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Rummy can refer to a type of card games, of which there are many or a specific card game. This version is known as Straight Rummy in text books although the name Rummy can also refer to Rummy 500.

Players: 2 – 6
Deck: 1, no jokers

Objective: To be the first player to earn a set number of points, over a series of hands, by ending each hand by discarding all of one’s cards.

Play: Each game will be played to a set number or by a set number of deals/hands, determined before play.

The dealer deals one card at a time, in a circle, until each player has 7 cards, if playing with more than 2 players. In a 2 player game, each player is dealt 10 cards.

The remaining cards should be placed in the center of the table, which will become a common playing area, and become the stock pile. The top card is flipped face up next to the stock pile and becomes the discard pile.

Stock Pile Stock Pile
Stock Pile Discard Pile

If a player holds 2 sevens, he may choose to pick up the top card, the 7 of Spades.

Players view all the cards in their hands without showing other players. The player to the left of the dealer begins and play goes clock wise.

Each turn begins with a draw; a player can choose to draw from either the stock pile (and get an unknown card) which will be added to the hand without showing other players.

A player can also choose to draw the top card from the discard pile. If a player does this, he can not end his turn by discarding the same card.

If the stock pile has run out, all but the top card of the discard pile shall be shuffled and used as the stock pile.

After this, a player will want to use his cards by melding or laying off. A meld or book is a group of 3 or more cards which a player lays, face up, on his personal playing space in front of him on the table.

A meld can be a group of 3 or more same-value cards, as long as each card has a different suit. A group meld can only contain 4 cards, even when playing with multiple decks. A player can only meld once during his turn and is not obligated to do so even if he is able.

7 of Spades 7 of Hearts 7 of Clubs

A sequence meld contains 3 or more cards, of the same suit, in a row. Aces can be high or low in a sequence but cannot be both as once.

9 of Diamonds 10 of Diamonds Jack of Diamonds

Players can add cards to their existing groups and sequences as long as a group contains no more than 4 cards and no other player has laid off the same card in the sequence or group.

If a meld exists on the table – in any player’s personal space – and a player has a card that can be added to the group or sequence, he can do so by way of laying off.

7 of Spades 7 of Hearts 7 of Clubs

Queen of Diamonds
Laying Off

If another player melded the sequence 9,10, Jack of Diamonds, you may lay off the Queen of Diamonds on your personal playing space, separated from your regular melds.

A player can lay off 1 or more cards in his personal space (generally separated from his melds by a bit of space) and specify which meld the car(s) is extending. If a card is laid off, it must stay attached to the same meld throughout the game.

After making any new melds or laying off on existing melds and a player chooses to end his turn, he must discard 1 card to the discard pile.

Each hand ends when 1 person discards his last card or lays down his last cards as a meld of lay off. This person becomes the hand winner. At this time, each player adds his melds and the cards remaining in their hand to determine the score of the hand.

The total score of all players’ hands is added to the hand winner’s cumulative score. Hand totals are added to the previous score.

If a player has not previously melded or laid off any cards and can meld or lay off all of his cards in one turn and go out, this is called going rummy and the score for the hand is doubled.

Scoring: There are several scoring variations. Hands are played until 1 player reaches 500 or more and becomes the winner.

  • 2 – 10: face value
  • Face Cards: 10 points each
  • Ace: 1 points each
  • Queen of Spades: 45 points


  • Players can play multiple melds in a turn
  • A player who goes rummy gets 10 extra points, not double points.
  • A player cannot lay off cards onto other’s hands unless he has melded first.
  • Aces can be high or low and score 15 points; .
  • Aces can be high or low and a sequence can go “around the corner” (King, Ace, 2).
  • All cards cannot be melded so that a player has no cards to discard; players must keep at least one card in their hands to discard.
  • Instead of adding all points to the hand winner’s score, each player counts the points at the end of the hand as penalty points. When any player reaches 100, the player with the lowest score wins.
  • Aces are 25 points
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