How to play Rummy
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The object of the game is to get the most points. The object of each hand is to get rid of all the cards in your hand. Setup. Using a standard deck of playing cards, with kings high and aces low, each player draws 1 card and the player with the lowest card is the first dealer. If there is a tie, try again. The dealer shuffles then deals based on the number of players: 10 cards for 2 players, 7 cards for 3 to 4 players, or 6 cards for 5 to 6 players. Players look at their own cards but keep them hidden from their opponents. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table, forming the “stock”. Discard top card of the stock faceup to form a discard pile.
Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer and proceeding clockwise, each player’s turn begins by pickup one card from either the stock or the discard pile and adding it to their hand. If at any point in the game the stock pile runs out, the discard pile is shuffled to form a new stock pile. The last card in the new stock pile becomes the first card in the discard pile.
After adding a card to your hand you have two optional plays: Melding and Laying Off.
You make a meld by either having three or more of a kind or by having three or more of a run. A run is cards of the same suit in increasing or decreasing order. When you make a meld you must lay it face up on the table. Melding is optional and can only be done once a turn.
You may also “lay off” during your turn by adding one or more cards from your hand to any meld already on the table. Laying Off is optional and there is no limit to the number of cards you can lay off.
When you are finished melding and laying off you end your turn and must discard one card, face up, onto the discard pile. If you had drawn from the discard pile, you may not discard the same card you drew on that turn. The next player clockwise goes.
When one player gets rid of all of the cards in their hand, all players stop and the player who went out receives points for the remaining cards in other player’s hands. Face cards are worth 10 points each, aces are worth 1, and numbered cards are worth their number. A player goes “rummy” when they get rid of all the cards in their hand in one turn, without having previously melded or laid off any cards. In this event, they receive twice as many points.
The hand is now over. The role of dealer rotates clockwise by one and a new hand is dealt. This process repeats until a player reaches a predetermined point total or until you play a predetermined number of hands, at which time, the player with the most points wins.
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