Rummy Glossary

Before attempting to play or trying to get good at a game of rummy, it’s better to first understand the different rummy terms and rummy terminology. So, here’s a A-Z rummy glossary that you can always keep handy while playing on RummyCentral.

101 Pool Rummy: 101 Pools rummy goes on for many deals until all the players are eliminated once they cross 101 points. Whoever makes it to the end is declared the winner.

201 Pool Rummy: 201 Pools rummy goes on for many deals until all the players are eliminated once they cross 201 points. Whoever makes it to the end is declared the winner.

Ace: In a standard deck, there are 52 cards, 4 of which are aces. These are aces have 4 suits – spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs An ace is can be used to make a sequence such as Ace, 2, 3 or A, King, Queen.

Best of Two: It is a form of Deals Rummy where players play two rounds. Whoever has the highest chip count from beating his/her opponents after two rounds is declared the winner.

Best of Three: It is a form of Deals Rummy where players play three rounds. Whoever has the highest chip count from beating his/her opponents after three rounds is declared the winner.

Buy In: In order to participate in tournaments, each player has to pay some buy-in money, or in other words an entry fee. Once the game is over, this collective pool is divided among the winners.

Dealer: In order to decide who starts the game, cards are dealt to each player. Whoever gets the lowest card is the dealer in that particular game. The players can decide who the dealer in the next game can be. In a classic game of Indian rummy, all players either deal one-by-one in each game or decide on a loser-to-deal rule.

Declare: When you’ve finished meeting all the objectives of the game, you can ‘declare’ in order to win. You can declare a game by putting your 14th card face in down on the open deck slot.

Deck/Pack of Cards: A standard deck of cards has 52 cards which include 13 cards of each suit. These suites are Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. In the case of rummy, there are also 2 printed jokers that can be used while playing.

Discard/Lay off: According to Rummy Wiki, in standard 13-card Indian rummy, even if a player is done with making all his/her sets and sequences, he/she must pick up a 14th card from either the closed deck slot or open deck slot and then discard that 14th card. ‘Discard’ is also a general term for getting rid of any card that you don’t need.

Discard Pile: A discard pile is formed by the cards of all the rummy players that have been discarded in every round. Once all the cards in the closed deck slot are exhausted, the discarded cards are reshuffled and placed again on the table.

Discard time: While there is no discard time if you play an offline game of rummy, there are certain time limitations regarding how much time you can take to discard when you are playing online.

Draw Pile: In a standard 13-card Indian rummy game, there is an open deck slot and a closed deck slot. Cards are drawn by players from the open deck slot or the ‘draw pile’ and discarded in the closed deck slot.

Drop: A player can use the ‘drop’ option if he/she wishes to forfeit or opt out of the game. There is usually a ‘drop’ button present on every online gaming portal.

Face Card: These are literally cards that have faces on them and no numbers. These cards include King, Queen and Jack of different suits.

Hand: In any card game, the cards that are dealt to a player at the beginning of the game is known as a hand. In the case of standard Indian rummy, a player has to arrange his/her hand into sets and sequences.

Impure sequence: Another classic word in Indian rummy terminology is ‘impure sequence’. This refers to a sequence of three or more cards that also includes a joker.

Joker: A joker is a randomly selected card from the closed deck slot at the beginning of a rummy game. It is a card that can be substituted for any other card during the game. There are two types of jokers – printed/wild card jokers and jokers that are picked from the deck, at random.

Melding: Melding is to combine cards into sets and sequences in a game of rummy.

Number of Cards: At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt 13 cards, each of which is assigned a certain number of points:

Ace = 10 points

King = 10 points

Queen = 10 points

Jack = 10 points

10 = 10 points

The joker is assigned 0 points while all other numbered cards carry points equal to their rank. For example, a 3 carries 3 points, a 7 carries 7 points, and so on.

Points: Points in a game or rummy are assigned according to a pre-determined value of each card. Whoever has the lowest points wins and whoever has the highest points loses.

Printed/Wild card Joker: Excluding the 52 cards in a standard deck, there are 2 or sometimes 3 printed jokers which can also be used in the game of rummy. Some people also call this the ‘wild card joker’.

Pure sequence: A sequence of three or more cards without the joker is known as a ‘pure sequence’.

Run: A run is nothing but an order of cards or a sequence.

Scoring: Scoring means adding all the points accumulated by players during the game. This is done based on their sets or sequences and the winners and losers are decided accordingly.

Sequence: A sequence is made up of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. For example: 8, 9, 10 of diamonds would make one pure sequence. The other order of the sequences can be J, Q, A.

Note: Ace can be used as the lowest as well as the highest card.

Set: A set is made up of 3 or more cards of the same number i.e. three 8s from any of the three suits can make a set. Just keep in mind, in case of duplicate cards; you cannot use two cards of the same number and the same suit to make a set. For example – you cannot two 7 of spades and one 7 of hearts to make a valid set.

Shuffle: In order to avoid repetition of cards, a dealer must shuffle the cards properly and thoroughly in each round of rummy.

Straight Run: A sequence without the use of the joker is also known as a ‘straight run’.

Suit: There are 4 suits in a standard 52-card deck. These suits include - spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.

Unmatched Cards: Unmatched cards or unarranged cards are those that cannot be melded into sets and sequences. If a player has any of these cards, then he/she will be assigned penalty points at the end of the game.

Winner: A winner in a rummy game is a player who meets all the objectives of the game and ‘declares’ by arranging his/her cards into proper sets and sequences. The winner of the game is someone who has 0 points at the end of the game.

This about covers all the terms you need to properly understand in order to start playing a game of rummy. This online rummy glossary should help you with all words related to rummy terminology you are likely to come across in the future.

Kindly note that these are just terms to understand the game. These are not the rules of the game. In order to understand the rules of the game and how to play it, you can visit our ‘how to play’ section on www.rummycentral.com.