This week for Game #2, I’ve got another classic for you–Rummy. There are many ways to play this game, but today I’m sharing with you the version of Rummy I’ve played with my family since I was a little girl. In case you missed Game 1, check out last week’s Solitaire post.
Deal 7 cards face down to all players. Place the remaining cards in a pile face down and flip the top card over (this will be the discard pile). The deal should rotate around to each player.
Rummy is played in rounds. For each round, play begins to the left of the dealer and goes clockwise.
Each person’s turn begins by drawing a card either from the draw pile or from the discard pile.
Each person’s turn ends by discarding a card onto the discard pile. You can only meld (laying down a straight or run) when it is your turn.
Drawing from the discard pile: You can always draw the top card of the discard pile on your turn, but if you want to take any of the cards underneath that card you need to be able to meld with them immediately. For example, let’s say the top card on the discard pile is a Queen, and there are two other cards below it and the bottom card of the pile is a nine. If you want to pick up the nine, you can do so if and only if, you can immediately meld using the nine. If so, you can take the nine, but you also have to pick up the two cards above it (inlcuding the Queen).
Playing on someone else’s hand
Once you have melded one run or straight, you can play on someone else’s meld. Let’s say Sally across from you has 3 10s down, and you’ve already melded your own straight (or run or both). When it comes around to your turn, if you draw the fourth ten, you can lay that down and “play on” Sally’s hand. You will still get the points for your ten.
Ending the round
You can put down as many runs or straights as you like, and as the play continues you can build on your melds or play on other players melds. In order for the round to end, a player has to go out of cards by discarding. If you go out of cards by playing on someone else’s cards or by building on your own melds, you are “floating” and essentially continuing to pick up cards until you can discard a card that can’t be melded.
See Card Values in the Game profile above. Once the round ends, the cards left in your hand count negative against your score, and the cards you have melded on the table count positive for your score.
Aces can be played low or high, but not low and high at the same time. For example, you could meld three Aces, or a straight A-2-3, or a straight of Q-K-A, but you could not lay down a straight of K-A-2.
Rummy on the board
On the discard pile, you have to pay attention to which cards are in the pile. If there are ten cards in the pile, and two of them are 3s, you can not discard a third three. If you do unknowingly discard a 3 (or any other card that could be combined with two other cards in the discard pile to make a straight or run, any player can yell, “Rummy on the board,” and pick up those three cards from the pile. In the photo above, you can see that the 9, Jack, and 10 of diamonds would also be a Rummy on the Board.
In some variations:
- the Aces are only low.
- you can “go out” and end the round without discarding.
- “Rummy on the Board” doesn’t exist.
- the cards under 10 are given their face value score.
Are you a Rummy fan? Do you have any other variations or different rules? I’d love to hear how others play differently!
Check back next week for game three.
Play on, Players!! Have a wonderful weekend.