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One of the most popular groups of card games around the world has to be Rummy. Rummy is the group of card games that are based on matching or pairing of playing cards. Sometimes the game of Gin Rummy is referred to as Rummy, but there are numerous games that fall under the broad category of Rummy such as Canasta and Mah Jongg. There are dozens of variations such as 500 Rum, Bing Rummy, Contract Rummy, Ten Step, Continental, Anarchy, Dummy Rummy, Florida Rummy, Doofer, Progressive Rummy, and Shanghai Rum, to name a few.

The basic game play of a Rummy style game includes the matching of cards according to suit or rank, with cards at hand (that you have been dealt) and the central stock of cards. In this context a book is a series of at least three same ranking cards or consecutive cards of a suit. Players have to attain this book pattern in almost all Rummy type of games. Some games have certain variations in the formation of books, but mostly it is the same rule that applies. There are games that have the option of using wild cards to represent any single card in a particular meld. Most games use one deck of cards, but there are Rummy style games that require five packs along with jokers together. Players are dealt a specific number of cards, and the deck is never exhausted; there always remains a central pile of cards or stock that all the players can utilise while melding (forming their series of cards in a suit, or series of same ranking cards). The stock is placed face down and there is also a face up pack of cards, or the discard pile that may initially be empty then formed from the stock.

Players are supposed to take turns to form their melds; each turn they can take the top card of the stock, or from the discard pile, depending on the type of Rummy being played. There could be rules that restrict the taking of cards unless already melded the top card. After a card is taken it may be used for melding or adding to an existing face up meld on the table. There are some games where you can add cards only to your melds, and not others. Some games require a discarding of a card when a card from the stock is taken on top of the discard pile. Usually the rotation of the play is clockwise, but there are different rules in some games that allow players to steal turns if they make a certain type of meld. The scoring systems for the Rummy games have basic similarities, such as in the getting of positive points for melds, and negative points for the non melded cards at hand after a game. Some games feature bonus points for difficult melds; usually large series of suit cards. The player who has formed melds with all the cards at hand is usually given special points depending on the game. Rummy styled games can be played two people as well as by a large number of players, which makes it an all time family favorite.
May 13, 2008, 7:03 pm

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