Rummy Rules

Rummy is India's beloved card game. After a long day of draining work, you can unwind with a few rounds of rummy. You can play rummy with your friends and family when there is a get-together. Or, you could play rummy online at your convenience.

Rummy rules for both online and offline versions are the same. Before you start playing rummy and winning money, you need to have a very clear idea of how to play rummy. Only then and with lots of practice can you become a seasoned rummy player and earn huge cash rewards.

How to play rummy?


To understand how to play rummy, we must begin with the rummy deck. Notably, a deck is a collection of cards. And, a rummy deck has 52 cards, which can be divided into two categories. One is the Rank and the other is the Suit.

What are the Ranks? Rank is the value of a card. Each card in the rummy deck is assigned a value in points. This is how the cards are valued:

  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Ace
  • Jack
  • Queen
  • King

Ace, Jack, Queen, and King are called the high-value cards or face cards. Each is allotted 10 points. The value of the other cards is derived from the number printed on them. For example, any card with rank 3 is allotted 3 points.

Then, we have suits. In rummy, there are four suits, including Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs. In each suit, there are 13 cards of different ranks.

Rummy is usually played with two decks. The deck also contains the printed Joker card. The value of Joker is zero.


Rummy is a very strategic game where you have to make sequences and sets so that you can declare your hand before your opponents. If you make a valid declaration, then you will get zero points and will win the game. 

However, if you make an invalid declaration, you will be penalised 80 points, and the game will continue till a winner is declared. According to rummy card game rules, a player can only get a maximum of 80 points, and any score above that will be counted as 80. For instance, if the total value of your cards is 85, your score will be counted as 80. Let us take a look at how the points are calculated:

Winning points 

  • If you have two pure sequences (3,4, 5, 6 of clubs) (6,7, 8 of hearts) or one pure sequence (7, 8,9,10) and one impure sequence (2,3, 4, joker card), then you can declare your hand.
  • If your hand is considered valid, you will get zero points and will win the game.

Losing points 

  • Once a winner is declared in rummy, the total points of the opponents’ hands are calculated.
  • So, for instance, if you have a hand with a pure sequence and two unpaired cards of 10 and 5, then your score will only include the unpaired cards. In this case, your total score will be 10+5 =15. 
  • Each face card (A, J, Q, K) has 10 points each and number cards are valued at their numeric amounts. For instance, 3 of hearts is calculated as 3.
  • The losing opponent with the highest number of points will have to pay the highest penalty.
  • In rummy, the highest penalty a player is awarded is 80 points.


  • If you drop the game in the first round, you will get a score of 20 points.
  • If you drop it in the second or consecutive rounds, you will get 40 points.
  • If the player has missed 3 consecutive turns, they will automatically be dropped and given the penalty of 40 points.

You can play practice games on the First Games App to get an understanding of this point system and master the game.

Rummy Game Rules For Other Variations

There are different rummy card game rules for each variation of the game. You can learn these while practising your skills on the First Games App. Here are some familiar variations and their rules:

  • 13-Card Rummy
    In this game, each player gets 13 cards and has to form sequences and sets. If you want to win the game, you must create two sequences: a pure sequence and an impure sequence. There are three variations of this 13-card rummy game which are as follows:
  1. Points Rummy
  • In the points rummy game, the dealer will give each opponent 13 cards. The rest of the cards are placed in the centre, called the stockpile. 
  • The top card of this stockpile is placed upwards, starting the discard pile. 
  • Players must pick from the discard or stockpile and get rid of one of their current cards. 
  • The first player to make two sequences or a pure sequence and an impure sequence can declare their hand. They will get zero points and will win the game. 
  • The points of the losing players are calculated by counting the value of the unsequenced cards and also those which are not in a valid set.
  • The winner will get the rupee value of the total points of his/her opponents.
  1. Pool Rummy
  • Pool rummy is a very popular mobile game where each round has certain points.
  • The rest of the rules are the same as points rummy regarding forming sequences, but the main difference is that the players are scored after each round.
  • The winning player who declares a valid hand of two sequences or a pure sequence and an impure sequence gets a zero.
  • The game continues till all players who reach 101 or 201 points in total get eliminated.
  1. Deals Rummy 
  • In deals rummy, each player is given a fixed amount of chips and cards at the beginning of the game.
  • After every round, the winner will get chips from his/her opponents according to the scores.
  • The scores are calculated based on the sequences and sets and unpaired cards in each hand.
  • The person who collects the most chips after all the rounds is declared the winner.
  1. 21-card Rummy
  • In 21-card rummy, most of the general rules of the game are the same.
  • However, in this version of the game, each player is given 21 cards instead of 13 cards.
  • Each player also has to use the cards from the stockpile and discard pile to create 3 pure sequences.  
  • You can also win with 8 jokers in your hand or 3 cards of the same suit and rank in three various groups.
  • If you have 8 different groups of 2 cards of the same suit and rank or two jokers, you can also declare your hand. 
  • This is a more difficult variation and requires a lot of skill and strategy.
  • Another change in the rules of this 21-card game is that the wild jokers are assigned cut values and upper and lower values. For example, if the wild joker is 4 diamonds, then the 5 diamonds are an upper joker, and 3 diamonds are a lower joker.
  • The cut jokers have to be of the same suit as well, and you can use these cut jokers to create impure sequences.
  1. Gin Rummy 
  • Gin rummy is also becoming popular as an online game.
  • In this version, each player is dealt 10 cards.
  • You have to make sure that the value of your cards is always less than 10.
  • This means that you don’t necessarily need to form sequences or sets to win.
  • You can declare or knock to show your hand, and then your points and your opponent’s points are considered.
  • If your opponent has unpaired cards over the value of 10, you will win the game.

