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How to Play Rummy – Learn Rummy Card Game Rules & Win Cash

Learn about Rummy Basics, Rummy Rules and terminologies associated with the game so that you can gain sufficient expertise before starting to play the game.

Rummy Basics

Out of all the card games that are available in India, none comes close to the excitement that 13 card Indian Rummy generates. Commonly known as Paplu, the extremely popular draw and discard game is also called as Classic Rummy, 13 card Rummy and Indian Rummy. Despite its uncertain origin, the game has been played in India for several decades. One can say it is a combination of popular US card games Gin Rummy and Rummy 500. Because of its ubiquitous reach, the game is a favourite during local functions, marriage parties, and even when people travel to office through trains.

What is Indian Rummy?

Indian Rummy card game is played between 2-6 players. A typical rummy game requires two decks of cards along with 2 jokers. In order to win the rummy game a player must make a valid declaration by picking and discarding cards from open deck and closed deck. The deck which is formed by the discards of the player is called open deck and the deck that the players cannot see and is with the face closed is called as closed deck. 13 card Rummy is played with two decks of cards with two Jokers. The list of cards from lower to higher as follows – Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K. Ace card can be used as 1 or a face card during melding eg: A, 2, 3 or J, Q, K, A.

What is the objective of rummy card game?

The objective of the rummy card game is to arrange the 13 cards in valid sets and sequences. In order to win the game, a player needs to meld two sequences at least out of which one must be a pure sequence. A declare without a pure sequence is considered as invalid.

How to get rid of the cards?

You need to follow the below processes in order to meet the objective:

What is Melding?

Melding is the process of matching cards, typically 3 or more, that allows the players to attenuate their hands. Melds typically come in the order of ascending cards belonging to the same suit known as runs (6♠7♠ 8♠) or sets of cards of identical rank (7♠7♣7♥).

What do you mean by laying off?

A player has an option to "lay off" some cards on an existing meld. It means the player has an option to add to a run or a set that is on the table or with any other players. For example, if there's ♣5♣6♣7 on the table & you have ♣8, you may lay it off on the meld.

How to discard?

After building the melds, the player must discard one card to the open deck, face up to the open deck. If his/her opponent has discarded a joker card, then the player cannot pick up the card.

What is show?

When player is done with making sets and sequences he needs to submit the cards for validation. This action of submitting the cards is called Show. After grouping the cards together in proper sets and sequences, this act of submitting the card should be done in order to seal the victory.

How to Play Rummy – Basic Rummy Terminologies


The process of doling out cards at the beginning of a game is known as Dealing. In Indian Rummy game, 13 cards are dealt to each player on the table. Cards are dealt in a clockwise direction; the player sitting on the left side of the dealer gets the first card.

Deck of Cards

Every Rummy game is played with a minimum of 2 set of cards in all the rummy sites. A deck of cards mean 52 cards + 1 Printed Joker in four suits – Spade (♠), Clubs (♣), Hearts (♥), Diamond(♦).

Every suit has 13 cards which are in this order A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K.

Joker card acts a substitute card which can be used in place of a missing card while forming a set or a sequence.


Chips are equivalent of cash on When you deposit Rs. 100, you get 100 real money chips using which you can play cash rummy games. There are practice chips available too which are available free of cost. After you create an account with, it is credited with 10000 Practice chips. Once your practice chips goes below 4000, you can reload the practice chips and set it to 10000.

Sequence or Run

Melding three or four consecutive cards of the same suit is called sequence (eg: 5♠, 6♠, 7♠ is a sequence and A♠ K♠ Q♠ J♠ is also a sequence as they are four consecutive cards belonging to the same suit Spade (♠).

Pure Sequence

One pure sequence is mandatory in the game of Rummy to declare victory. A minimum of 3 consecutive cards of the same suit without joker is referred as a pure sequence. For example, 3♠ 4♠ 5♠ is a pure sequence.

Invalid Sequence

The sequence which is built with a printed joker or a wild joker in the place of a missing card of the same suit is referred to as the Invalid sequence.

Eg: 1. If 9 of any suit turn out to be the wild joker then 3♥ 9♥ 5♥ is a valid sequence. Here 9♥ acts as the substitute of the missing 4♥.

2. 2♠ 8♥ 4♠ 5♠ PJ (Impure sequence with 8 as wild joker that is replacing 3♠ and the Printed Joker is replacing 6♠.)


A set is made by three or four cards of the same rank that are with different suits. Players can use printed jokers or wild jokers to build a set.

Example: (J♦, J♠, J♥, J♣) (K♦, K♥, K♣, PJ) are some examples of a valid set.

When you are using 2 decks or more you aren’t permitted to use same suit twice in a set for instance. 6 ♠ 6 ♠ 6 ♥ cannot be considered as a valid set in such cases.

Joker cards

There are two types of jokers which you can use in a rummy card game. Joker card’s primary role is to act as a substitute card while making a set or a sequence.

1. Wild Joker

When a 13 card rummy game begins, a wild joker is selected randomly from the closed deck which acts as a wild joker and can be used in place of a missing card.

