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King Rummy - How to Play King Rummy

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Playing King RummyAnyone familiar with Rummy will take easily to King Rummy. It is actually played very closely to the way that Contract Rummy is played, but with a few unique exceptions.

A game of King Rummy requires two decks of 52 playing cards and all four jokers, which means 108 cards for the game. There are also only four contracts in a game of King Rummy, and each hand has the players receiving ten cards each.

How to Play King Rummy

To begin the game, the dealer hands out ten cards to each player (in the fourth and final round, the players each receive 12 cards in the deal). The remainder of the deck is placed in the middle of the table and a single card is turned face up alongside it.

How to Win in King Rummy

The object of King Rummy is to discard of all the cards in a hand through the process of melding. This is done by runs or by sets, but can also be accomplished by laying off and discarding. We’ll look first at the melds.

Melding Sets and Runs

Melds in King Rummy are made by runs and sets. Runs are sequences of three or more cards all in the same suit and in order. For example, the red hearts in numbers eight through queen. A set is a group of three or four cards in the same rank. For instance, the seven of hearts, diamonds and spades. Jokers are considered a wild card, and can appear in a set or a group.

Laying Off Cards

Laying off is available only in deals one through three of a game of King Rummy, and only after players have met the initial contract. Any player can meld out of turn, which can lead them to a win. There are no layoffs in the last deal because the contact requires all of the cards in a player’s hand.

Laying off can only occur during deals one through three after a player has met the contract. Laying off allows a player to rid themselves of cards by laying cards out of their hand onto another player’s existing melds. No one can layoff unless they already have met their melds for the deal.

Finally, discarding a final card is an acceptable way of winning a deal.

Contracts in King Rummy

The contracts for each deal determine how the player’s develop a strategy. For King Rummy the contracts are:

  • Deal 1 - One set of 3 and one sequence of 4 or more cards
  • Deal 2 - Three sets of 3 or more cards each
  • Deal 3 - Two sequences of 4 or more cards each
  • Deal 4 - Two sets of 3 and one sequence of 4

Each player gets turns and each turn involves drawing, melding, laying off (if possible) and discarding.

How to Draw and Meld

Drawing is done by removing the top card from the deck or from the discard pile. Melding can only occur once during each deal, and must meet the contract for the appropriate deal.

For example, a player on deal one may have the set of three, but is short a single card of the sequence. They cannot lay down their meld until they get that card.

Calculating Points in King Rummy

Once a player is without any remaining cards, the other players must tally their penalty points. For King Rummy cards are worth:

  • 2 – 7 = 5 points each
  • 8 – K = 10 points each
  • Aces = 20 points each
  • Jokers = 50 points each