Open & Closed Deck in Rummy

Everything You Need to Know about Open and Closed Decks in Rummy


A standard card deck is an indispensable accessory of an online rummy game. It consists of 52 cards that are divided into four suits, namely hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs. Each suit consists of 13 cards, which can be further segregated as numbered cards (As through 10s) and face cards (Ks, Qs, and Js). Moreover, you will also find an additional card in the form of a printed joker, which can be used as a replacement for any missing card in a sequence or a set.

When a rummy game begins, each player is dealt 13 cards in hand. The remaining are used to form closed and open decks. Do you know how to work with these card piles? Which card deck can be used to pick cards? Or where do the discarded cards go? We are here to answer all these questions. 

Read on as we explore everything about open and closed decks in online rummy.

  • Closed deck or the stockpile

The cards left after dealing 13 cards to each player are put face down at the center of the table. This pile becomes the closed pile as cards are not revealed to the players. That said, cards picked by a player from the closed deck can be full of surprises. 

As one of the best practices of rummy, it is advisable to pick cards from the closed deck as your opponent will not know which card you have picked. However, if a card on top of the open deck helps you form a sequence or set, don’t hesitate to pick it.

  • Open deck or discard pile

Alongside the closed deck, you have the open deck or the discard pile. On his/her turn, each player picks a card and discards one. The cards discarded by players make up the discard pile. Picking cards from the open deck gives clear clues to your opponents about the possible combinations you are working on.

A smart rummy player may be able to read your hand based on the cards you pick from the discard pile, and sometimes even on the basis of the cards you discard, so you should be very careful while picking and discarding cards.

Also, you must have realized, most of the rummy strategies are based on the cards discarded by the opponents and cards picked from the open deck by them. So be careful and do not give out too much information about your hand with the discards.

  • When no cards are left in the closed deck

At times, you may come across situations where all the cards in the closed deck have been used. If there are no cards available in the closed deck for drawing, the cards in the open deck are reshuffled and placed face down to form the new closed deck. However, when you play online rummy, that happens automatically and you don’t have to reshuffle the cards manually.

  • Cards of players who drop out

In online rummy games, you may come across players who opt for either an initial drop or a middle drop. If the cards in the closed deck are completely used up in such games, the cards in the open deck alone are reshuffled and used again. In no situation will the cards of the players who dropped out of a game can be used in that game again.

In 13-card rummy games, both the open deck and the closed deck play a crucial role. Wise and skilled players use them to their advantage. If you are new to this game, you should learn how to play rummy and focus on improving your skills first. Once you feel confident about your skills, you can start playing cash games and play for real money prizes!

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