Rummy Variations | Different Types of Rummy Games

Rummy Variations | Different Types of Rummy Games

Rummy Variations

Rummy has remained India’s favourite card game for generations. The availability of Rummy on smartphones has significantly increased its accessibility and popularity. As the game has gone global, players worldwide must acquaint themselves with its various rummy variations in detail. Despite the preservation of the basic rules, numerous enjoyable ways to play Rummy with friends have emerged.

Every variant of Rummy comes with slight rule modifications. Therefore, it is vital to understand the different types of Rummy games available online and thoroughly acquaint yourself with their respective rules before participating in a cash table. This preparation will enhance your gameplay experience and increase your chances of success in the game.

The Various Rummy Variations are as under:

  1. 13 Card Rummy
  2. Points Rummy
  3. Deals Rummy
  4. Pool Rummy
  5. Indian Rummy
  6. 21 Card Rummy
  7. Contract Rummy
  8. Gin Rummy
  9. Canasta
  10. 27 Card Rummy
  11. Oklahoma Rummy
  12. Rummikubh
  13. Kalooki Rummy
  14. Shanghai Rummy
  15. Viennese Rummy
  16. 500 Rummy
  17. Dummy Rummy

13 Card Rummy

Primarily played in India, the 13-card Rummy game involves dealing each player 13 cards. To declare, the rules mandate the formation of at least one pure sequence and one impure sequence. There are different types of 13-card Rummy games, including:

  1. Indian Rummy
  2. Pool Rummy
  3. Points Rummy
  4. Deals Rummy

Points Rummy

Points Rummy is a variant of the 13-card Indian Rummy where players compete for points, having predetermined the rupee value. To win a Points Rummy game, a player must declare and achieve a score of 0. The losing player calculates the remaining points from non-set cards, and that score is added to their total. The winner is entitled to claim all the cash based on the opponents’ cumulative points.

Deals Rummy

Deals Rummy is another variant of the 13-card Rummy game, similar to Indian Rummy, where a predetermined number of cards are dealt to each player. In an online Deals Rummy game, all participants receive a fixed amount of chips at the beginning to use for playing. After each round, the winner earns chips from the losing player based on the scores. The player with the higher chip count at the conclusion of the Deals Rummy game emerges as the overall winner.

Pool Rummy

Yet another variant of the 13-card Rummy is Pool Rummy, commonly available in various mobile applications for online Rummy play. Pool Rummy is structured around rounds. Similar to Points Rummy, the game continues until the last player accumulates over 101 or 201 points, depending on the specific version. In Pool Rummy, the winner of each round receives 0 points, making the game slightly longer to complete compared to other Rummy variations.

Indian Rummy

Indian Rummy, a type of 13-card Rummy, can be described as a blend of Gin and 500 Rummy. It has gained immense popularity in India and follows the standard rules of forming sets and sequences before one’s opponent/opponents.

The game begins with each player being dealt 13 cards. For a 2-player game, a 52-card deck is used, while for a 6-player game, two decks of 52 cards are combined and used. To win the game, the player who successfully arranges their sets needs to make a valid declaration.

21 Card Rummy

21 Card Rummy adheres to the fundamental rules of most Rummy games for the most part. The key distinction lies in the number of cards dealt to each player, with 21 cards being dealt in this variant. Players must aim to create a minimum of 3 pure sequences, making 21 Card Rummy a more challenging and strategic game to play.

Another notable difference is the penalty system. In the 21 Card Rummy variant, dropping out from the game before playing a hand incurs a 30-point penalty, while a 75-point penalty is incurred if you drop out afterwards.

A unique aspect of 21 Card Rummy is the utilization of jokers. This variant assigns upper and lower jokers, linked to the cut joker. For instance, if the cut-joker is 8♠, then the upper joker becomes 9♠, and the lower joker is 7♠. Both the upper and lower jokers must belong to the same suit as the cut joker. Moreover, players can use the Upper and Lower jokers as substitutes for any card to form impure sequences, adding an extra layer of strategy to the game.

Contract Rummy

Contract Rummy is a Rummy variant that draws its inspiration from Gin Rummy. Unlike Gin Rummy, Contract Rummy consists of seven rounds, each requiring players to collect specific combinations of sequences. As the game advances, it becomes progressively more challenging.

In the first four rounds of Contract Rummy, players are dealt 10 cards, while in the final three rounds, they receive 12 cards. Apart from this difference in the number of cards dealt, the remaining rules closely resemble those of Gin Rummy. Contract Rummy offers a unique and exciting twist on the traditional Rummy gameplay, making it a great choice for players seeking a fresh and stimulating card game experience.

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy is another version of the Rummy game, designed for 2 to 4 players, with slight differences compared to 13 Card Rummy and 21 Card Rummy. In Gin Rummy, each player is dealt 10 cards instead of 13 to form sets and sequences. An interesting distinction in this variant is that the ‘A Card’ can be considered as the first card, followed by 2 and 3.

A notable feature of Gin Rummy is that a player can win without having a completely valid set of cards. If a player’s point value is less than 10, they can declare a win by ‘knocking’. Post that, points are calculated based on the difference between the deadwood points (points collected from cards not in a set or sequence) of the winner and the opponent’s deadwood points.

While Gin Rummy offers its own unique gameplay and strategy, it is true that 13 Card Rummy and 21 Card Rummy are generally more popular and widely played. Each variant has its own appeal, catering to different preferences and skill levels of players in the exciting world of Rummy.


