How do I Play Rummikub

Written by bill herrfeldt
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Rummikub (also marketed as Rummy-O) is similar to Scrabble in that it is based on tiles. The game has 106 tiles, two for each of the 52 cards that would appear in a regular card deck, plus two jokers. Unlike a deck of cards, the tiles use coloured numbers instead of suits; the Jacks, Queens and Kings are represented by the numbers 11, 12 and 13, respectively. Each player uses an angled stand to hold the tiles so that other players cannot see them.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    To start the game each player draws one tile from the pile where they are all facedown. The player drawing a tile with the highest number starts the game, and is followed by the person on the left with play proceeding clockwise. Each player then draws fourteen tiles and places them on their stands.

  2. 2

    Make what is called the "initial meld" by placing a minimum of 30 points on the board. A meld consists of tiles arranged in a run by colour, or as a set of like-numbered tiles. For example, a player might have a consecutive run of Red 2, 3 and 4, or three 8s of different colours. If the person starting the game is unable to put 30 points on the board, she will draw another tile and the next person will play. Until a player is able to make an initial meld of at least 30 points, each will draw another tile. Once an initial meld is on the board, there is no further limit on the number or value of tile or tiles that a player may use.

  3. 3

    Play continues with each person playing sets and runs, or by "playing off" tiles already on the board. For instance, if you hold a 9 and 10 of Red tiles, they could be played on the existing 6, 7 and 8 of Red tiles played by another player. Or you could have an 8 of any colour that can be played with a set of 8 already on the board. It's also possible to rearrange tiles that have been played. You could break up, for example, a set of three already on the board, and if you have enough of the appropriate tiles use that set of three you broke up to create three new runs.

  4. 4

    Play all of your tiles before the other players, and you are the winner.

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