What is Indian Rummy

13-card rummy, an extremely popular variation of Indian rummy, is a thrilling meld-making card game that tests a player’s strategy, quick-wittedness, and observation skills. From its presumed roots in the Mughal era, Indian rummy has come a long way to become a part of the very fabric of our culture. This 13-card game is a part of our festivities and game nights, and is widely played amongst friends and family, thanks to its online resurgence and subsequent popularity.

Forms of Indian Rummy

Indian rummy comes in 2 forms: 13-card and 21-card rummy. 13-card rummy is the more popular version of the two. While the basic rules are the same, the 21-rummy format allows for more complex groupings.

13-card rummy

In a 13-card rummy game, as the name suggests, 13 cards are dealt to each player. This game is usually played between 2 to 6 players. The objective of the game is to divide the 13 cards into 4 melds or groupings. These 4 melds must have at least 2 sequences, one of which has to be pure mandatorily. The rest of the cards can be melded into sequences or sets.

21 card rummy

In a 21-card rummy game, the larger number of cards comes with rules unique to this format of rummy. For instance, unlike 13-card rummy, where one pure sequence is enough for a valid declaration, in 21-card rummy, a player needs to have three. In 21-card rummy, there are groupings called ‘dublee’ (two cards of the same rank and suit) and ‘tunnela’ (three cards of the same rank and suit). Eight Joker cards are also considered a valid group.

Variations of Indian Rummy

There are 3 common variations of Indian rummy–Points, Pool, and Deals. These are divided based on the number of rounds in each game and the scoring structure.

Points Rummy

Within Indian rummy, Points rummy is the fastest variation, as there’s only one deal or round in each game. Each point has a monetary value or point value, and this determines the prize pool. On Playship Rummy, for example, point values start from ₹0.05 and go up to ₹500.

To play a real cash Points rummy game, you would need to have a certain minimum amount in your wallet. This amount is called the Buy-In, and it is calculated as:

(Point value of a game) × (Maximum points you can get in a game)

In Indian rummy, the maximum number of points a player can get is 80, regardless of their hand.

So, if 1 point = ₹0.5, your Buy-In would be ₹0.5 × 80 = ₹40.

Players lose 20 points when they drop in the first move and 40 points when they drop midway.

Pool Rummy

Pool rummy is one of the longer formats of Indian rummy. On Playship Rummy, it comes in 3 variations: 61 Pool, 101 Pool, and 201 Pool. There is no limit on the number of deals; players keep getting eliminated from the game when their score reaches 61 (in 61 Pool), 101 (in 101 Pool), or 201 (in 201 Pool). The Buy-Ins are fixed for Pool rummy games and range from ₹5 to ₹40,000.

Playship Rummy offers you a Rejoin option in case you lose a game. You can rejoin by paying the entry fee again. However, the option is only available if all the remaining players have less than 45 points (in 61 Pool), less than 79 points (in 101 Pool), or less than 174 points (in 201 Pool).

Your joining points will be equal to that of the player with the highest points in the game + 1. For example–if the highest points are 25, you will rejoin the game with 25 + 1 = 26 points.

Let’s see how scoring works for a 101 Pool with an example:

PlayerRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5
Points in R2Total PointsPoints in R3Total PointsPoints in R4Total PointsPoints in R5Total Points
A26133944830 (W)8330113 (E)
B315180 (W)1814320 (W)32
C3440 (MD)7430104 (E)84 (R) + 119515110 (E)
D0 (W)20 (FD)20133372105 (E)--
E290 (W)29215040 (MD)9012102 (E)
F80 (ID)78720107 (E)----


W: Winner
ID: Invalid Declaration
MD: Mid Drop
FD: First Drop
E: Eliminated
R: Rejoin

With the least number of points, Player B is the winner of this 101 Pool game.

Deals Rummy

Playship Rummy offers 2 variations of Deals rummy: 2 players-2 deals and 6 players-3 deals. Buy-ins range from ₹5 to ₹20,000.

In this format of rummy, the number of deals is predetermined, and each player starts with the same number of points, which is calculated as (No. of deals) × (Maximum points one can lose in a game)

So, for a 2 players-2 deals game, the starting points of each player will be 2 × 80 = 160 points. For a 6 players-3 deals game, each player would start with 3 × 80 = 240 points.