For example if J♥ is the wild joker then the J card belonging to any suit can be used as a wild joker while forming a set and/or a sequence.

Eg: 1. K♦, K♥, K♠, J♦ is a valid set where J♦ takes the place of the missing K♣ 2. 2♠ J♥ 4♠ 5♠ is a valid sequence where J♥ takes the place of the missing 3♠

2. Printed Joker

Printed joker is the 53rd card that comes along with the card deck and the one which serves the same purpose as a wild card. If you get hold of a printed joker in your hand, you can use them to replace any other cards to form sets and sequences. Following are the examples where Printed Jokers were used to build sets and /or sequences.

1. K♦, K♥, K♠, PJ is a valid set where the printed joker takes the place of the missing K♣

2. 2♠ PJ, 4♠ 5♠ is a valid sequence where PJ takes the place of the missing 3♠

Rummy Table

It is the place where players are seated to have a game. Every rummy table can sit two to six players for each game. Deccan Rummy has a wide range of cash tables where the players are required to pay a small amount in order to participate, and free practice tables that they can play with practice chips credited to their accounts.

Draw and Discard

In every rummy game, each player is dealt 13 cards. In addition to that there are two stacks from which the players can select and drop their cards. The act of picking up a card from the aforesaid stack is called as Draw. The process of discarding a card to the Discard pile is called as Discard. A player may chose to drop the game whenever he wants.

Open Deck

The rummy term Open Deck refers to the pile which is formed by the player discards. After 13 cards are distributed to each player, a wild joker is automatically selected and a card is left face up on the open deck. Open Deck is also referred as the Discard pile. Players during their turn have to discard one card into the open deck. Players have an option to pick a card from the open deck if it makes a good addition to their hand.

Closed Deck

Closed Deck refers to the card pile which is kept with its face down, from which players can draw their cards during their turn. After 13 cards are dealt to each players and a joker wild card has been selected, the remaining cards are placed with its face closed to form what is known as the closed deck.


Face cards have 10 Points each i.e. A, K, Q, J carry 10 points each

All the numerical cards carry their rank value as the points eg: 2 ♠ = 2, 3♥ = 3 and so on.

A player’s score is calculated with his remaining hand cards. For a successful show, a player wins the game with 0 Points. For the rest of the players, the score of the unmatched cards are taken into account. All jokers, both wild and printed, have zero points

Maximum score in a rummy game is 80 Points. If the players’ handscore is more than 80, he still loses with 80 Points.

If the losing player has the following group of cards, then he/she loses with 58 points.

Wild Joker: 5♦

4♥ 5♥ 6♥ | 7♣ 8♣ 5♦ | 9♦ 9♠ 4♣ | K♦ Q♦ 7♠ 9♠

Here, the losing player has two sequences - one pure sequence 4♥ 5♥ 6♥ and an impure sequence 7♣ 8♣ 5♦. Since the player has two sequences along with a pure sequence, only the points of the unmelderd cards are taken into account– 9 (9♦) + 9 (9♠) + 4 (4♣) + 10 (K♦) + 10 (Q♦) + 7 (7♠) + 9 (9♠) = 58 points.

Let us consider another example, where the player has not made the pure sequence/sequence. In this case, we shall see how the points calculation works. Here let us assume the wild joker is 6♣

If the player ends up with cards as mentioned below

9♠ 9♥ 9♣ | 8♦ 9♦ 6♦ | 8♠ 10♠ J♠ | Q♥ K♥ | K♠ K♦

Here, the losing player does not have the pure sequence. Therefore, the points of all the cards in the hand will be counted except the wild joker of course – 9 (9♠) + 9 (9♥) + 9 (9♣) + 8 (9♦) + 9 (9♦) + 0 8(8♠) + 10 (10♠) + 10 (J♠) + 10 (Q♥) + 10 (K♥) + 10 (K♠) + 10 (K♦) = 112 points. Despite his hand score being 112, as the maximum points in rummy being 80, the player loses with 80 Points.

Drop in Rummy

A player has an option to drop at any point of time while playing rummy online. For deals rummy, there is no drop option available.

For the first round drop the player gets 20 Points. This is when he drops out of the game even before picking up a card.

For a middle drop, the player gets 40 points. Any drop that is made after picking up the opening card is considered as a middle drop.

If the player misses three consecutive turns, then he is dropped from the game. The drop is considered as the middle drop and he loses with 40 Points.

Invalid submit or wrong show, the player loses with 80 Points.

Wrong Show

For a valid show, the players must have melded his hand cards in a way that it has 2 sequences at least out of which one must be a pure sequence. For a wrong show, player loses with 80 points.

Examples of a wrong show:

1. (2♦,3♦K♣) (5♥,6♥, K♥, 8♥) (8♥, 8♠, 8♣) (J♥, J♠, J♣) – Pure sequence is missing in this meld. A wild joker has been used to build both the sequences so it’s an invalid submit.