The Rummy variant called Canasta originated in Spain. It has the same set of rules as a regular Rummy variant, but the Joker and 2s are considered wild cards here.

In this Rummy variant, the rules remain consistent with regular Rummy, but with the inclusion of special cards such as Jokers and 2s, which serve as wild cards. The special cards have distinct roles:

Wild Cards: Jokers and 2s can replace any natural card in a meld, making them versatile in forming sets and sequences.

Red 3’s (Bonus Cards): Red 3’s do not count in a meld but grant the player recipient bonus points when placed face up. They hold no point value themselves.

Black 3’s (Stop Cards): The black three prevents opponents from accessing the discard pile during their turn. This can be advantageous when a player is on the verge of forming a “Canasta.”

Each player receives 15 cards, and the remaining cards constitute the stockpile. The top card of the stock pile is turned face-up to become the first card in the discard pile. However, this card cannot be a wild card or a 3. If such a card is drawn initially, the dealer turns over another card and places it on top of the wild card or 3. When a player takes the discard pile, they receive the red three, but they do not receive the usual extra card.

27 Card Rummy

In 27 Card Rummy, the game is exclusively played using the Point Rummy variant. It is one of those rummy variations that caters to 2 to 5 players and requires three decks of cards. To add an exciting twist, an extra group of 2 Up & 2 Down Jokers is introduced, complementing the standard set of Printed and Wildcard jokers.

Oklahoma Rummy

Oklahoma card game is a well-liked variation of Gin Rummy. While the two games share many similarities, and the basic rules remain akin to traditional Rummy, there are distinct differences that set Oklahoma Rummy apart from both traditional Rummy and Gin Rummy.

In Oklahoma Rummy, players aim to form sets and sequences similar to other Rummy variants. However, a key difference lies in the way the game is scored. In this variation, the player who wins the hand receives the total value of cards remaining in their opponents’ hands. This scoring system sets it apart from the traditional Rummy and Gin Rummy games, adding a unique twist to the gameplay.


This particular variation of Rummy combines elements from both the traditional Rummy and Mahjong games, resulting in a fascinating blend known as Rummikubh. Notably popular in both Asia and Europe, Rummikubh employs 104 tiles, which is the same quantity as two standard decks of cards. These tiles are conveniently marked with numbers ranging from 1 to 13. At the start of the game, players are dealt 14 tiles each and are tasked with skillfully creating sets and strategically laying down their tiles during gameplay.

Kalooki Rummy

Kalooki, also known as Kaluki or Caribbean Kalooki, is a Contract Rummy variation that enjoys significant popularity in the Caribbean Islands, with Jamaica being a particularly prominent hub for the game. Interestingly, it is also well-liked in Trinidad and Tobago, expanding its influence beyond Jamaica’s shores.

The game is occasionally referred to as “Jamaican Rummy,” despite its widespread popularity in both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. This name highlights the game’s strong association with the vibrant culture of the Caribbean region. It is also known as the rummy 51 game.

In this variation of rummy, every player is dealt a hand of 9 cards at the beginning of the game. The ultimate goal is to achieve the lowest score among all players, as the participant with the lowest score will be declared the winner.

Shanghai Rummy

One of the rummy variations, Shanghai Rummy follows a specific setup where each player receives a hand of 11 cards at the beginning of the game. This card game is ideally played with a group of 3 to 5 players, making it a delightful choice for a small gathering of friends or family. Shanghai Rummy shares many similarities with Contract Rummy, which adds to its appeal among card game enthusiasts.

One of the unique features of this variant is the use of 2 Spades and 2 Clubs as Jokers, introducing an exciting twist to the traditional gameplay. These extra Jokers bring additional possibilities for creating sets and runs, adding strategic depth and unpredictability to the game.

Viennese Rummy

Viennese Rummy, also known as Wiener Rummy in German, is an enjoyable matching card game belonging to the Rummy family. It is popularly played in continental Europe and caters to a player count ranging from 2 to 6 people.

The game utilizes two packs of French playing cards, each comprising 52 cards, along with one joker, creating a total of 106 cards. This unique combination of cards allows for diverse and engaging gameplay.

Viennese Rummy accommodates two to six players, ensuring that it can be enjoyed by both small groups and larger gatherings. At the start of the game, each player is dealt a hand of ten cards, except for the dealer, who receives eleven cards to commence the gameplay.

500 Rummy

500 Rummy is one of the highly popular Rummy variations played in America, offering a dynamic playing experience for 2 to 8 players. This engaging game is also known by other names, such as Pinochle or Persian Rummy, reflecting its wide recognition and adaptation across different regions.

The rules of 500 Rummy closely resemble those of the classic Rummy game. However, there is a significant twist in this variant: players earn points throughout the gameplay.

The objective of 500 Rummy is to accumulate points strategically while forming sets and runs with the cards in hand. The key to victory lies in reaching the 500-point threshold before other players.

Dummy Rummy

Dummy Rummy is one of the rummy variations which is renowned for its simplicity, making it easy for players to grasp and enjoy. In this particular variant, the game introduces a unique twist by treating all the 2s as jokers, in addition to the standard 4 jokers found in a 2-deck game.

The inclusion of extra jokers opens up numerous possibilities for creating different combinations during gameplay. Players can explore various strategies to form sets and runs using these versatile jokers, adding an element of surprise and flexibility to each round.