At the end of each deal, the winner gets the points of the ungrouped cards of the remaining players. Players lose 20 points when they drop in the first move and 40 points when they drop midway.

Let’s understand how the scoring works in a Deals game.

For this example, we have considered a 6 players-3 deals game, starting with 240 points per player.

Deal 1-
Player A: 0 points (winner)
Player B: 65 points
Player C: 49 points
Player D: 28 points
Player E: 14 points
Player F: 33 points

The winner would get (65 + 49 + 28 + 14 + 33) points added to theirs:
240 + 189 = 429 points

The other players will have those points deducted from their total. So, their points will now be:

Player B: 240 - 65 = 175 points
Player C: 240 - 49 = 191 points
Player D: 240 - 28 = 212 points
Player E: 240 - 14 = 226 points
Player F: 240 - 33 = 207 points

Similar calculations will happen at the end of Deal 2 and Deal 3 as well, and the player with the most points at the end of Deal 3 will be declared the winner.

See the following example to understand the scoring better.

PlayerDeal 1Deal 2Deal 3
Points in D1Total PointsPoints in D2Total PointsPoints in D3Total Points
A0 (W)4291341633383
B65175151500 (W) 301
C4919140 (MD)1515299
D2821220 (FD)19227165
E142260 (W)32119302


W: Deal Winner
MD: Mid Drop
FD: First Drop

Player A has the highest points and will thus be the winner of this Deals game.

ndian Rummy Terms and Terminologies

To be able to master Indian rummy, it is important to be aware of the basic terms used in the game.

Rummy Glossary

1. Table- It is the place where the game happens. When playing rummy online such as on Playship Rummy, you will see an oval table usually with a green felt on your screen (in landscape mode). You would see your avatar seated at the bottom of the screen. Once the order of players is decided, you will see the other avatars being shuffled around and seated accordingly.

2. Suit- A suit is a category of cards. A standard deck of cards has 4 suits (two black and two red suits)–spades♠, clubs ♣, hearts ♥, and diamonds ♦.

3. Printed Joker and Wild Card Joker- Each deck of cards usually has 2 printed Jokers. At the beginning of a game, a random card from the closed deck is selected as the wild card Joker. All cards of the same rank as this card can be used as Jokers. All Joker cards can substitute any card in a sequence or a set, and are thus very important.

4. Shuffling- Shuffling or card sorting is a very important step to ensure the game is fair and players have no way of knowing what cards they might get. In online platforms such as Playship Rummy, RNG or Random Number Generator distributes cards randomly in every game.

5. Draw- The act of taking a card, either from the open deck or the closed deck is called ‘drawing’.

6. Discard Pile- Disposing of a card in the open deck is called ‘discarding’, and therefore the open deck is also called the discard pile.

7. Drop- When players don’t feel confident with their hand, they have the option of dropping out of that particular game for a fixed number of penalty points. Pro players use this option strategically to reduce losses. There is no compulsion to play the game till the end.

There are 2 kinds of drops:
First drop: When you drop as soon as the deal begins without drawing a card.
Mid drop: When you’ve played at least one turn before, but have not picked up a card in this particular turn.

8. Sequence: This is one of the melds or groupings a player has to make in an Indian rummy game. One sequence includes 3 or more consecutive cards of the same suit. A sequence without the use of any Joker card is called a pure sequence, while using a Joker will make it an impure sequence. To win a game of rummy, a player has to have at least 2 sequences, one mandatorily pure.

9. Set: This is another kind of meld used in Indian rummy. A set is 3 or 4 cards of the same rank but different suits. Joker cards can also be used to complete a set. Unlike sequences, sets are not compulsory to make.

Local Terms Used in Indian Rummy

Apart from the above terms, there are some terms used colloquially in various parts of the country in 21-card rummy format:

1. Tiplu: In 21-card rummy, the wild card Joker is called Tiplu. If the drawn card is the J♥, then all the remaining Jacks in the pile will also become Tiplus.

2. Paplu: The Paplu cards are the ones that are one number/face value card higher than the Tiplu. So, if the Tiplu is J♥, then the Q♥ cards become Paplu cards.

3. Nichlu: The Nichlu cards are the ones that are one number/face value card lower than the Tiplu. So, if the Tiplu is J♥, then the 10♥ cards become Nichlu cards.