You can try out all these variations of rummy on the First Games App and hone your skills and tricks.

Significance of Jokers

To understand rummy and eventually become a world-class player, you need to be able to utilize your Jokers, which are invaluable. That is because they can take the place of any card that you don't have but need in order to complete a set or a sequence. So, according to Indian rummy rules, a Joker can be a game-changer.

Sets and Sequences

Some of the most important rummy rules are related to the formation of sets and sequences. According to rummy rules, sets are groups of three or more cards of the same value but from different suits. And, rummy game rules define a sequence as an arrangement of three or more consecutively-ranked cards of the same suit. For example, 3 of Hearts, 3 of Spades, and 3 of Diamonds is a valid set, and 4 of Clubs, 5 of Clubs, and 6 of Clubs is a valid sequence.

Rummy rules also specify that sequences can be pure or impure. When you create a sequence without the help of a Joker, you create a pure sequence. With a Joker, you form an impure sequence.

Further, rummy rules specify how many pure sequences you need to win a round of rummy. For example, according to 13 card rummy rules, you need at least one pure sequence with one impure sequence to win. You can arrange the rest of the cards in any sets or sequences you like. For 21 card rummy, you will need at least three pure sequences. So, familiarize yourself with the rummy rules pertaining to the version you are playing.

Winning a Rummy Game

Once you have arranged all your cards into valid sets and sequences following rummy rules, and you do it before any of your competitors, you can click on the ‘declare button’. If the declaration is valid, then you will be the winner.

Rummy rules need to be memorized before you start playing rummy. There are many nuances of rummy game rules. Get as much practice as you can. On a rummy app like First Games (FG), you can play as many free games as you like to understand rummy and become a pro at it. After that, you can play to win money.


Tips And Tricks To Win Rummy Games

There are many variations of this game, and it is first important to keep track of the rules of rummy in the variation you are playing. This is the foremost tip to win this strategic game. Here are other tips and tricks to win rummy games:


  • You should aim to make a pure sequence as soon as possible so that you can declare your hand before your opponent. A pure sequence is a continuous flow of cards in the correct order: 3, 4, 5, 6, and they have to be of the same suit. To form a pure sequence, you must have a minimum of three cards in the same order to make a valid declaration. 
  • Another important thing that can help you win in this game is if you use the joker wisely. You should pick up jokers so that you can form as many sequences and sets as you like and make a declaration. For instance, in the sequence: 3, 4, you can use the joker as a 5 and create an impure sequence.
  • If you have a lot of high-value cards, you must try to get rid of them as soon as you can unless they are part of your sequence. These high cards can add to your negative points at the end of the game if they are unpaired.
  • If you have a bad hand and feel like you won’t be able to make any sequences or sets, you should drop out in the first round. This will only give you 20 negative points. If you drop out in the later rounds, you will get a negative score of 40 points.
  • Always keep the cards you discarded in mind so that you don’t end up picking the same type of cards.


  • One of the best tricks in rummy is to watch what cards your opponent is discarding. You will get an idea of what hand they are trying to form. This will also ensure that you do not discard the cards that will help them win the game.
  • You should trick your opponent by placing a higher value card of your sequence. For instance, if you have 6, 7 and 10 of spades, you can discard the 10 of spades. Your opponent will think you don’t need the 8 of spades and will discard it. You can then form a pure sequence with this 8 of spades.
  • Another important trick is to keep your middle cards and discard the high cards. The middle cards can help you form pure and impure sequences and will not cost you a lot of points. For instance, if you have 5 and 8 of spades, it is better to discard the 8 of spades and keep the 5.

More Articles

Different Types of Rummy
Indian Rummy
13 Cards Rummy Game


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  • 1. What are the rules for playing rummy?

    Rules of Rummy

    • If there are 3 players in the rummy, each one is given seven cards.
    • The rest of the cards are placed in the middle forming the stockpile.
    • The top card of the stockpile is turned over and starts the discard pile.
    • Now you are supposed to pick a card from the stock or the discard pile and also discard one card from your hand.
    • Your main aim is to form at least one pure sequence.
    • If you make a valid declaration where all your cards are in a sequence, your points are zero, and you win.
  • 2. What are the sets in rummy?
    Sets comprise three or more cards belonging to the same value but different suits. For example, 5♥ 5♦ 5♠ or J♥ J♦ J♠ J♣.
  • 3. How do you play rummy with two sets of cards?
    A set is a group of cards that are of the same value but different suits. A set can only include a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 cards. For instance, if you have 4 of hearts, 4 of spades, 4 of diamonds and 4 of clubs, that is a set. You can also use a printed joker or a wild joker to stand in to complete your set. Once you have one pure sequence and a pure or impure sequence, you can make a valid declaration, and your points will be calculated. If you make more than two sets, it is considered an invalid declaration.
  • 4. Which card is highest in rummy?
    The cards in rummy are ranked according to their numeric value and face value. The face value cards are high-value cards and include K, Q, J, and A. the numeric cards are valued at the numbers of the card. For instance, the value of a 3 of hearts is 3. Therefore the highest-valued card in a game of rummy is the King card.


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