How to Play Rummy – Online Guide for 2020

Want to learn how to play rummy? If so, this is the guide for you.

We’ll explain the rules and terms of rummy and tell you everything you need to know. Plus, we’ll give you excellent strategy tips to help you win.

Keep reading and learn more below.

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How to Play the Rummy Card Game

Before you learn how to play online rummy, take a look at a typical rummy table to get a feel for the layout.

There are between two and six players, and either one or two decks of cards used. Players play one at a time, and action moves clockwise – just as it does for most classic casino games.

The aim of the game is to get rid of your cards before the other players. In order to ‘get rid of’ your cards you need to declare them in sequences and sets.

What Are Sequences and Sets?

Sequences are sequential cards of the same suit. For example, 3s, 4s and 5s. Each sequence must be at least three cards. However, in certain versions of online rummy, you can exchange one card for a joker or wild card.

Sets are three or more of the same number card, but in different suits. For instance, 8c, 8s, 8d and 8h would be a four-card set.

Continue reading the ‘Rummy Rules’ section below to find out more about how to play rummy.

 Rummy Rules

There are many variations of rummy. To make our guide to playing rummy online as easy-to-understand as possible, we’ll be basing our rummy rules on the most common version of the game. But we’ll also point out key variations where it’s particularly important.

Before play begins, jokers or wilds will be clearly identified. Depending on which version of the game you’re playing, there may be multiple in play or none at all. But, if there is a joker or wild in play, this will be determined pre-game. For example, it could be Qh, 7d, or a traditional joker card

There are two stacks in the middle of the table. One is face-down. The other is face-up, and contains the cards discarded by you and your opponents.

Choose From Two Stacks

When it’s your turn, you have two choices. You can either pick up from the face-down stack for a mystery card, or you can take the most recently discarded card from the face-up deck. You cannot dig through the discarded pile to choose the card which suits you.

After you’ve picked up, you need to discard a card. At first, this is easy – you’ll have plenty of cards which are useless to you. But, as the game progresses, these decision will get tougher.

For example, let’s say you have 4s, 4c, 5c and need to get rid of one. You have to decide whether you’re going to discard the 5c and focus on a set of 4’s or throw away the 4s and go for a sequence containing 4c and 5c. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on which cards your opponents discard.

How to Win at Rummy

To win the game, you need to arrange all of your cards into sequences and sets. This must include at least one pure sequence. A pure sequence is a sequence of three or more cards containing no jokers or wild cards.

If you incorrectly declare you’ve won the game but haven’t, you’ll lose – even if it was an accident. However, this is more of an issue when you’re learning how to play rummy in real life. When playing online, there is often a system in place to help you avoid making invalid declarations.

Rummy Terms

If you’re looking at guides to play rummy online you’ve probably come across several terms which you don’t understand. This is normal; online rummy has a lot of confusing vocabulary which isn’t always clearly explained.

But don’t worry – we’re here to give you a clear breakdown of what each rummy term means. Here’s an essential list of rummy terms explained:

Draw: Taking a card either from the face-down stack in the middle, or from the top of the pile of face-up discarded cards.

Discard: Removing a card from your hand and placing it on top of the face-up stack in the middle of the table.

Drop: A player leaving the game early and receiving anywhere from 20-80 points as a result.

Impure sequence: Three or more cards in consecutive order and of the same suit, including a joker e.g. 7d, 8d, Joker, 10d.

Invalid declaration: A player accidentally or wrongly declaring they have won the game. If you make an invalid declaration, you lose immediately.

Joker: A special card, also referred to as a ‘printed joker’, which can be used in place of any card in the deck.

Pure sequence: Three or more cards in consecutive order and of the same suit, not including a joker e.g. 7d, 8d, 9d, 10d.

Set: Three or more cards with the same face value, using different suits e.g. 2d-2h-2c.

