team March 13, 2024

Welcome to the world of Kalooki Rummy, a captivating variation of the classic card game that has been enjoyed by players around the globe for decades. Whether you're a seasoned Rummy player or completely new to the game, understanding the rules of Kalooki Rummy is essential for an enjoyable gaming experience. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the origins of Kalooki Rummy, the basic rules of gameplay, and provide valuable tips for beginners to get started.

What is Kalooki Rummy?

Kalooki, a variant of Contract Rummy popular in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, offers players a thrilling twist on traditional rummy gameplay. Not to be confused with the unrelated game Kaluki prevalent in North America and the UK, Kalooki shares key similarities with Contract Rummy. In Kalooki, each hand presents a unique requirement for the initial meld, adding an element of strategic depth to the game. The ultimate goal remains unchanged—the player with the lowest score of unmatched cards emerges victorious. Typically played with three to five players, Kalooki promises an exciting and competitive card gaming experience that will keep players engaged and entertained throughout the game.

How To Play Kalooki Rummy?

The kalooki rummy, also known as Jamaican rummy, is a card game that typically involves three to eight players. To play, you will need two or more standard decks of cards, along with the inclusion of joker cards. The number of decks used may vary depending on the number of players participating in the game.

Forming Sets and Going Out in Kalooki

According to the rules of kalooki card game, the main objective is to go out by laying down all your cards in sets. Sets are formed by melding three or more cards of the same face or value. This allows players to steadily eliminate their cards and move closer to victory.

Dealing and Stockpiling in Kalooki Rummy

To begin the game, a dealer is selected randomly from among the players. The dealer proceeds to deal 13 cards face down to each player. The number of cards dealt may differ depending on the version of kalooki being played. In the European version, 13 cards are dealt, while in the American version, each player receives 15 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down to form the stockpile, with the topmost card being revealed to create the discard pile. Wild cards and jokers are also utilized in the game, serving as substitutes for other cards to complete sets and runs.

Forming Sets and Runs with Melded Cards

Players must meld their cards by forming sets and runs to efficiently get rid of their cards. Sets are created by combining cards of the same face or value from different suits, while runs are formed by combining consecutive cards from the same suit. Joker cards can be used as well, particularly when you are missing one card to complete a set or run. The joker card is employed as a replacement for the missing card.

Understanding Points and Scoring in Kalooki Rummy

Before engaging in a game of rummy, it is crucial to comprehend the specific rules of that particular variation. In Kalooki rummy, there are specific points assigned to each card. In the European version, face cards carry 10 points, aces carry 11 points, and jokers carry 15 points. However, in the American version, face cards are valued at 10 points, aces at 15 points, and jokers at 25 points. Additionally, all other numbered cards bear points equivalent to their face value. For instance, a card numbered 4 will carry 4 points. Having a thorough understanding of these scoring rules is vital in strategizing to minimize your overall score in the game of Kalooki rummy.


  • In Kalooki Rummy, there's an exciting twist called "calling" that adds a new level of anticipation to the game.
  • When a player throws away a card, if another player sees it and really wants it, they can shout "call!"
  • The player who threw away the card gets to decide whether to let the caller take it or keep it for themselves.
  • If the player lets the caller take the card, they also make them draw an extra card as a penalty.
  • This creates a mini-game within the game, with players considering whether the desired card is worth the drawback of having more cards in their hand.
  • It adds an element of strategic thinking and decision-making to the gameplay.

Kalooki Rummy Rules

In Kalooki Rummy, the rules differ from other rummy games in a few ways.

Handling Jokers

Jokers cannot be freely exchanged as they can be in other rummy variations. If a player has a Four with a Joker in it, the original player of that meld may replace the Joker with the card it represents. However, the Joker must then be moved to either end of the Four. On the other hand, Jokers in Threes cannot be moved at all.

Meeting Minimum Melding Requirement

In each round, players are required to meet a minimum melding requirement before the round ends. Failing to do so will result in a 50-point penalty in addition to the points from the deadwood cards left in their hand.

The Concept of Tacking

In Kalooki, players have the option to "tack" individual legal cards onto melds that are already laid out on the board. However, a player can only tack after they have played all their melds on that particular turn. It's important to note that if a player chooses to tack, they will not be allowed to form another meld afterward on the same turn.

These specific rules in Kalooki Rummy add unique elements to the gameplay, making it a captivating and strategic card game enjoyed by many.


Ready to put your rummy skills to the test?  First Games offers a fantastic platform to play all your favorite variations of Indian Rummy, including Points Rummy, Pool Rummy, and Deals Rummy. Download the First Games app and experience the thrill of rummy with exciting features and real cash opportunities!  Download First Game



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