“We Indians have a hand in almost everything - even Rummy”. Rummy is an interactive card game, which seemingly first had its roots in America. Rummy apparently originated from Mexico, Latin America, which was then colonialized by Spain ( akhir baap toh baap hota hai).

The first origin of Rummy came in the mid-1800s commonly called Conquian — the ancestor to all modern rummy games.

This game has been changed every time it was newly introduced to some group of people and obviously we people used our creative minds or in those days tricked people to loot them by making them play a version of the game that was designed to lose.

Yeah, you’re thinking on the right lines — no-win scenario, designed to lose and yet testing the character of the players, sounds like something the Vulcans would come up with. Yes, this was just like the Kobayashi Maru

People were exploited on the grounds of having fun and we never realized this, thankfully the Govt. of India has legalized playing rummy by declaring it a game of skill in 1968.

There is quite a conflict as to how rummy came to India and which is the Indian version of Rummy, some say that it came from the Americans and the game is a cross between Gin Rummy and Rummy 500. Both versions are widely popular in India and it is quite difficult to pinpoint the exact history, so I’ll let you be the one to decide which is the version more likely to grab your attention.

Okay enough with the history… Let’s talk rummy!

Different Versions/Types of Rummy

The two versions of rummy are quite different from each other, one is a 13 card rummy and the other is a 21 card rummy. The 13 card rummy is the one believed to have descended from America and is a cross between Gin Rummy and Rummy 500.

Few Differences Between Gin Rummy and, Rummy 500.

Gin Rummy is played with a standard rummy deck of cards and 10 cards dealt to each player, without the concept of a joker. The Ace can only be combined with the deuce(2) and not with the King(k) — K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A is the order of cards. 

Here Discarding a card isn’t compulsory, its the wish of the player. The player can fold if the values of his unmatched cards are no more than 10, this is called a knock. The player who doesn’t call knock can match his cards with the unmatched cards of the player who has called knock, thus enabling him to get rid of his unmatched cards. A player calls gin if he has combined all his cards.

Rummy 500 is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and 7 cards dealt to each player except in two-player games where each player is dealt 13 cards, without using the concept of a joker to clone other cards to form sets. The Ace can be combined with both higher and lower cards — Ace (high or low), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

Each player, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, may draw either the top card of the stock or any card from the discard pile.

So, how to draw a card from the discarded pile?

There are two conditions when drawing a card from the discard pile: 1) the player must take all the cards above the selected card and 2) the drawn card must immediately be used, either by laying it down in a set or by laying it off on a set already on the table. The remaining cards taken with the discard may be melded in the same turn or simply added to the player’s hand. Each player in turn, after drawing but before discarding, may lay down any matched set or may lay off any card that matches a set already on the table. The game is won by the player who gets the most points by the end of the play.

I gave the details of Gin rummy and Rummy 500 so that you can understand why Indian Rummy is a cross between Gin Rummy and Rummy 500.

History of Rummy, What is Gin Rummy, Rummy 500, Indian Rummy and their game plays. How to draw a card from discarded pile. What is joker card and how it is used in rummy game.
Indian Rummy and how it is played.

Different Versions of Indian Rummy and Explaining How these Versions of Indian Rummy are played?

Indian Rummy has many variations of 13 card rummy games. Now about one of the versions of Indian Rummy, this version is also called “Paplu” or “Indian Cherokee Rummy” is played usually between 2–6 players with a standard deck of cards for 2 players and 2 decks of cards for more than 2 players, each player is given 13 cards whilst using the concept of a joker to clone any other card to form a set.

The cards rank in the order — Ace, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

The players have to meld the cards into sequences and/sets. A sequence or a run is formed by arranging the cards consecutively —such as 3,4,5 of the same suit and a set is formed when the same numbered cards — such as 4,4,4 of the different suit are formed.

Rummy Nation helps you with the information required, if you are interested to know about sets and sequences in rummy.

Gameplay of Paplu or Indian Cherokee Rummy

The dealer deals 13 cards to each player and the game progress in a clockwise based turn of play. One card is kept open from the face-down pile to begin the discard pile. The player immediately clockwise to the dealer starts the game by either picking a card from the face-down pile or the discard pile which is the first card taken from the face-down pile to start the game.

The player who forms valid runs and/or sets before all other players is the winner. The rules of the game say that there must be at least two runs, and one of them must be pure, i.e., it does not contain any joker.

 To exemplify, 8, 9, 10 of the same suit of card is a pure run, while 8, 9, Joker is an impure run. Players can meld their remaining cards into either sets or runs. 

Each card holds specific points. Number cards carry points equal to their face value. Face cards, namely Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces hold 10 points each. Jokers are worth zero points. As players meld their cards, their point score decreases. The player who achieves zero points, first of all, wins the game.

So, that’s all about one of the versions of Indian Rummy. 

Marriage, this is the other version largely played in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. It is widely played in India during Dussehra and Diwali. Playing rummy with friends & family is pretty common, have ya’ll ever played with Paplu, Nichlu, and Tiplu?? I highly doubt that, let me familiarize you with the gameplay.

Gameplay of Marriage :

Paplu, Nichlu, and Tiplu are names of cards with importance in this version of Indian Rummy called “Marriage”. 

It is played with 3 standard decks of 52 cards between 2–5 people. There arent any printed jokers used. The game progresses in a clockwise direction.

Unlike standard rummy gameplay, in Marriage, all combinations consist of only three cards. Once 21 cards are dealt with each player, a single card called ‘Tiplu is taken out from the remaining face-down deck of cards. The immediately lower value card to Tiplu is called ‘Nichlu and the immediately higher value card is called ‘Paplu’. All other similarly ranked as that of tiplu are jokers, i.e., if Spade of K is Tiplu, then all other 12 K’s are jokers.

The discarding and picking up of cards is similar to that of standard rummy play. The only change being, once a player picks a card from the discarded pile, he cannot discard that card again.

This Version of the rummy game can have a winner in one of the two ways:

  1. After making a play, if a player has eight doubles(identical pair) and 5 cards unused and one which can be discarded, can be any cards.
  2. If a player has made three combinations of pure sequences( using 9 cards) already and upon drawing a new card is able to make 4 more 3-card combinations(making use of 12 cards remaining), then he can win the game upon discarding the last card.

What is a Joker Card and How it is used in Rummy?

The joker can be used as a substitute for any other card. In addition to the standard jokers, the dealer picks a card from the face-down pile, it is called the wild joker. There is a total of 5 Joker cards, of which 4 Jokers can be used by players in the game. One Joker lies turned up cross under the closed deck so that all players can see it. This card determines an additional set of jokers for that hand in the following manner:

  • The same rank regardless of the color.
  • The next higher card of the same suit is called a “paplu”. This card functions as a joker, but the holder is awarded an additional bonus from each player at the conclusion of the round.
  • If the selected card turns out to be a printed joker, in that case aces will be the joker for that particular rummy game.

Playing rummy with a joker cuts back on time and you finish the game in fewer rounds.If you are interested for a long, fun, and entertaining game than playing rummy without a joker really makes you think and heightens and tests your mind to play harder. 

Okay, people, this marks the end of my lengthy but informative article on rummy. I know it was lengthy, but its definitely worth a read if you want to know about Rummy in India. Signing off on the hope that you found the article helpful and you can download rummy app and get Rummy 100 rupees free to enjoy playing your heart’s and start earning real money playing on RummyNation. 

Note: RummyNation is providing rummy promo codes and cash offers for this month of August 2020. So start playing rummy at RummyNation to enjoy the joining bonus and earn money.


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