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Rummy Rules

Rummy is one of the most popular card games in India. Having existed for centuries, it has now become an integral part of the country’s culture and is more celebrated today than it is frowned upon. If you have never played Rummy or are just a beginner, the below information is for you.

So, the first question you might ask is – what is Rummy? It is a card-matching game wherein players are required to arrange all their cards in valid sets and sequences. The game's objective is to get rid of all the cards in your hand by arranging cards in proper order.

This card game is highly strategic and when played online, comes with time restrictions, too, keeping players on their toes at all times. Rummy is one of the most entertaining games to exist in the modern day.

Below, you will learn everything there is to learn about this card game, including Rummy game rules and how points are calculated. Furthermore, there are several variations of Rummy card game such as 13 Card Rummy, Pools Rummy, Points Rummy, Gin Rummy, to name a few.

You can obtain all the related rummy rules and information below and begin to play and enjoy this beautiful game.

Objective of Rummy

In a traditional Rummy game, you are dealt 13 cards, which you must arrange in valid sets and sequences. In order to be in contention to win, it is imperative to make at least one pure sequence.

Without a pure sequence, your declaration will be considered invalid. An extended objective of Rummy is to get rid of all your cards in the hand by forming the right pairs.

Glossary in Rummy Game Rules

Learning the in-game terminologies of Rummy can benefit you in many ways. By familiarising yourself with these terms, you will be able to understand the game’s rules much better than before.

Below are some of the most common terms you will hear, and their meaning, while playing Rummy, offline or online.

Rummy table:

Rummy table is the surface on which the cards are placed. The Joker is set face up whereas the remaining cards of the deck are stacked face down, which is also known as the closed deck.

The players then throw the discarded cards face up beside the closed deck


Deck refers to the entire collection or set of 52 playing cards. In Rummy, the minimum number of decks used is two.


One of your objectives in Rummy is to make sets. Sets are a combination of three or more cards belonging to the same rank, for example, 5H-5D-5C or QD-QS-QH-QC.

A set cannot contain more than four cards. Conversely, the minimum number of cards needed to make a set is three. For a set, you are allowed to use either a printed Joker or a wild Joker

Joker and wild cards:

Every single deck of cards contains two printed Jokers. They can be used as a substitute for other cards to form sets and sequences. If you use a Joker, it does not qualify as a pure sequence.

It is an impure sequence. In a set, the number of numerical and royal cards cannot be fewer than the Joker. Furthermore, you cannot place two Joker cards next to each other


When you draw a card in Rummy, you lift a card from either the open deck or the closed deck in order to find a suitable card for your hand


Once you draw a card, you must get rid of an unwanted card. This is called discarding. You cannot hold more than 13 cards at a given point


Sorting your cards makes the process of making sets and sequences easy. When you receive the 13 cards, make sure to sort them either by suits or values, whichever option you prefer


Drop is a feature in online Rummy, which allows the players to exit a game without receiving a massive penalty. This feature is helpful when you unsuccessfully try to arrange your cards in sets and sequences


A Show takes place once you have arranged all your cards in proper sets and sequences, including a valid sequence. In order to announce a Show, you must be holding 14 cards, one card being the unwanted one, which you must discard

Rummy points:

Points come into play after a show is placed to end each round. Players left with unmatched cards lose points equivalent to the value of those cards, whereas the winner accumulates all those points


A sequence is a group of simultaneously-valued cards belonging to the same suit, all arranged together. For example, 4D-5D-6D. In order to make a valid declaration, you must have at least one pure sequence


A run comprises a minimum of three consecutive cards of the same suit. In some variations of Rummy, the suits can be different

Cash tournament:

Cash rummy tournaments are available online wherein a fixed number of players take part. Due to this, the tournaments have a fixed prize pool. Winners receive the entire poll as a prize

Cash contest:

A cash contest, like tournaments, is available online for a fixed duration


Bonus in Rummy varies from source to source. However, the most common bonuses include registration and referral bonus

Valid declaration:

A valid declaration makes a player eligible to contest for the top prize in Rummy. To achieve a valid declaration, you must have at least one pure sequence and one impure sequence. The remaining cards can be paired as sets.

Invalid declaration:

When a player announces completing their sets and sequences, but they are not in order as per the rules, it is known as an invalid declaration.

