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Rummy Strategy for Intermediate Players: How to Discard the Right Cards

 How to Discard the Right Cards

How to Discard the Right Cards

In Indian rummy, each player gets 13 cards and aims to create sequences and sets with them. Players are required to sort their cards immediately after cards are dealt and then draw cards from the closed/open deck and discard cards to the open deck on their turns. The player who finishes arranging cards and makes a valid declaration first wins the game.

There may be instances where you are unsure about which cards to keep and which ones to discard. You also need to maintain a low score at all times to avoid losing by a big margin in case your opponent makes a declaration first. So how to discard the right cards? To help you make the right decision, here is an elaborate tutorial on how to discard the right cards in rummy.

Ranking of Cards in Indian Rummy

Indian rummy is played using one or two standard decks of cards depending on the number of players at the table. As one printed joker per deck is used, the total number of cards in each deck is 53. The cards ranked from highest to lowest are as follows:

A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2

As mentioned earlier, each player is dealt 13 cards. The remaining cards in the deck form the closed deck and the open deck, which are kept in the center of the table. In Indian rummy, players have to bring their overall score to zero to win. The value of each card is given below:

  • Cards
  • Value
  • Aces (A’s) and face cards (Ks, Qs, Js)
  • 10 points each
  • Numbered cards (2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s)
  • Same as their face value
  • Jokers (printed & wild)
  • 0 points each

How to Discard the Right Cards

In Indian rummy, the score of the winner is zero. Losing players get penalty points equal to the sum of values of the ungrouped cards in their hand. Along with creating sequences and sets, you should also work on reducing your score. So it is important to discard the right cards in the game.

High Cards

In Indian rummy, high-value cards are face cards and aces. These cards are worth 10 points each. High cards increase your score, that is, penalty points. So if you have high cards that remain unarranged even after three or more turns, you should consider discarding them. Here are two scenarios to help you understand that better.

Scenario 1: Suppose Player 1 plays a game with Player 2. Player 2 makes a declaration first and Player 1 has the following cards at the time of the declaration:

10JQK | 456 | 99 9 | A 2 4

There are multiple high cards in the hand. The overall score of Player 1 will be 10+10+10+10+10+2+4 = 56 points.

Scenario 2: Suppose a losing player has following cards:

A 23 | Q-K-PJ | 4 4 | 77 7 | 9 10

Here a printed joker has been grouped with Q and K to create an impure sequence. Moreover, there is a pure sequence and a set too. The ungrouped cards are 4, 4, 9, 10. So the losing player’s total score will be 4+4+9+10 = 27 points.

Most players discard high cards within two or three turns. However, sometimes you can wait till, say, the fourth turn before discarding your high cards, especially if you do not have a pure sequence and the high cards in your hand are sequential or need just one card card to form a pure sequence.

Middle Cards

Cards like 4s, 5s, 6s, and 7s are middle cards. The value of each of these cards is equal to its face value. So if you have only 4 as the unarranged card in your hand when your opponent makes a declaration, your score will be 4 points. Middle cards can be quickly arranged in pure and impure sequences. For example, middle cards like 5s and 6s can be used to create sequences with other middle cards like 3s, 4s, 7s and 8s. Let us understand this further using an example.

Scenario: Suppose you get the following cards:


After sorting, the arrangement will look like this:

3-4-6-7 | K-K-K | 2-4 | A-7-9 | Q

Here the first combination is 3-4-6-7. If you pick a 2, or 8, you can create a pure sequence, i.e. 2-3-4 or 6-7-8. If you pick a 5 and add that to the combination, it will automatically become a pure sequence.

The next combination is a set. The remaining combinations, 2-4 and 7-9, can form pure sequences only if you draw 3 and 8 for them respectively.

The remaining cards like A and Q can be discarded on your next turns.

So it is clear that middle cards are very useful and can be retained for a longer time in the game. We hope this tutorial helps you discard the right cards while playing the game.

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