How to Play Rummy

It is widely believed that the game of Rummy has sprung from the game of Conquian, a card game from Central America dating back to the mid 1600s. Rummy in itself started appearing in the early 20th century, and quickly became very popular. Due to this popularity there's a wide array of Rummy variations. This article aims to explain the basics of the game to have you playing in no time. Rummy in most of its variations is generally considered played best with 2-4 players but a total sum of 6 players can take part in it. It demands a 52 card deck. The main object of Rummy is for players to dispose all of the cards they have in their hand.


During a game of Rummy, a dealer is randomly chosen, and then moved in a clockwise fashion. In the case of two players, ten cards are dealt to each one, three or four players mean seven cards dealt, five or six – six cards for each player. The main objective of Rummy is the disposal of all the cards a player has in his hands. This is achieved via:

Melding- A player places a combination of cards on the table – this combination is called melding because it can only be melded by Sequences or Groups. A sequence means three cards or more from the same suit, arranged in a consecutive orders, for example 4 5 6 hearts, 2 3 4 spades, etc.

Laying Off – Adding cards to a meld already out on the table. These cards are required to add the meld. If you had 3 4 5 hearts, you can add a 2 heart. However you cannot change the structure of the melds which are in play, if you have a meld of 2s, you cannot move for example a 2 heart from that 2 meld to create a sequence of hearts.

Discarding – The player plays his card from his hand on the discard pile, thus ridding himself of one card at the end of each turn.

The course of an ordinary game of Rummy

Each player begins a game of Rummy by taking one card from the top of the stock pile or from the top of the discard pile, adding to his hand (Also called The Draw). The discard pile is exposed, therefore a wiser choice can be made but the other players are aware of the card too, while with the stock pile a bigger risk's taken but the others cannot see.

After players draw, they can Meld their cards, if that is possible. This is optional and not an obligation. When melding they can of course lay off as shown before, adding strength to their melds thus disposing of cards. At the end of the turn players must dispose of one card. Players win via melding, laying off or discarding all of their cards. Ridding of the last card via these is called "Going Out". When a player goes out, the game ends.