2. (7♣, 8♣, 9♣) (J♥, Q♥, K♥, Wild Joker) (8♥, 8♠, 8♣) (K♣, K♣, K♥) – In a rummy game involving more than 2 decks, a set cannot have 2 face cards of the same suit. In this case K♣ is used twice, so it’s an invalid submit.

How to Play Rummy – Game Play

  • Game play in online rummy game is similar in all forms of rummy (Points rummy/Deals rummy/Pool rummy) except for the number of deals which varies in Deals Rummy as well as Pool Rummy.
  • A random toss is made in the beginning, where one card is randomly dealt to every player in the table. The player who receives the highest hand card is the winner starts the game. Eg: If 6 players get 7♣, A♠, K♥, Q♥, 10♠, J♠ respectively, then the one with A♠ is the winner of the toss and he gets to make the first move
  • 13 cards are then dealt to each player
  • The first card is placed in the open deck slot to indicate that the game has started. Remaining cards are placed face-down in the closed deck slot.
  • A wild joker is randomly selected from the closed deck. In case a printed joker is selected as a joker, then ace card of any suit can be used as a joker.
  • For the comfort of players, we have introduced the sort button feature, which the players can use to sort their cards so that it facilitates easy grouping.
  • Players during their turn can pick a card from either open or closed deck and should discard the hand card on the discard pile/open deck and must meld his cards to form sequences and sets. This process of grouping cards is called Melding. When all the cards in the closed deck are consumed, the cards in the open deck are reshuffled to continue the game play.
  • The player who arranges all the 13 cards in their hands in sets and sequences are declared as winners. Please note that the player need to have at least two sequences, one of which must be a pure sequence (without Jokers) and other cards arranged in sequences and/or sets
  • After arranging the 13 cards in sets and sequences, the player should discard the final card on the finish slot to declare the game. After you have declared, you need to arrange the hand cards into proper sets and sequences and wait for your opponent to show their hands. If all the sets and sequences are valid as per the rules, the player wins with 0 points and the points of the losing players are calculated based on the value of cards remaining in their hands. Players are requested to please note that in order for a successful declare, they need atleast 3 pairs, only then our system will recognize it as a valid declare. Players are requested to group their sets/sequences accordingly as mentioned above and then go for declare.
Valid Declaration

4♥ 5♥ 6♥ 7♥ | K♣ Q♣ PJ | Q♦ Q♠ Q♣ | 7♠ 7♦ 7♣

This is considered as a valid declaration as the player has met the objective

  1. All the cards have been neatly arranged into valid sequences and sets.
  2. It has a minimum of two sequences - 4♥ 5♥ 6♥ 7♥ | and K♣ Q♣ PJ. One is a pure sequence and other one is an impure sequence thus the objective of building rummy with two sequences is met.
Invalid Declaration
1. Declaring without Pure Sequence

4♥ 5♥ PJ | K♣ Q♣ PJ | Q♦ Q♠ Q♣ | 7♠ 7♦ 7♣

  1. This is an example of an invalid sequence
  2. In order for a successful declare, a pure sequence is mandatory. When you observe the meld, it is clear there is no pure sequence. Hence it is an invalid submit so the player loses with 80 Points.
2. Declaring without two sequences

4♥ 5♥ 6♥ | K♣ K♣ PJ | K♦ K♠ K♣ K♥ | 7♠ 7♦ 7♣

  1. This is an example of invalid sequence
  2. Here, the player has made a pure sequence (4♥ 5♥ 6♥) but has failed to meet the objective of building two sequences atleast for a successful declare. Hence it is considered as an invalid submit.
3. Declaring with an Invalid set

4♥ 5♥ 6♥ | K♣ K♣ PJ | K♦ K♠ K♣ K♥ | 7♠ 7♦ 7♦

  1. This is an example of invalid declaration.
  2. Here, the player has made an incorrect sequence (7♠ 7♦ 7♦), In a rummy game with more than two decks involved, you cannot make a set that consists of cards in the same suit.
4. Declaring with two pairs

A♦, 2♦, 3♦, 4♦, 5♦, 6♦, 7♦, 8♦, 9♦, 10♦, | K♠ K♠ K♠

  1. This is an example of Invalid declaration
  2. As we have mentioned earlier, it is mandatory you must have 3 pairs in order for a successful declare. In this case there are just 2 pairs, hence it is considered as an invalid declare.

What are rummy tips and strategies?

Second to following rummy rules, these are some rummy tips and strategies that you ought to follow while playing rummy online

  1. Focus on building the pure sequence at the start of the game. Without building a pure sequence, your chance to win is zero.
  2. Discard the high value cards like Ace, King, Queen, and Jack as it will reduce your points should you lose the game
  3. Identify if your hand is playable right at the beginning. If your starting hands are unplayable, consider early drop as it might reduce your point load.
  4. Make use of joker and wild joker apart from your pure sequence to build your melds
  5. When you are ready to make a declaration, recheck if your melds are correct. A wrong declaration could make you lose the game by 80 points.

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