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Rummy Variants – How Else Can You Play?

Author: Neha Agrawal

As with most of the popular card games that can be played online, there are a number of other ways that you can play Rummy on the internet. Now, most of the variants of Rummy aren’t merely online games, but games that can be played with a deck of cards (or two) in your very own living room with family and friends if you prefer, but online is where they really come into their own.

The basic Rummy game, when not known as just Rummy, is also known as Straight Rummy. There is a common myth however that 500 Rummy (which allows players to pick up more than one discarded card, or gain points from melds) is simply called Rummy. It shouldn’t be, because 500 Rummy is itself a variation of the original game. And low and behold, you have already come across your first Rummy variant right there.

Kaluki (Kallokie) is another variant of Rummy, which is found mostly in the United Kingdom and it involves two decks, plus two jokers. Jokers tend to act as wild cards in most Rummy games, taking on the value of the card in the meld that they are replacing. This is the case in Kaluki. Kaluki is typically played with thirteen cards per player.

Another very similar variant to this is 13 Card Rummy, also known as Indian Rummy. Indian Rummy can host as many as ten players per game, and either two or three decks of cards. Each deck will have one wild card, which is either a joker or a card designated by the dealer, who draws a card from the deck to act as the joker wild card. A run (or sequence) must be in the same suit in Indian or 13 Card Rummy. Indian Rummy also entitled a player to pack or drop, which are both terms for withdrawing from the hand – most notably due to the player having a seriously bad hand.

Three Thirteen is another form of Rummy that is played in North America. Anywhere between one and three decks can be used depending on how many people are playing, though the game has eleven rounds, and in each round there is a wild card. For example, round one is the 3 card, round two is the 4 card, etc, until in round eleven, the King is wild.

Other popular forms and variants of Rummy include Vazhushal (or Wipe) in Southern India, Proter in Sri Lanka, Nepal’s Marriage game, Loba de Menos from Argentina, Japan’s Seven Bridge, Umtali in Zimbabwe and a tiled version of the game called Rummikub in the United States. Each of these games has an alternative take on the rules of Rummy however, and should be learned as individual games, rather than extensions of general Straight Rummy.