Rummy Glossary for Newbies

Don’t want to misuse a strong hand because of misunderstanding a rummy term? Here is the list of some important terms related to the game of Rummy. Revise and memorize them to fare well at the tables.

Ace: There are 4 Aces (one of each suit- Spades, Hearts, Clubs, and Diamonds) in a standard 52-card deck. Aces can be used both as a low-value cards as well as high-value cards. You can either make a sequence as Ace-King-Queen (here, used as a high card) or as Ace-2-3 (here, used as a low card).

Best of Three – It is a variant of Rummy games. The game is played in three rounds and the player with the least points at the end of three rounds is the winner.

Buy-in – It refers to the amount of cash one needs to put in to enter a tournament. Every tournament has a definite range of buy-in where the maximum and the minimum amounts are specified.

Closed Deck – The pack of cards which is left after distribution of 13 cards to each player is called the closed deck. It is placed face down on the table.

Cut Joker – The card which is picked from the closed deck after the distribution of 13 cards to each player is known as the Cut Joker. All the cards with the same rank, in any suit, are then classified as Cut Jokers. It is the officially declared Joker in a Rummy game.

Deal – The act of distribution of cards to every player by the dealer at the starting of the game is described as the deal.

Dealer–  A dealer can be found out in two ways-

  1.   The person who deals out the cards at the beginning of every hand is the dealer.
  2.   If another way is followed, every player draws a card from the shuffled pack of cards. The player with the lowest-value card deals cards.

Deck or Pack of Cards – A deck is a pack of cards. It is the standard collection of 52 cards that has 13 cards of each suit- Spades, Diamonds, Hearts, and Clubs.

Declare – A player declares as he/she completes arranging his/her cards in the desired sets and/or sequences. “Declare” refers to the completion of the game too. In a 13-card rummy game, you declare your hand by putting the 14th card face down on the discard pile.

Discard – As per the rules of the 13-card rummy game, a player on his/her turn is supposed to pick up the 14th card – either from the open pile or the closed pile. After that, it is up to the player to either use the recently picked 14th card or discard it. The point is a player should have 13 cards at the end of his/her turn. The cards that are discarded by players form the discard pile. It is also called Lay off.

Open Deck/Discard Pile – It is the pile of discarded cards placed next to the closed deck. It is formed by the cards discarded by the players playing the game. Also, players can only pick the top card from the discard pile/closed deck, not the cards under that.

Discard time – This term is used while playing the online Rummy game. It is the set time that a player can take to discard a card. In offline Rummy, there is no discard time usually.

Draw – Whenever the turn comes, every player must pick a card from the closed deck or the discard pile. That is called a draw.

Closed Deck/Draw Pile – In a 13-card rummy game, the cards that are not drawn or distributed are kept face down on the table. These cards form the closed deck or draw pile. A player picks up a card from the closed deck/draw pile on their turn and then discards a card to the open deck. If the cards in the closed deck are used up, the open deck is reshuffled except the last discarded card and a new closed deck/draw pile is formed.

Drop – In online Rummy games, players have an option to drop out of the game at the very start or in the middle if they think their cards are not good enough to form the required sets and sequences. It helps the players avoid losing by a huge margin.

Face Cards – Kings, Queens and Jacks are face cards.

Hand – The cards dealt to a player or the cards in the hand of a player are called a hand. An entire round of Rummy is also called a hand.

Impure Sequence – A sequence of cards in which a Joker replaces any other card is called an impure sequence.

Joker – A Joker is a randomly selected card at the beginning of each Rummy game. A Joker can be used as a substitute for any card in that particular game to form a sequence or set.

Meld – A set or sequence..

Melding – Arranging cards in one’s hand in sets or sequences.

Nichlu – Same suit cards that are immediately below Titlu are called Nichlu.

Paplu – Same suit cards that are immediately above Titlu are called Paplu.

Pip Value – The small designs on the cards that are used to denote suits are called pip. The count of pips in the center of the numbered cards defines the Pip value.

Printed Joker – In every deck, apart from the 52 cards of 4 suites, there are two or three printed Jokers. It is also known as a Wildcard Joker. Moreover, it can be used as any other card in the game of Rummy.

Pure sequence: A sequence of cards of the same suit without a Joker is a pure sequence.

Rank – The position or rating of a card in a series defines its rank.

Round – A single deal of the game is called a round. Sometimes multiple games can also be played within the same round but such rules are set before starting the game.

Score – Score is the total points added up for each player during a round. The loser gets points based on the sequences and/or sets arranged by them during the game.

Sequence – A sequence is a group of cards in series belonging to the same suit.

Set – In Rummy, a set is a group of 3 or 4 cards of the same rank but different suits. You can also use a Joker to replace any card in a set.

Shuffling – The randomizing or mixing of cards before dealing is called shuffling.

Suit – In a deck of 52 cards, there are 4 suits (containing 13 cards each): Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds. Unique pips are used to denote each suit.

Titlu – It is quite similar to the Joker. The term Titlu is commonly used in 21-card Rummy.

Trinala – It is similar to a pure sequence. In 21-card Rummy, three cards of the same suit and same rank are called Trinala.

Deadwood – Unmatched or unarranged cards in Rummy are called deadwood. The loser is charged on the basis of the points of these cards.

Wild Card – In Rummy, Jokers are used as wild cards to form a set or sequence. The wild card is selected randomly.

Winner – The player who declares their hand after arranging all their cards in desired sets and sequences is announced as the winner. The winner gets 0 points.

101 Pool – It’s a Rummy variant in which players keep playing rounds until their score reaches 101. As soon as a player accumulates 101 points, they get eliminated. The person who is left at the end is declared the winner. Also, a player can drop out of the game as well as re-join any round following certain conditions.

201 Pool – It’s a Rummy variant in which players go keep playing rounds until their score reaches 201. Just like the 101 Pool, a player gets eliminated as soon as they score 201. The person who is left at the end is declared the winner. The re-joining and dropping rules for the 201 Pool are the same as for the 101 Pool.

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