Wild: Similar to a joker, the wild card is a special card which can be used in place of any card in the deck. However, unlike the joker, the wild is a regular card from the deck of 52 which is specifically selected to act as a wild card for that game. More commonly associated with online slots, wilds can also be found at online rummy games.

Rummy Sequences

One term you’ll hear over and over again in online rummy is ‘sequences’. But what is a sequence? Which cards can you use to make them? And what’s the difference between pure and impure sequences?

As the name suggests, a sequence is simply a group of cards in sequential order. In online rummy, each sequence must be at least three cards. For example, A, 2, 3 or 10-J-Q-K are all fine –something shorter like 5-6 or 9-10 won’t work. As well as being consecutive cards, they must always be of the same suit as well.

There are two types of sequences: pure sequences and impure sequences. Here’s the difference between the two:

Pure Sequences

Pure sequences consist of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit without using a joker. It’s easy to remember, as when the cards are all of the same suit and in order they look neat and tidy, or ‘pure’.

It’s tougher to get a pure sequence than an impure sequence, but in order to win the game, it’s essential that you have at least one pure sequence in your hand. So, try to get at least three cards in a row of the same suit as quickly as you can.

Impure Sequences

Impure sequences follow the same format as pure sequences – you need to collect three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. However, an impure sequence will also include a joker or jokers.

For example, you might have 6c, 7c, 9c in your hand, meaning you’re waiting for the 8c. However, if you then pick up a joker, you can put the joker in place of the 8c, making an impure sequence of 6c, 7c, Joker, 9c.

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Tips to Win the Rummy Card Game

Now that you know how to play rummy, you probably want some tips to get an advantage over the other players.

Here’s our beginners guide for online rummy strategy:

Prioritise Purity

You can’t win the game without hitting a pure sequence, so make this a priority. When you first learn how to play rummy you might focus on the wrong areas and, by the time you’re chasing the pure sequence, you opponents already have the cards you so desperately need.

Go for the pure sequence early so that, if you hit a stumbling block, you can switch to a different one before it’s too late.

Count the Decks

Online rummy can be played with one or two decks, so make sure you’re fully aware of the number of decks in play. For instance, if you mistakenly think there is only one deck instead of two, you might be holding a card to stop your opponent from winning – only for them to pick up the exact same card from the second deck!

Additionally, don’t make the rookie mistake of forming a set with two identical cards. For example, 4s, 4c, 4h is a valid set, but 4s, 4s, 4c isn’t.

Play the Player

Much like online poker, when you first learn how to play rummy you’ll probably be focused on the cards in your hand. As you improve, you can start thinking much more about your opponents’ hands.

If you notice a player picking up 9s and you have a 9 in your hand, hang onto it to avoid giving them an advantage. When you get really good, you’ll learn to discard particular cards at the right time to trick your opponent into giving you the cards you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

The basic rules of rummy are that you need to get rid of your cards as quickly as possible by forming sets and sequences. Sequences are sequential cards of the same suit, although you can use jokers in place of a missing card. On your go, you must pick up a card and then put one down in the middle.

The basic fundamentals on how to play rummy online are similar to other classic card games; players are dealt their hands face-down and take turns to play, with play moving clockwise. Your aim is to make sequences, which are consecutive cards of the same suit, and sets, which are three or more of the same card. For more in-depth information on how to play rummy, read the full guide above.

There’s no great secret here – a rummy table is literally the table you sit down at to play the game. When you’re playing online rummy, there’ll be a digital table, just as there is for any online casino game. The table can seat anywhere from two to six players for a game of online rummy. In the middle, you’ll see two stacks from which you can pick up cards.

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In rummy, the joker is a flexible card which can replace a missing card in a sequence or set. There are two types of jokers in rummy. The first is the card which has a physical image and wording showing it’s a joker. This is also known as a printed joker. The second is a randomly selected card – say, the jack of hearts – which can then act as any card in the deck. The card which will represent the joker is decided before play begins.

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