Card Games For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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When playing rummy, the first player to be able to put all but one of the cards in their hand into combinations (places all their cards on the table) wins the hand. This is called, "going out." You discard your remaining card as you go out, usually having made the others into one combination of four and one combination of three, if you're playing 7-card rummy.

You do not have to make the plays at one turn; you may have put down some cards into sets already, of course. If your last two cards are two 7s, and you pick up a third 7, most people play that you can go out by making a set, without needing a final discard.

The winner collects points from all the other players. The winner bases their point total on the remaining cards in the other players’ hands, regardless of whether the cards make up completed combinations or not — which is a good reason to put down melds as soon as you get them.

The players put their cards face-up on the table and call out how many points they have left for the winner. You score the cards according to the following scale:

  • 2s through 10s get their face value, meaning that a 5 is worth 5 points.

  • Jacks, queens, and kings receive 10 points apiece.

  • Wild cards cost you 15 points each, if you are playing with them (jokers are usually wild cards, and can complete any set; meaning, the joker can be a substitute for any other card in the deck).

  • Aces, in keeping with their lowly status during the game, charge you 1 point only.

Laying all your cards down in one turn is called going rummy, which doubles your score. Obviously, the availability of this bonus affects your decision to put down combinations earlier rather than later. If you think that you can claim this bonus, you may want to delay putting down your combinations.

The first player to score 100 points is the winner. For a longer game, you can play to 250 points.

About This Article

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Barry Rigal was born with a deck of cards in his hand. Having started with the children’s games, Whist, Rummy, and Solitaire, he moved on to Bridge at the age of 12. After graduating from Oxford University (where he captained the Bridge team), he worked in accountancy. Highlights of his work career were learning how to play Piquet and Clobyosh in the Tax Department of Thomson McLintock. After four years with Price Waterhouse, supervising the partnership’s Bridge team, he went into the world of business, working seven years in the Oil Taxation department of Conoco. During that time he began a career as a journalist and commentator on card games. Over the course of the last two decades he has written newspaper and magazine articles and six books on Bridge.

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