Rummy refers to a large family of card games with a very interesting history and evolution. Rummy games are played all over the world, mostly in social or family groups, but also in competitive and gambling environments. Not only are there the more or less well known Rummy-like games listed here (and many that are not,) but most will have commonly used alternate rules or game variations that some groups use when playing. Rummy is one of those things where just about anybody will find some game or variation that appeals to them.
If you are not yet familiar with any Rummy or Rummy-like games, be sure to read the Rummy Basics page first, where you can learn more about the things that are common across most Rummy games, and also learn some of the terminology used in most of the games.
Basic Rummy Games
This group of games have similar concepts and rules, and one of these is often what one thinks of when somebody says the name "Rummy." The aim is simply to form your whole hand into Sets or Runs, as soon as possible. When someone succeeds in this and goes out, the other players may lose a fixed amount, or may be penalized according to the number of unmelded cards they have left.
Conquian is generally regarded as the earliest form of Rummy. The objective, as in other Rummy games, is to complete a hand consisting entirely of valid combinations. However, the draw and discard mechanism is somewhat different. Cards drawn from the stock or taken from the discard pile are never added to a player's hand, they must be melded or discarded.
Contract Rummy Games
The object is the same as in Standard Rummy, but in each round, each player's first meld has to conform to a predetermined contract. Generally, the contract becomes more difficult through a series of rounds.
Manipulation Rummy Games
Again the aim is to get rid of all your cards by melding them. The distinctive feature of these games is that when melding, you are also allowed to rearrange the existing melds on the table to form new melds incorporating cards you add from your hand.
Knock Rummy Games
In these games, you do not necessarily have to form all your cards into sets to go out. You go out when you think that the value of your unmatched cards (the deadwood) is less than that of the other players. If you are correct you win, but if another player can do better you are penalized.
Meld Scoring Games
In this type of game positive points are scored for melds. There is still an advantage in going out, but it is also necessary to consider gaining points by making valuable melds.
This is a particular type of Meld Scoring Rummy with special bonuses for melds of seven cards, known as Canastas.
- Classic Canasta and Modern American Canasta
- Canasta for Two
- Canasta for Three
- Canasta for Five
- Canasta for Six
Games for kids
Many Rummy games are suitable for kids to master and enjoy. I remember playing Standard Rummy with my Grandma when I was quite young, (around 7 or 8) and it was a great experience. A few games here at the Rummy Rulebook are simple enough that they can be learned by even younger children, and they have been collected in this group for easy access. For example, my 4 year old granddaughter won the first game of Tres y Dos that we played, with only a little help.