Indian Rummy - 13 Cards Rummy

Indian Rummy - An introduction to 13 Cards Rummy

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Indian Rummy is a very popular 13 cards rummy game in India. It is played with a deck of cards (52).Two jokers (wild cards) can also be used in the game. If the number of players are more than 4, it is usually played with 2 deck of cards (& 4 jokers). At times, up to 10 players play with 3 deck of cards. Irrespective of the number of decks used, only 13 cards (face down) are dealt to each player by the dealer (each player takes turns dealing the cards). The next card from the deck is kept face up indicating the start of the discard pile. The rest of the cards are kept face down and forms a stock pile for players to draw cards in their turn.

Playing rummy online is legal in India (except in the states of Orissa & Assam).

Objective of Indian Rummy

The purpose of  this form of 13 cards rummy is to be the first among the players to arrange the 13 cards in sets and / or sequences (Run). 

A player wins the game if he / she is the first to arrange the 13 cards in the format: 4 + 3 + 3 + 3 (with two sequences with at least one of them being straight (pure)).

Sequences and Sets in Indian Rummy

A sequence (or run) is defined as 3 or more cards of the same suit arranged in consecutive order.

Example of a Straight  (or pure) Sequence Example of an Impure Sequence
3 4 5 3 4 5
4 5 6 7 8 4 5 6 7 8

A sequence can also be made using a joker (also referred to as Life 2), however to win a game of Indian rummy at least one of the sequences has to be pure (ie without a joker - Also referred to as Life 1). Eg: See "Example of a Straight (or pure) Sequence" above. The only exception when the joker will be considered as part of a pure sequence is when the joker is treated as any normal card and fits into the pure sequence. For the above example (See "Example of a Straight (or pure) Sequence" above.) if 3 spades or 6 hearts was the joker, it would still be considered a pure sequence.

A set is made up of 3 or 4 cards that have same rank but of different suits.

Example of a Valid Set Example of an Invalid Set
3 3 3 A A A
9 9 9 9 K  K Q

A set can also be made using a joker.

In general, when playing with more than 1 pack of cards, more than 1 suit cannot be used to form a set of cards. Eg: See "Example of an Invalid Set" above.

When playing with 3 packs of cards, a set of the same rank card of the same suit will be considered as a pure sequence. Eg: 2 hearts - 2 hearts - 2 hearts would be considered a pure sequence.

Ultimately to win the game the player must show cards correctly as per the format below:

Variations of Indian Rummy

There are 3 popular variations of this 13 cards rummy game:
  • Knock-out Style Rummy
Knock-out style rummy is a 2 player game and the player play 2 or 3 deals against each other depending on whether it is a best of 2 or best of 3 game. This is a quick fire game and the fastest form of the 13 cards rummy format. Imagine it to be the T 20 of cricket!

In each game, the players alternate turns. Each players gets a limited time (usually around 30 seconds) to draw and discard a card. In case the player does not draw and discard within the allotted time, the turn passes on to the opponent. In the situation that a player misses 3 consecutive moves, the game ends and points are calculated as per the cards in hand of each player.

If a player believes he / she has made the required sets and sequences, the player can finish the game. Once a card is discarded to the finish slot, players have 45 seconds to declare their cards. If this is not adhered to by a player (or both players), the score will be calculated by adding the points of all cards in hand.

The winner is the player who has the lowest total score after the specified number (depending on whether it is best of 2 or 3) of games.
  • Points Rummy (or Strikes Rummy)
Points Rummy (or Strikes Rummy) is the fastest form of any multi player rummy (involves more than 2 players). This format requires great skill as it involves multiple players and quick decision making. Many enjoy this form of game play as they could win a good number of games in a short period of time.

Generally, in points rummy (or Strikes Rummy), the players play for points which have a pre-decided monetary value. Each game lasts for one deal only. The winner takes all the cash at the end of each game.

Points Rummy Winnings Calculation = (Sum of all points that opponents get) x (Rupee value of the point) - Rummy Site (operator) fees. 
  • Pool Rummy
Pool Rummy is another form of multi player rummy where every player pays a fixed entry fee which forms the prize pool. This variant is the slowest form as there are no set number of hands or deal and the game continues till all opponents are eliminated. A player is eliminated once they accumulate a maximum number of points (Usually, 101 points pool or 201 points pool) on the table. The winner of every deal gets 0 points. The player with the least points at the end is declared the winner.

Pool Rummy Winnings calculation = (Entry Fee) x (No: of players) - Rummy Site (operator) fees.

You can enjoy these variations (Knock-out Style Rummy, Points Rummy & Pool Rummy) of Indian Rummy at rummy sites like

Some useful Tips & Tricks while playing Indian Rummy

  • Discard high points cards - Aces & picture cards are high points cards in 13 cards rummy. When discarding the card ensure that it is not helpful to your opponent (usually the person who will play right after you). This will ensure that even if you lose a game, the penalty points are minimal.
  • Focus on making the 2 required sequences as soon as possible - Remember that one of the sequence has to be a pure sequence. This trick will help even if you lose the game and ensures that you wont get the sum of points of all cards in hand.
  • More than 3 cards in a  sequence - If you have got more cards of the same suit, a pure sequence can be made with 3 or more cards.
  • Use joker(s) carefully - Joker(s) could make wins much easier. before using a joker it is important to get one pure sequence in place quickly. In the event you are losing the game, it would be a good idea to use the joker(s) with the high point cards (ace and picture cards) to minimize the penalty.
  • Focus on your opponents cards - Rummy is a game of skill and like chess, a good memory helps in deciding your tactical moves. Rummy is ultimately a draw & discard game and it is important to remember the cards picked and discarded by your opponents. You need to judge why your opponents are picking a certain card and decide your discard strategy accordingly. In fact this is one of the most important aspects of the game and can be developed with a lot of practice.
  • Practice, Practice & Practice - You can sharpen your 13 cards rummy skills by playing rummy online free at &
Top Rummy Sites: 

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