When the 13 cards are dealt to you, the first thing you should do is to arrange your cards. You can do it in two ways – arrange with numbers or arrange by suits.
Once you have done this, you will get to know which cards are missing and what the probabilities of getting these missing cards are. If the odds are low and you are not confident enough of playing on, drop out of the game initially as it will cost you just 20 points.
Else, play on and try to read the meld your opponents are trying to make by checking the discards section. If you are lucky, you will also get a joker card from the closed deck to make the game easy for you.
Once you are done arranging the cards, count the points which will help you to decide whether to play or not. You can do it between your game play too if you were confident of the initial set of 13 cards you were dealt with.
In either ways, once the melds are made and the total point value of unmatched cards goes higher than 20 points, it’s better to drop. If you do it initially, you will lose only with 20 points as compared to a big loss without making any melds.
Every game in rummy should be played cautiously considering the fact that pro players will be sitting opposite to you. When it comes to playing without Joker cards, you should be extra cautious in picking and discarding cards too.
If your opponent is picking your discarded cards from the open deck more than once, you can be sure he is near to completing his set/sequence. In such scenarios, you should consider a middle drop which will cost you 40 points.
Apply these rummy strategies to your offline and online rummy games next time you join the tables and joker cards are not dealt to you. It will be hard at first but with more practice, success will surely come.