Rules for Indian Rummy

Indian rummy is usually considered to be a cross between international forms like 500 Rum and gin rummy but has its own set of rummy rules which are often different from its predecessors. For example, gin rummy is played exclusively between 2 players and 10 cards are dealt, while Indian rummy can be played by up to 6 players. In 500 Rum, Ace is the lowest-ranking card, while in Indian rummy it is considered the highest-ranking card.

Let’s understand the different melds used in Indian rummy:


In Indian rummy, a sequence (or a ‘run’) is a group of at least 3 consecutive cards of the same suit. A sequence can be pure or impure.

Pure sequence: Made with at least 3 consecutive cards of the same suit WITHOUT using a Joker card.

9♦ 10♦ J♦
2♣ 3♣ 4♣ 5♣

Impure Sequence: It is a sequence that uses one or more Joker cards in it.

K♣ 🃏 J♣

Suppose you have a wild card Joker (2♠):

2♥ 3♥ 2♠ 5♥


A set is a group of 3 or 4 cards of the same rank but different suits. You can form sets of numbered cards, face cards, or aces. The following are examples of valid sets:

A♠ A♣ A♦
7♠ 7♦ 7♣ 7♥

The cards HAVE to be from different suits. Repeating a suit makes the set invalid, like in the following example:

2♠ 2♣ 2♠

Jokers can also substitute one or more cards in a set.

Printed Joker and Wild Card Jokers

Adding a Joker card to a sequence makes it an impure sequence. However, in some instances, a wild card Joker card may be the same suit as a sequence, in which case it can be used.

For example, if the wild card Joker is 6♦, then 6♠, 6♣ and 6♥ will all be considered Joker cards but can still be a part of a pure sequence:

6♠ 5♠ 4♠ 3♠
9♥ 8♥ 7♥ 6♥

Both printed and wild card Jokers can also be used to complete a set:

3♠ 🃏 3♥
4♣ 6♥ 4♦

Learn How to Play Indian Rummy

Indian rummy is an easy game to learn once a player is aware of its basic principles. Playship Rummy offers virtually unlimited free games to help beginners practice.

Shuffle and Dealing of Cards

In online rummy platforms such as on Playship Rummy, the shuffling of cards is controlled by a Random Number Generator (RNG) which ensures a fair, randomised distribution of cards. Each player is dealt 13 cards at the beginning of the game.

Open Card

After 13 cards have been dealt to each player, the next card from the deck is put face-up. This is the open card and forms the open/discard pile.

Declaration of Wild Card Joker

One card is chosen from the deck at random. This card and other same-ranked cards from all suits get designated as wild card Jokers for that game. If the card chosen from the deck is a printed Joker, then all the ace cards (A♦ A♠ A♣ A♥) will be the wild card Jokers in that game.

Drawing and Discarding of Cards

After cards are dealt and a wild card Joker has been established, the game begins. The first player draws one card from either the open or the closed deck. After drawing a card and sorting their hand, the first player disposes of a card that is of no use to them. This card goes to the open deck (also called the discard pile). The game continues and the second player can either pick the first player’s discarded card or draw a new one from the closed deck, and so on until all the players have taken a turn.
Players cannot pick up discarded Joker cards. The only exception to this is if a Joker is the open card, in which case the first player can draw it.


A player makes a declaration once they have grouped all their cards into sequences and/or sets. The player to make the first valid declaration is considered the winner. A valid declaration must have:

  • At least 1 pure sequence
  • At least 2 sequences in total

How Points are Calculated in Indian Rummy

The points for each numbered card are equal to the number printed on it, while face cards (king, queen and jack) and ace equal 10 points each. A Joker (both printed and wild cards) is equal to 0 points.

Dropping also adds a fixed number of points:

  • First drop: Dropping on the first turn without drawing a card = 20 points.
  • Mid drop: Dropping any time after having made at least one move = 40 points.
  • Consecutive missed turns: When a player does not make a move (draw a card) for a preset number of turns, it is counted as a mid drop (40 points). A player can change the limit on consecutive missed turns in the app settings.

Let’s see how scores are calculated for individual players at the end of a game. We will assume it is a standard Points rummy game with 6 players.

In this example, Q♥ is the wild card Joker.

