Rummy has innumerable variants that are played across the world. However, in Indian context, there are two main variants: 13-card rummy and 21-card rummy.
13 cards rummy happens to be the more popular variant between the two. The game has been around for ages and is the most popular game played at Indian festivals and functions. Besides, the rules of 13-card Indian Rummy are simpler, which gives it an upper hand over the other variant.
Here’s a comparison of the two versions:
Number of cards dealt
As their names suggest, in 13-card rummy you are dealt 13 cards, and in the 21-card game, you’re dealt 21 cards. A smaller number of cards mean fewer difficulties in handling the cards.
Number of decks used
In both the games, a standard 52-card deck is used. In 13-card rummy, 2 standard decks of cards are used, while in 21-card rummy even for usual games 3 decks of cards are used. As more decks get added, the complexities of the game increase.
Pure sequence formation
13-card rummy mandates the formation of at least one pure sequence, with the remaining cards being arranged in valid sets and sequences. However, 21-card rummy is a more complex game. 21-card rummy rules make the melding of minimum 3 pure sequences mandatory for winning. This clearly goes to show that 13-card rummy is less complex than 21-card rummy and visibly has an edge on this parameter.
Use of Jokers
Jokers have pretty similar roles in both variants of the game. In both the variants, the Joker is used in place of other cards to form sets and sequences. However, in 21-card rummy, there are value cards in addition to Jokers. They function very similar to Jokers but carry additional points. As the name suggests, they are highly valuable cards and have the power to swing the game in any direction. Also, when you have a hand full of high-value cards, the game becomes very competitive and challenging. Thus, on this parameter too, 13-card rummy is much simpler and easier than the 21-card game.
Duration of the game
Since 21-card rummy has a higher number of decks, cards and Jokers, and requires more pure sequences to be formed, the game takes a longer time than 13-cards rummy. When you play rummy rules of both versions might make you choose one version or the other.
Complexities of the game
With 21 cards in your hand, you couldn’t ask for more complexities. Yes, 21-card rummy is only for players who are looking for a highly challenging game. Packed with challenges and complexities, it gives an adrenaline rush to true rummy connoisseurs.
13-card rummy is the winner! It scores higher on several parameters making it the most loved rummy variant in the country.