Indian Rummy Rajah: How to Play Indian Rummy

Indian rummy bears a close resemblance to rummy and continental rummy. It simply adds another joker to continental rummy. As mentioned, when two people play it, you only use one deck, but when up to six people play it, you need two decks of cards. The players attempt to form sequences of cards and sets of cards. Because of this, this type of card game gets referred to as a matching game.

In this game, the King ranks highest, with the queen next in rank, and so on. The Ace provides the lowest card rank, beneath the two or deuce. The deal begins to the left with each player getting one card at a time. In the Indian rummy variation, each person receives 13 cards. The dealer places the remaining cards on the table face down. This becomes the stock pile. The top card gets turned face up and placed next to the stock pile, thus becoming the upcard. It becomes the discard pile.

Each person deals a hand, with deals passing to the left. When only two individuals play against one another, they simply trade off dealing each hand.

Your objective in the game of Indian rummy is to form a series of three or more cards of the same suit and/or card groupings of three or four of a kind. For example, you might form a series of the King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of hearts, then in a future round, form a group of three cards of the rank of four. When you form these series/sequences or groupings and present them to the other players, you are said to have formed a meld or a book.

How Play Progresses

Play begins with the individual to the left of the dealer. The player may choose the unknown card on the top of the stock pile or the top card of the discard pile. If the player chose from the discard pile, they may not discard, so they will now have 14 cards in their hand. They may, however, meld a set of cards if possible. This means that they lay the card set down on the table face up, in order (i.e. K, Q, J, 10). If the player chooses not to meld and chose from the stock pile, they discard one card, thus keeping only 13 cards in the hand.

If the player picks up from the stock or discard pile, a card that they could add to a meld/book that was already played, they can do that. They may add, for example, the fourth four to the meld they already played, thus completing the book. This process is referred to as laying off a card. Play progresses to the left with each player repeating the process of choosing a card from either of the piles, melding or laying off, if desired, then discarding, if appropriate.

A player wins the game when they get rid of all of their cards, a process referred to as going out. To go out, the individual must match all of the cards in their hand without discarding on their final turn. Play ceases.

If only it were that simple though. Sometimes, it takes a while to obtain matches for each card set. Every player plays through their hands and the last stock card gets drawn. When only the discard pile remains and no player has gone out, the next player can choose either the top card of discard pile or can turn over the discard pile and choose the new top card. This restarts the stock pile and as play progresses; a new discard pile also gets formed. Play continues to the left until someone wins the rummy and goes out.

Scoring for Points or Money

Each card has a numeric value. Face cards – the King, Queen, Jack – each count 10 points. Aces have a value of one and each number card counts as its numeric value, so a four of hearts is worth four points. In gaming, this gets referred to as the pip value.

When one player goes out, the other players calculate the value of the cards they have remaining in their hand. They do not count those that they melded or booked by laying them face up on the table during game play. This is important. Some players like to try to play a surprise attack. They feign having a bad hand and actually hold many melds or books, waiting to try to play them all simultaneously. This can cause you to pay a huge amount to the winner or in the case of a casino, the house. You should meld as soon as possible and add to it when you can so you can build books. The more cards you get out of your hand, the less you will owe the winner if it is not you.

The players who try to play all the melds at once want to “rummy,” a term that means going out all at once. The incentive to do this is money. When a player goes out rummy, the other players pay double the value of the cards left in their hands.

Let’s say you played for one rupee per point. You played your spouse, who won. With a regular win, you had left in your hand two Kings, a two, and a five. You owe your spouse 26 rupees. If your spouse cagily held on to the cards and went out rummy, you owe your spouse 52 rupees.