After the deal, all players receive time to organize their cards. The person on the dealer’s left goes first, continuing clockwise.
1.A player may start his turn by drawing a card from the pile or picking
up discards, going as far back into the discard pile as he wants. If a
player goes back to a certain card, he must immediately play that card
in a meld. (see “The Melds” below). Laying off this card does not count
as a meld for this purpose.
2. He may meld any of the other cards he picked up. You may meld any valid combinations in your hand as many times as you wish and/or are able to.
3. A player must always end his turn by discarding a card (his choice). Lay the discards down in a way so the rank and suit of each are visible.
Calling “Rummy”: If a player discards a card that may be laid off on other cards, the first player to notice it calls “Rummy” and plays the card for his benefit. A card counts a discard once a player takes his hand off it. This rule is nullified if no player notices it until the next player discards. Also, the next player still takes his normal turn if this happens, even if he is the one who picked up the discard. A player who picks up from the discard pile can indeed use the card in a meld or lay it off along with the meld he is forming from the discard pile.
If a player has no discard, play continues as usual. On his next turn, he draws a card. If it is playable, he must play it. If it is not playable, he discards it face down and the hand is over. The hand is always over when a players discards his last card. A player cannot discard his last card if it is playable on any melds already on the table. Other players are allowed to check the final discard. The hand is also over when the draw pile is exhausted and the next player does not wish to pick up from the discard pile. Score the hand as follows:
Each card has a certain scoring value.
2’s through 9’s- 5 points
10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings- 10 points
Aces- 15 points
Exception: An ace melded with the 2 and 3 of the same suit as part of a sequence meld (see “The Melds” below) scores 5 points instead of 15. An ace laid off on a two is also worth only five points.
To score a hand, after it is over, count up the value of all of the cards you have played to the table (your melds, layoff cards you’ve played on your melds and layoff cards you’ve played on other people’s melds) and subtract the point value of all of the cards you have left in your hand.
If you end up with a negative number after doing this, you receive a negative score- not 0 points. If a negative score in one hand would give you a negative score for the entire game, you would still have a negative score- not 0.
Remember, first player to 500 points wins. If two or more players reach 500 or over on the same round, the highest amount over 500 wins the game.
Note: You could play to a different amount of points if you wish.
A meld is a combination of cards from your hand which you place face up on the table, where it stays until the end of a hand. There are two types of combination which can be melded:
A group consists of three or four cards of the same rank, such as three
A sequence consists of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit, such as the five, six and seven of Hearts. An ace can count as low or high but not both at the same time. So A-2-3 and Q-K-A are both valid sequences, but K-A-2 is not. Remember that the cards in a sequence must be all of the same suit.
As well as melding complete combinations, players are allowed to meld cards which extend combinations which are already on the table. This is called laying off. All melds and all previous layoff cards must be kept visible so other players can see layoff opportunities. The fourth card of the same rank can be added to a group of three. (Lay down the fourth Jack if 3 jacks are on the table, for example) Or extra consecutive cards of the same suit can be added to a sequence at either end. For example, if 5-6-7 of Diamonds is already on the table, any player on their turn can add the 4 of Diamonds and/or the 8 of Diamonds. You may lay off of cards that are layoff cards. A player may lay off on his own meld.
6-7-8 Diamonds is on the table. The 9 of Diamonds has previously been laid off on the 8. You may lay off the 10 on the 9.
Sometimes, when laying off a card, there is more than one meld it could be attached to. In this case the player laying off must choose which meld to extend. For example, if there is the sequence 7-8-9 of Diamonds and the group 10 of Clubs-10 of Hearts-10 of Spades on the board, and you have a 10 of Diamonds in your hand, you can choose whether to add your 10 to the sequence or the group, but once it is played, it cannot be moved. If something like this happens, you must state whether you are attaching the card to the sequence or the group.
You do not have to “lay off” cards you have in your hand if you don’t want to.
(I know what I’m talking about here. This is the card game I play second most frequently. )
1. When a player is in the no discard stage
or has only a few cards left in his hand, it’s generally a good idea to
discard Aces or ten-pointers. (10, Jack, Queen, King)
These are 15 or 10 points against you respectively, which could really hurt your score.
2. Try not to discard a card that would be the second or third card of a possible meld when combined with other cards in the discard pile.
For example, if there is a King in the discard pile it is not a good idea to discard a King. Your King would be the second card of a possible meld. It’s likely that another person has a third ace and will pick up the discard pile. You might discard it on purpose to tempt another player to dig deep into the discard pile. You might want to do this to trap him with a lot of points when you’re about to go out. If you discard the third card of a meld, the other player doesn’t need any more cards and can go ahead and just pick it up. The same works for sequences.
Also, it’s a better idea to “tempt” another player by discarding cards that are part of low point value melds.
3. Watch the cards on the table. Use this information. For example, if two Aces are already laid down, it is fairly safe to discard an Ace, even if there is an Ace in the discard pile already.
4. It’s generally not a good idea to pick up a lot of cards from the
discard pile if another player could go out shortly (has only a few cards
in his hand)(or has no cards (no discard)) You could be stuck with those
cards, meaning you would have to deduct a lot of points from your score.
However, it’s a gamble that could pay off big.
5. There are a couple of occasions where you might have a meld, but wouldn’t want to play it. The most common example is an Ace-2-3 sequence. You might not want to play this, so that you can save the Aces for a group of three or four Aces or a Q-K-A sequence.
However, if you get the appropriate 4, by all means play the 2-3-4 sequence. You could “lay off” the Ace later if you wanted to.
The only 2 cases where you should play an Ace to an Ace-2-3 sequence
or “lay it off” on a 2-3-4 sequence are:
1. when one of your opponents is about to go out and you want the 15 points out of your hand and 2. when 2 or 3 of the Aces have already been played or the appropriate King is used in a group of Kings. You still get the five points for the Ace.
Never discard an Ace with the appropriate 2-3-4 sequence on the table. An opponent could still call “Rummy” and get the five points for himself.
6. Watch what cards your opponents have picked up from the discard pile. Use this information when deciding what to discard. For example, you know your opponent has picked up 2 Jacks and played neither. You would not want to discard another jack, which he could pick up.
Must go out to win:
You can only win the game if you go out and achieve a cumulative score of 500 or more. If you do this you win even if other players have higher scores. You would not be able to win on a hand on which another player goes out, however large your score is.
Wild Card: Self-explanatory. Dealer chooses one wild card before each
hand is dealt.
Face Value: Give 2’s thru 9’s their face value
Note: A card is considered “discarded” when a player places it on the discard pile and takes his thumb off of it.
This Page © Alan Gilfoy, 2004-2005.