Basic Rummy

Ages: 6 years old and up
Number of players: 2 players (Set-up varies when playing with 3 or more players)
Materials: Deck of Cards, paper and pencil for scoring
Skill Practice: Number sequencing, ordering, planning and shifting

Goal: To make as many sets or melds as possible in order to collect the most points

Specific Card Rules:

  • Rummy Meld - A meld is a group or a set of 3 or more cards.  There are two types of melds in Rummy.
    • Three or more cards of the same number (ex: 5 of Hearts, 5 of Spades, 5 of Clubs)
    • Three or more cards in consecutive number order of the same suit (4, 5, and 6 of diamonds).
  • Rank of Cards for play
    •  Kings are the highest and aces are the lowest rank of cards. (King, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8 , 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and ace)

Set up:

  1. Each player takes the top card from the deck.  The person, who selects the card of the lowest value, deals first.
  2. The dealer passes out 9 cards to each player, face down.
  3. The remaining cards are placed face down between the players.  This forms the draw pile (also known as the stock pile).
  4. If playing with 3 -4 players, 7 cards are passed out to each player. 
  5. If playing with 5 -6 players, six cards to each player are passed out.

Rules for play:

  1. Before beginning, the players need to determine the amount of points or the number of hands they will play in the game.
  2. If playing with 2 players, the youngest player begins.
  3. If playing with 3 or more players play begins with the person sitting on the left of the dealer and continues counter-clockwise.
  4. On their turn, each player draws a card from the draw or stock pile or from the discard pile. . 
  5. The player either lays down a meld (a set of cards as defined above).
  6. Or, the player may “lay off” or play some cards on a existing meld.  The cards must match the type of meld played.  For example, if there is a run of 7, 8, 9 of diamonds, the player may play a 6 of diamonds to start off the sequence or a 10 of diamonds to finish the sequence.
  7. After the player’s turn is completed, the player discards 1 card face up to the discard pile.
  8. The following player is able to draw the top card from the discard pile or from the stock pile to begin their turn.
  9. If the draw pile becomes depleted, the dealer shuffles the deck, and places it face down between the players.  This becomes the new draw pile.
  10. When a player has gotten rid of all their cards in their hand (goes out), they have won that round. The players tally their score.
  11. Play continues until players complete the agreed upon number of hands or until a player reaches the agreed upon number of points.


  1. Each player counts up their score. 
  2. Card Values: 
    1. Face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are worth 10 points.
    2. Aces are worth 1 point each.
    3. Number cards are worth their face value.
  3. Card Combination Values:
    1. Three aces in a run are worth 15 points each or a total of 45 points.
    2. A run of Jack, Queen, and King is worth a total of 15 points.
    3. A run of ace, 2, and 3 cards is worth a total of 15 points.
  4. After the players compute their total, the amount of the cards remaining in their hand is deducted from the total.
  5. The player with the most points wins the game.