Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
The object in Rummy is to make a meld of 3 or more. They will either be all the same rank of cards as in 3 Queens, or the same suit in a sequence as in the Queen, King, and Ace of hearts. You are not allowed to lay down any melds until it is your turn.
You want to be the first person to use up all of your cards. This is called "going out". All other players will then add up their cards on their playing space in front of them and then subtract the unused cards in their hand. Sometimes, hands score a negative point value. The first person to reach a score of 500 is the winner of the game.
Points are scored as follows:
10, J, Q, K = 10 points each
2 - 9 = 5 points each
A = 15 points each
The dealer is chosen and he or she deals 7 cards to each player. As in most card games, play begins to the left. When the dealing is done, the remaining cards get placed in the middle of the table. This makes it an easy reach for everyone. The topmost card gets flipped over so that everyone can see it.
Play begins with the person to the left of the dealer. He or she gets to decide whether they want to pick up the topmost card and use it right away, or just take the top card from the unused deck to add to their hand.
Most rules state that if you take the topmost card from the unused deck, you may keep it even if you don't use it right away. Now, if you take the top upturned card, you do need to be able to lay that down in a meld right away. Some people do play that you can keep either card until you can use it. Decide on the rules before you start as there is no changing in mid-game.
On each turn, after playing what cards you can, you must take one card out of your hand to lay down on that upturned stack of cards. Should it be the last hand for you, and you cannot lay down a card, you have to wait to go out until your next turn. All you may have to do is pick up a card and then lay it down.
When it is your turn, you may lay down any melds you have in your hand. If another player has a meld of , say; 3 of hearts, 3 of clubs, and 3 of spades on their playing space, you may put down the 3 of diamonds if you happen to have it. You put down your 3 in front of you on your playing space; not in theirs.
You may add on as many cards to another meld as you would like. You cannot change a meld. Take an example of someone having an Ace, 2, and 3 of clubs. There is no wrapping around and putting down a King to go with the Ace. It is Q, K, and Ace or Ace, 2, and 3.