PlayerFinal HandPointsAQ♣ J♣ 10♣ | 5♠ 🃏3♠ 2♠ | 7♥ 7♦ 7♠ | 4♣ 8♣ 3♥ 15
Sum total of ungrouped cards: 4 + 8 + 3 BJ♦ 10♦ 9♦ | 2♥ 2♣ 2♦ 2♠ | A♠ Q♥ 3♠| 4♣ 5♣ 6♣ 0
Valid declaration- Winner C7♥ 4♥ 3♥ | 5♠ 🃏3♠ | A♣ J♣ 8♣ | 10♦ 3♦ A♦ Q♦ 73
There are no pure sequences, so all cards will be considered ungrouped. D<Dropped midway>40EA♦ 2♦ 3♦ | J♠ 6♠ 4♠ | 4♣ 5♣ 9♣ | 7♥ 7♦ 7♠ 7♣ 66
Sum total of ungrouped cards: 4 + 5 + 9 + J (10) + 6 + 4 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7
Even though there is a pure sequence, the lack of a second sequence makes the set of 7s invalid. FK♠ Q♠ J♠ 10♠ 9♠ 8♠ | 3♦ 3♠ 3♥ | A♦ 5♣ 6♣ 10♥ 40
Sum total of ungrouped cards: 3 + 3 + 3 + A (10) + 5 + 6 + 10
The long pure sequence will be considered as 1 pure sequence. The player could have saved 9 points by splitting this pure sequence into two groups.

How Winnings Are Calculated in Real Cash Rummy Games

Winnings are calculated differently for the different formats. They all use a Winning Multiplier (WM)–a variable prize multiplier that depends on the Buy-In and the number of players in a game. So, the WM for a 2 players-2 deals game would be different from that of a 6 players-3 deals game.

Points Rummy

Let us suppose for a 6-player Points rummy game with a point value of ₹0.5, the scoreboard looks like this:

Player A - 0 points (Winner)
Player B - 49 points
Player C - 28 points
Player D - 31 points
Player E - 9 points
Player F - 25 points

The Winning Multiplier (WM) is usually between 0.85 to 0.89 on Playship Rummy. In this case, it would be 0.89, so the winner will get:
(49 + 28 + 31 + 9 + 25) × ₹0.5 × 0.85 = ₹60.35

Pool Rummy

In Pool rummy, the prize pool is equal to (No. of players) × (Buy-In) × (Winning Multiplier) As we can see, it does not depend on the individual points of the losing players.

The WM for Pool rummy is usually between 1.7 to 5.4 on Playship Rummy, depending on the number of players and the Buy-In.

Let’s see how the prize pool is calculated.
Suppose 6 players play a 101 Pool game for a Buy-In of ₹10, and the WM is 5.1
Thus, the prize pool would be ₹10 × 5.1 = ₹51.

If fewer players participate or a player uses the Rejoin option, the prize pool will change accordingly.

In a 6-player game, the winner may get the option to split this prize with the remaining players (if only 2 or 3 players remain). The prize would then be divided based on their standing on the scoreboard.

Deals Rummy

In Deals rummy, the player with the least number of points at the end of ALL deals is considered the winner. Individual deals may have different winners, but the overall winner would be declared only at the end of all deals.

Here too, the total prize pool = (No. of players) × (Buy-In) × (Winning Multiplier) Therefore, just like Pool rummy, there is no dependency on the individual points of the losing players.

On Playship Rummy, the WM for Deals rummy ranges from 1.7 to 5.28.

So, in a 6 players-3 deals game with a Buy-In of ₹25 and a WM of 5.1, the prize pool would be:
₹25 × 5.1 = ₹127.50.

If fewer players participate in a 6-player game, the prize pool changes accordingly. But, unlike Pool rummy, winnings cannot be split.

Indian Rummy Tournaments on Playship Rummy

Playship Rummy offers a wide variety of real cash and free tournaments, making it a great platform for pros and beginners alike. Tournaments see huge participation and have multiple rounds, testing players’ patience and far-sighted strategic skills. Players can join cash tournament tables for as little as ₹1 and win from fixed prize pools. Many thrilling, free-to-enter weekend tournaments like Saturday Jackpot and Mega Sunday Smash have guaranteed prizes for every player!

If you’re new at rummy, it is advisable to try practice games on Playship Rummy first before entering cash games and tournaments. A lot of fun and excitement awaits you!