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Sets in an Indian Rummy Game

Find out more about rummy sets, its types and more!

Rummy Sets

The Indian version of rummy has been popular with card game lovers in India for centuries. It is a skill game that involves sorting and arranging cards in sequences, or sequences and sets. When the game begins, each player works on arranging their own cards and making a valid declaration before anyone else at the table.

For making a valid declaration, players have to follow some simple rules. While sequences play a crucial role in the game, you can also make rummy sets. Read on to learn about melding a set.

How to Create a Rummy Sets

  • A set is a group of three or four cards of the same rank but different suits. Both printed jokers as well as wild jokers can be used in a set. Unlike sequences, which are pure and impure, there are no such particular sets in rummy -- a set is just a set whether it includes a joker or not. And creating sets in the game is optional, not mandatory.

Example of Sets

Set of 3 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Set of 4 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

How to Make a Rummy Card Set with Jokers

  • Sets can contain jokers, both printed jokers and wild jokers. Here are some examples of sets including both types of jokers:

Set with a printed joker:

Suppose you have two cards of the same rank, say 5 and 5, and you pick a printed joker (PJ) on your next turn. You can combine these cards to form a set: 5-5-PJ.

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Here the printed joker acts as a replacement for 5 or 5.

Set with a wild joker:

Suppose you have two cards of the same rank, say 2 and 2, and you pick a wild joker on your next turn. These cards can be grouped to form a set: 2 -2-4 (WJ).

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Here the wild card has been used as a replacement for 2 or 2.

Rummy Set Rules

  • A valid declaration can include a maximum of 2 sets. If a declaration has more than two sets, it is an invalid declaration and the player gets a penalty of 80 points in points rummy.
  • Both printed jokers and wild jokers can be used to create a set.
  • A set cannot have more than 4 cards. The minimum number of cards that a set can include is 3.
  • The maximum number of jokers that can be used in a set is 4 (including both wild jokers and printed jokers).
  • Creating sets in a rummy game is not mandatory but optional.

Making Multiple Sets in Rummy

  • You can make one or two sets in a 13 card rummy. A valid declaration cannot include more than two sets. Including more than two sets will result in an invalid declaration and a penalty of 80 points in a points rummy game.

Example of a valid declaration with two sets

Set of 4 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Here 3-4-5 is a pure sequence, while Q-K-PJ is an impure sequence. A-A-A-A form set 1 and set 2 consists of 8 -8-3 (WJ).

Example of a valid declaration with only one set

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Here 7-8-9 and A-2-3 are pure sequences, whereas J-Q-PJ is an impure sequence. 4-4-4 -4 is a set consisting of 4 cards.

Rummy sets and sequences in a valid declaration

Here is an example of a valid declaration with valid sequences and sets:

Suppose the following cards are dealt to you:

Set of 4 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

In this hand, there are two pre-made sequences: J-Q-K (pure sequence) and 9-10 -PJ (impure sequence). Now you have to work on the remaining cards and create a pure sequence, an impure sequence or sets.

Turn 1:

  • Suppose you pick 7 from the closed deck. This card can be grouped with 7 and 7 to form a set: 7 -7-7. Now the ideal card to discard in this case would be 10 as there are no connecting cards for it, which makes it harder to create a sequence or a set with this card.

After discarding 10, your hand will look like this:

Set of 4 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Turn 2:

  • Suppose you pick 3 on your second turn. You can now choose to keep the card as there is a good chance of 3 forming a set with 3 and another card of the same value or a joker. You can discard 8 as there are very few chances of creating a sequence with 8 because you have already used 9 and 10 in another sequence.

Once you discard 8, your hand will look like this:

Set of 4 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Turn 3:

  • Suppose you pick a printed joker on your third turn. The printed joker can be used to form a set with 3 and 3. So you can discard 4 .

Once you discard 4, your hand will look like this:

Set of 4 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

Turn 4:

  • Suppose you pick a wild joker, say 6, on your fourth turn and group it with your pre-made set: 7-7-7 -6 (WJ). The cards are now arranged in proper sequences and sets. Now you can discard 5 to the “Finish” slot and declare your cards. Your declaration will look like this:

Set of 4 Cards:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

The above declaration is valid and you win the game, provided you were the first player to make a valid declaration.

The possible combinations in a valid declaration including rummy sets are as follows:

  • 1 pure sequence + 1 impure sequence + 2 sets
  • 2 pure sequences + 2 sets
  • 2 pure sequences + 1 set
  • 2 pure sequences + 1 impure sequence + 1 set
  • 1 pure sequence + 2 impure sequences + 1 set
  • 3 pure sequences + 1 set

Invalid Declaration due to Invalid Sets

When a player declares his/her hand without complying with the standard rummy rules, the declaration becomes invalid. It is important to have at least two sequences, including at least one pure sequence, to make a valid declaration. At the most, two sets can be included in a valid declaration. However, it is important to remember that making sets is optional in rummy, not mandatory.

Some examples of an invalid declaration because of invalid sets are as follows:

1:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

The above declaration is invalid as 4-4-4 does not make a set. If there was 4 or 4 in place of 4, it would have been a valid set, and your declaration would have been valid as there are three pre-made sequences: 5 -6-7 (pure sequence), Q-K-PJ (impure sequence) and 9-10-PJ-Q (impure sequence).

2:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

In the above declaration, there are only three valid combinations: J-Q-K (pure sequence). 6-7 -PJ-9 (impure sequence) and 8-8-4 (WJ), which is a set. The combination 5-5-5-5 is an invalid set as it has two 5 s. So the declaration is invalid.

3:

How to Form Sequence in Rummy

In the above declaration, there is one pure sequence (2-3-4) and three sets (7-7 -7, K-K-PJ and 5-5-6 (WJ)). As at least two sequences are required in a valid declaration, this is an invalid declaration.

Value of Valid Sets in Rummy

In rummy, points are negative and undesirable. The player who scores zero points (by making a valid declaration first) wins the game. To make a valid declaration, a player must have at least two sequences including at least one must be a pure sequence and all the remaining cards must be arranged in sets and sequences, or sequences. However, at the most, two sets can be included in a valid declaration.

The value of a valid set is zero points and so is the value of a valid sequence, provided all other rules of the game are followed. The penalty that a losing player attracts depends on the cards in the losing player’s hand when the winner makes a declaration.

FAQs

How to create a set in a rummy game?

A set can be created by grouping three or four cards of the same rank but different suits. Jokers, both printed jokers and wild jokers, can be used in a set. If you have three cards of the same rank but different suits or two cards of the same rank but different suits and a joker, you can group them together to create a set.

Both printed jokers and wild jokers can be used to create a set. The maximum number of jokers a player can use to form a set is 4.

A sequence is a group of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit, whereas a set is a group of three or four cards of the same rank but different suits. In rummy, sequences have a higher importance than sets. This is because creating at least two sequences (including at least one pure sequence) is mandatory for a valid declaration. On the other hand, creating sets is optional and not necessary. You can create two, three or four sequences and still make a valid declaration as long as all your cards are arranged in sequences. But you can only include a maximum of two sets in a valid declaration.

The maximum number of cards that can be included in a valid set is 4, and the minimum number of cards required for a set is 3.

No, you cannot make a valid declaration with three sets in your hand. According to rummy sets and sequences rules, at least two sequences (including at least one pure sequence) are required for a valid declaration. So if a player creates one pure/impure sequence and three sets, the declared hand will be invalid and the player will get a penalty of 80 points in a points rummy game. You can include a maximum of two sets in a valid declaration.

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