This results in that player being eliminated from the game; in a 2-player game, the second individual is automatically declared as the winner. The penalty for an invalid declaration is 80 points

13 Card rummy

13 Card Rummy is a Rummy variant wherein all players at the table are dealt 13 cards each. Using the 13 cards, they must form sets and sequences

21 Card Indian rummy:

In 21 Cards Rummy, players are dealt 21 cards each using three decks. A valid declaration must be made only after having a minimum of three pure sequences. The remaining cards can be arranged in sets

Points rummy:

Points Rummy is a cash-based game wherein players play for points. Cards 2 to 10 carry points the same as their face value, whereas the Royal Cards and Ace are allotted 10 points each.

The winner of a round gets 0 points while winning the same amount of money as the points of the unmatched cards of all the opponents

Deals rummy:

In Deals Rummy, the players play for the duration of a pre-defined number of deals. The objective of this game is to win chips from opponents; the player with the most chips at the end of all the deals is declared the winner

101 pool rummy:

101 Pool Rummy is a Rummy variant wherein players must survive elimination by conceding the least number of points. The players who accumulate 101 points get eliminated

201 pool rummy:

The rules of 201 Pool Rummy are the same as 101 Pool Rummy, with the only difference being it players suffer elimination after reaching 201 points

What are the Rules Surrounding Rummy Card Sequences?

Before learning the rules around Rummy sequences, it is crucial to understand what sequences are. A sequence is a group of three or more cards belonging to the same suit and arranged sequentially.

In Rummy, a sequence is of two types – pure and impure.

Pure sequence:

A pure sequence is formed by sequentially arranging three cards that belong to the same suit. Here, you cannot replace any card with a printed Joker.

However, you can use a wild Joker, but in its original value and not as a Joker. To make a valid declaration, you must have at least one pure sequence among your 13 cards. If you declare without having a pure sequence, you will be eliminated and be penalized 80 points

Impure sequence:

An impure sequence is a group of three or four cards in which one or more cards are substituted by a Joker – printed or wild. For example, 9H-10H-Joker or 10D-JD-5D-KD, where 5D is the wild Joker

First life:

The first sequence that you make is the first life

Second life:

Second life is either the second pure sequence that you make or the first impure sequence in your hand

One of the doubts many players have in Rummy is regarding the use of Joker. Basically, Joker is a card that you can use as a substitute for a missing card in a sequence. However, once you use a printed Joker, it is no longer a pure sequence.

A wild Joker though can be used inside a sequence, not as a Joker, but instead as a card of the same value. For instance, 4H-5H-6H-7H will be considered a valid sequence, despite, say, 5H being the chosen wild Joker.

Another confusion with a sequence is towards a specific set of cards. Many wonder whether K-A-2 is a valid sequence. Before this is answered, it is important to understand the card ranking. In Rummy, the order of the cards is as follows –

A, 2, 3, 4. 5, 6. 7. 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K

As per the card rankings, A-2-3 and J-Q-K are two acceptable pairs. K-A-2, however, is not a valid sequence in Rummy.

The minimum number of cards in a sequence is 3. You can make a sequence using more than 3 cards, but not less than 3.

What are the Rummy Set Rules?

Rummy card rules state that a set is a combination of three or more cards belonging to the same rank, but varying suits. In order to make a set, you can use both printed Joker as well as wild Joker.

Unlike sequences, a set does not have a pure/impure categorization. Regardless of whether or not the grouping includes a set is a set. For example, 3D-3S-3C is a valid set, and so is 6H-6C-7D where 7 is the wild Joker.

Below are some Rummy set rules that you should know about while playing this card game –

What are the Rules for Using Joker in Rummy?

Joker is one of the most important supporting cards in Rummy. The card is easily identifiable as it depicts a caricature of a clown. If you are new to Rummy or a game where the Joker card plays a role, it is important to know the related rules.

How You Can Use Joker in Rummy?

Joker can be used as a substitute for a missing card in order to make sets and sequences in Rummy. This card does not represent any suit or rank in particular, but stands on its own, and complements all the cards in the deck.

You need to be strategic while using the Joker card. The rules of Rummy state that the players must make at least two sequences, out of which one needs to be a pure sequence. You can choose to make the second sequence as the impure one and this is where the Joker card comes in.

