Rummy is a fun and exciting game. It is fairly simple to learn and can get very competitive. For those who don‘t mind a little intense competition and enjoy games, which require some thought, this may be the ideal game. Rummy can be played online or at a local casino. There is more then one type of Rummy. Besides straight rummy, there is 500 rummy, contract rummy, kalooki, gin rummy and canasta. The rules and nuisances of these games do differ. For the purposes of this article, we will focus only on straight rummy.

Straight rummy is played with at least two players and up to six. Players can play to a specific score or for a certain number of deals. The group will need to agree on how the winner will be determined prior to beginning play. In Rummy, a standard deck (52 cards) is used. Ace is the lowest ranked card and King the highest. The number cards fall in chronological order from 2 to 10, then Jack, Queen and King.

Before play begins a dealer is chosen. Initially, this person will be chosen at random. After that, depending on how many players are participating, the duties are either rotated clockwise (more then 2 people playing) or each player takes turns (2 players). If two individuals are playing, each player gets 10 cards. This number decreases as more people play. For example, when three to four players participate in a game, each one is dealt 7 cards. In games with five or six people, each is dealt 6 cards. After all of the cards have been dealt, the dealer will take the next card and place it face up next to remaining cards in the deck. This will be the beginning of the discard pile. The remaining cards become the stockpile. It will be faced down.

The goal of rummy is to get rid of all ones cards. This can be done three different ways, through melding, discarding or laying off. When a person melds, they are essentially grouping their cards and placing them face-up on the table in their area. A meld can consist of cards from the same suite, which are in the chronological order, for example, 2 of diamonds, 3 of diamonds, 4 of diamonds and 5 of diamonds. This is known as a run. They can also be made up of books. A book consists of cards with the same number but from different suits for example, 8 of hearts, 8 of diamonds and 8 of clubs.

Laying off in rummy is when a person adds cards, or a single card, to an already existing meld. To discard means that a player places one of their cards in the discard pile. Discarding is mandatory and each player must do so at the end of their turn. When play begins, a player will draw a card. They can take a card either from the discard or stockpile. Players are able to see the cards are in the discard pile but not the stockpile. Cards taken from the latter are kept secret from the other players. If a player wants a card from deep within the discard pile, they have to take every other card on top of it.

After drawing, if an individual can create a meld they have this option, though this is not required. They can also layoff. Remember, this simply involves adding a card or cards to an already existing meld. A player can do this with as many cards as they can. This is also optional in the game of rummy. Finally, a player will have to discard a card. This card will be placed atop of the discard pile. If a person has drawn from the discard pile, they cannot place that same card back in the pile during the same turn. They must choose a different one. They can discard it later, just not in the same turn. However, players can discard a card they take from the stockpile in the same turn. There may be times when the stockpile runs out of cards. When this occurs, a players need to turn over the discard pile and it becomes the new stockpile.

The player who is able to meld, lay off or discard all of their cards, wins the game of rummy. Once this occurs, play is over. The players who did not win will total the cards still in their hands. Face cards are given a value of 10 points, number cards have values corresponding to their numbers, for example a 7 of diamonds, has a value of 7. Aces are valued at 1. The values of the losing players’ remaining cards are totaled and are added to the winner’s total. The final rummy winner is determined based on who accumulates a pre-determined number of points or who has the highest total after a fixed number of hands.