When you see a group of people playing cards in India, whether in clubs in the cities, at shop-fronts by the highways, or may be on vehicle tops in the high ranges, they are most likely playing rummy. The game is quite popular in the country.

Then why does somebody need a guide to play rummy in India? Just go online and play, right?

Well, a guide is needed. Rummy has different sets of rules in different parts of India. The crux of the rules remains the same. But there are some minor regional variations.

So, this guide on how to play rummy online sets that record straight first up by explaining the rummy rules that are prevalent online. It goes on to provide some tips to play rummy online, strategies for success and interesting historical details. The guide concludes with answers to some commonly answered questions.

  • As many as six players can participate in a single game of rummy. Two players are the minimum requirement. The games tend to become more interesting as the number of players increases.
  • Two decks of cards and two jokers are involved in the game. That means a total of 106 cards. One player gets 13 cards. The idea is to bring the cards in a certain pattern by drawing cards and discarding cards in such a way that the total cards on a player’s hand remain 13.
  • Before going to the details of the pattern, let’s have a quick look at the points of each card. Cards from 2 to 10 have their face value. That means card with 2 has a value of 2, card with 3 has a value of 3 and so on up to 10. A, K, Q and J have the value of 10. There will be two printed jokers, which do not have any value. There will be a chosen wild card for each game. It can be any card. The number of that card with any symbol will serve as wild cards.
  • Now on to the patterns that need to be formed. Patterns have to be certain formations. It can be in the sequential order: for example, 2, 3 and 4; 7, 8 and 9; and J, Q and K. But note that A comes before 2. So, a sequence involving A can be A, 2 and 3.
  • Then there can be sets of identical numbers or letters. For example, all Ks of various symbols or all 5s of different symbols. Jokers and wild cards can act as a substitute for any card in the sequence or sets.
  • Patterns can be formed with three or four cards. But the most common and working pattern is four, three, three and three.
  • The player who first forms a successful pattern in the above format will emerge victorious. The others’ points will be calculated in a certain way. They have to count the points of all their cards that are not part of a pattern of sequential cards and a set of identical numbers of letters. The points belong to the winner.
  • Points will not just determine the winner’s margin. It also determines the amount the winner will get and the amount the loser has to part with. So, the number of points matters.
  • There is something called pure sequence in rummy. It refers to the essential sequence in which no joker or wild cards cannot be used. The winning hand must have a pure pattern. Even for losing hands, having a pure sequence is important. If you do not have a pure sequence, all your points will be counted if somebody else shows the winning pattern, irrespective of how many other sequences or sets that you have.  The maximum point limit for a single hand is 80.
  • The game starts with a deal and then with one player drawing a card from a pile of hidden cards. The player has one of two options: either to accept the card and leave one card from the existing hand to the deck or to leave that card itself to the deck. The cards thus left on the deck will remain open.
  • The next player can either take or leave open a card from the pile of hidden cards or take the card that the previous player left open on the deck.  If the player takes the card, then a card from the existing hand must be left open on the deck.
  • The logic behind taking a card and removing another card is to form a pattern comprising a pure sequence and other sequences and sets. 
  • If you feel that the original 13 cards that you received at the beginning (or the initial hand) is too bad to form a pattern, you can drop out of that game. It is called first drop and it will cost you 20 points.
  • You can even leave after the game started, but before another player obtains the patterns and shows the hand. When you leave midway through the game, it is called middle drop and you lose 40 points, irrespective of the hand you have at that point.
  • Most importantly, if you declare and it turns out that your patterns do not follow the rules, you lose the maximum points. 

Note: rummy meaning in hindi

The game of rummy has been around at least for two centuries. It is believed to be of Spanish origin, where a similar game called ‘Conquian’ was originated in the 19th century. The game has some similarities with the Chinese card game of Mahjong and the Japanese card game of Hanafuda as well.

The name ‘rummy’ originated in the UK at the start of the 20th century from the alcoholic beverage rum. It is said that the losers of the game have to bear the expenses of the next round of beverage. And hence the game was called rummy. There is another theory that suggests the game was initially known as rum poker, which gradually evolved to rummy.

Rummy tips and tricks

  1. The most important tip is to concentrate on the cards and keep the focus. If you believe you have got the pattern ready, double check before showing your hand. A wrong declaration will result in the forfeiting of the entire points  (80 points).
  2. Keep an eye on cards, follow which cards are moving and remember which cards are not moving. Try to make your pattern ideally with the cards that others do not want and not with the cards others want.
  3. Try to get the pure sequence at the earliest. That should be the immediate goal.
  4. Keep the cards like 5, 6 and 7, which can be joined with other cards above and below them. It is a potential damage-limiting step to discard the high-value cards, that is, cards with a value of 9 and above. However, it should not be treated as a hard and fast rule. If you are more likely to make a pattern or set with these cards, keep them. Others are likely to discard these cards too and they could come your way.
  5. Do not stick with a particular plan to make a pattern or set for too long. Quick thinking based on the flow of cards on the table is a vital instinct on the rummy table.

Play rummy online for real money

You have multiple options to play rummy online from India. You can play for money or for some other form of prize. It is legal and the platforms are extremely user friendly, with dedicated customer service and all that.

If you are used to play rummy in the real world, you could face some take-off blues at the start when you play online. But soon you should start playing comfortably. Here is an online casino comparison chart which lists and compares casinos that allow players domiciled in India.

How to win in Rummy

By now, you must be knowing how to win in rummy: by forming the necessary pattern from the 13 cards you have. When you win, you get all the points from the defeated players’ hand. This is then converted into money that you get.

There are a couple of ways to calculate the money you get.

The first method involves the pre-set monetary value for each point. Suppose that value is five. Bear in mind that it can vary across online casinos. When a player wins, assume that the remaining five players have 200 points among them (for example, 30, 42, 35, 41 and 52 are the points left on their respective hands).

In this case, the winner should get an amount of INR 1000 (200 multiplied by 5, which is the value of each point). However, the casinos will deduct their commission from this amount, which also varies across casinos.

The rummy that follows this method is known as points rummy. There is another variety called pool rummy.

In pool rummy, each player has to give an entry fee. Suppose the entry fee is INR 100. If six players are playing, when one of them wins, the winner gets INR 500 (100, which is the entry fee, multiplied by 5, the number of players). Here also, casinos will deduct their commission from the winnings.

If you are playing pools rummy, there is no need to worry about the points in your hand too much. You lose a fixed amount in the case of a loss, irrespective of the patterns and points in your hand at the time of losing.

It is not exactly clear. But by most accounts, the name rummy was derived from the alcoholic drink rum. One account has it that the losers have to buy rum in the subsequent rounds in earlier versions of the game and hence it got the name rummy.  

Online rummy is the online version of the card game rummy. Here the cards are provided by the software platform, which manages the game as well. It shuffles the cards, chooses the wild cards randomly,  allows players to take first drop or second drop options and determines whether the winner’s declaration is valid. 

All the players need to do in online rummy is to focus on the game. The software does almost everything else. 

Yes. Rummy is a game of skill. It may not seem so at the beginning. What is there in arranging a pattern, one might think. But once you are into the game, you will soon figure out that skill is mandatory for winning consistently.  

In offline rummy, if by any chance you get a good hand, which already has most of the sequences and sets, you could win easily. It rarely, if ever, happens in online rummy. The software ensures that such sure-fire hands are not provided. 

Gin rummy is derived from rummy. There are a lot of similarities. There are some differences as well.  For example, the number of players allowed in gin rummy is either two or four. In rummy, it can be any number from two to six. The calculation of points is also different. The maximum point is 25 in gin, but 80 in rummy.