What is a Printed Joker?

A printed Joker card is unlike any other value card in the deck and has the image of a Joker printed on it. In Rummy, you can use it to make impure sequences or sets.

What is wild Joker?

Apart from the printed Joker, there is the wild Joker in Rummy, which is a random card picked from the deck and placed face up on the table. Like printed Joker, the wild Joker card can be used as a substitute for missing cards in sets and sequences.

Here are some Joker card rules that you can apply in Rummy to improve your performance and get a few wins under your belt –

Read About - Joker in Rummy Game | Rummy Teen Patti

What Does Valid Declaration Mean?

A valid declaration is a key element in Rummy without which you cannot win a hand. As the term suggests, the validity of your sequences and sets must be evaluated for you to qualify for winning the round.

In order to have a valid declaration, your 13-card hand must comprise a minimum of two sequences, out of which one needs to mandatorily be a pure sequence. The other sequence, though, may or may not contain a Joker – wild or printed.

What Does Wrong Declaration Mean in Rummy?

A wrong declaration or invalid declaration in Rummy takes place when a player does not have the right sequences and sets despite pressing the declaration button.

As per Rummy rules, this means the player gets automatically disqualified from that round while incurring 80 points as a penalty. In a two-person game, the other player is declared the winner.

How Points are calculated in Rummy

In Rummy, there are points allocated to each playing card, except the Joker, which is valued at 0. In regards to points, the objective of the game is to score 0 points as many times as possible by winning the Rummy rounds.

The players who do not finish the game and are left with unmatched cards, earn points as a penalty.

Below is how the cards get valued in this card game –

Here’s how the points get calculated –

What are the Rummy Rules for Different Variants?

The basic rules of Rummy are more or less the same, which is to make melds using sequences and sets, regardless of which variant you are playing. However, it’s the minor changes within these games that make the gameplay interesting.

The surrounding rules are modified to keep monotony at bay for the players. Below are some of the Rummy variants and their rules for you to try out the next time you play a card game.

13 Card Rummy Rules:

13 Card Rummy is arguably the most popular Rummy variant played in India, played with a standard deck of cards containing a printed Joker. The reason behind the name is simple, 13 cards are dealt among all players at the table using which they must make sets and sequences.

They must at least make one pure sequence in order to contend for the prize. The rules of this game are simple.

21 Card Rummy Rules:

21 Card Rummy is played between 4-6 players and is available online, too. Its basic rules are similar to that of 13 Card Rummy; the difference is evident in the number of cards distributed between the players as well as the number of sets and sequences they need to make to win.

In 21 Card Rummy, each player receives 21 cards using which they must make at least 3 pure sequences. The remaining cards can be used for making sets.

Below are some other rules that are different compared to the original Rummy –

Gin Rummy Rules:

Gin Rummy is another Rummy variation and is quite a touch different from 13 Card & 21 Card Rummy. The objective of this card game is to be the first player to collect 100 points.

Below are some of its rules –

Pools Rummy Rules:

There are two types of Pool Rummy games – 101 Pool Rummy and 201 Pool Rummy. Played by up to 6 players, this game’s objective is to collect the least number of points. The players who fail to do so will have points allotted to them.

The first player to reach either 101 or 201 points, depending on the variant being played, is eliminated. The last standing player wins. Here are some of its rules –

Deals Rummy Rules:

Deals Rummy is played using two decks of cards and for a predetermined number of deals. This card game is played for chips, which the winner earns from their opponents, and the player holding the most number of chips at the end of the deals is declared as the winner.

Below are some of its rules –

Rummy is arguably the most played game in India, offline and online, as it not only sets up a competitive environment but presents players with the chance to earn money, too. Rules of Rummy, regardless of which variation you choose to play, are easy to understand and execute.

Online Cash Rummy games are constantly developed to keep the players excited about new features and enhanced graphics. The developers work round-the-clock to give players friendly surroundings despite it being a competitive atmosphere.

As one of the players, make sure to keep an eye out for updates regarding tournaments and contests, as the rewards offered here are some of the best in the industry. Make sure that you are well-versed in Rummy rules for a smooth-sailing gaming experience.