Continental Rummy

Continental Rummy is a popular Rummy game for large groups. According to Albert Morehead, it was "at one time the most popular form of Rummy in women's afternoon games, until in 1950 it lost out to Canasta."

Continental Rummy is, as many references state, a relative of Contract Rummy, and like Contract Rummy, it requires creation of a certain combination of melds, but unlike most Contract Rummy games, which are played over a series of deals, a game of Continental Rummy is played in a single hand.


Players: 2 to 12

Cards: For fewer than 5 players, use two decks of 52 cards each, plus one joker, for a total of 105 cards. 6 to 8 players use three decks of 52 cards each, plus three jokers, for a total of 159 cards. 9 or more players use four decks, plus three jokers, for a total of 212 cards. The cards are ranked (hi) A-K-Q-J-7-6-5-4-3-2-A (lo). An ace may be ranked either high or low, (but not both at once.) Dueces and Jokers are wild.

The Deal: To determine who deals first, the deck is shuffled and cut, and each player draws a card. The player drawing the lowest card deals first. Thereafter, the deal passes from player to player to the left. Each player is dealt fifteen cards, three at a time. Cards are dealt clockwise, starting with the player at the dealer's left. After dealing, one card is turned as the upcard, and the remainder of the deck is turned face-down to form the stock.

Objective: The goal is to go out by melding all your cards at once into sequences. In Continental Rummy, sets are not valid melds. To go out, a player must create one of the following combinations of sequences:

  • Five 3-card sequences
  • Three 4-card sequences and one 3-card sequence
  • One 5-card sequence, one 4-card sequence, and two 3-card sequences

Game Play

Play commences with the player to the left of the dealer taking a turn and continues clockwise until the hand ends. Each player's turn consists of a draw and a discard. Each player's turn must end with a discard, which is placed face-up on the discard pile. A player may draw from either the stock or discard pile.

To win, a player must lay down all their melds at once. A player may not lay a partial combination of sequences. A sequence may not go "round the corner" (K-A-2), though the ace may rank either high or low. A long sequence may be split into smaller sequences in order to meet the desired melding pattern. Dueces and Jokers are wild

End of Hand

When a player has laid down his melds and discarded his last card, the game is over, and scored.


At the end of the game, the winner collects the following from every other player:

Bonus Points Awarded
For winning the game 1
For each duece used 1
For each joker used 2
For going out without drawing a card 10
For going out after drawing only one card 7
For going out without using a wild card 10
For having all melds of the same suit 10

Multiple games can be played and scores accumulated to determine the winner of the gaming session.

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