How to Play Rummikub Rules Guide

Check out our easy to read how to play Rummikub online guide.

How to play RummiKub?

Suitable for 2 – 4 players | 55 – 65 mins duration | Recommended age 8+ | Game complexity: LOW
Genre: Abstract Strategy,Card Games,Number Solo game mode: No Co-op: No
Online Version: No


What is the goal?

Form sets of runs and groups of tiles to eliminate all the tiles from your rack. Keep as few points in your rack as possible. Then, as you begin the game, you choose how many points you will need to reach to win.

Game setup 

Contents:
106 tiles (2 sets of tiles numbered 1 to 13 in four colors: black, red, blue, orange; 2 Jokers); 4 playing racks, pouch.
 
Mix the tiles thoroughly in the pouch. Each player picks a tile and play proceeds clockwise from the highest selection. Place the tiles back in the pouch and mix.  Players pick 14 tiles and place them on their rack.

Gameplay

Types of sets

Groups

Groups are sets of three or four identical tiles in different colors.

Rummikub Group set

Runs

Runs consist of three or more consecutive numbers in the same color. The number 1 is always played as the lowest number; it cannot come after the number 13.

Rummikub Runs set
You have to play at least 30 points in one or more sets to place tiles on the table.

Players must collect these points from the tiles on their rack, not from tiles already on the table. Each tile is worth its face value.

Jokers can be used for any tile, and their point value equals that of the tile they represent.
When another player wins the round, holding a Joker results in a penalty of 30 points.

When a player cannot enter the round, or intentionally chooses not to, they must take a tile from the pouch and their turn ends.

As players build on their initial plays, they can also add tiles from their racks to other sets on the table. A player who cannot add to the other sets picks a tile from the pouch and the turn ends. He must wait until his next turn to lay down a tile he just picked. Play continues until one player empties his rack and calls, “Rummikub®”.
 
The round is over and players tally their points (see Scoring). Once the pouch is empty, play continues until no more plays can be made; the round is over.

Ways to build on plays

Splitting a Run

Rummikub 1

Combined Split

Combined Split Rummikub

Multiple Split

Multiple Split Rummikub

The Joker

There are two jokers. Any tile can be used with them. A joker used in the opening set scores its value.

An opponent can retrieve a joker from a set on the table and replace it during his turn with a tile of the same color and numerical value. To replace a Joker, a player must use a tile from their rack. A tile of either color can replace the joker in a group of 3. Replaced jokers must be used with 2 or more tiles from a player’s rack in the same turn. Before laying their initial set(s), players cannot retrieve a joker. Tiles in a set containing a joker can be added, removed, or split apart. If the joker remains on a player’s rack at the end of a game, it is worth 30 points.

Strategy

Rummikub can seem slow at first, but as the table builds, more plays are possible. Holding back some tiles in the early stages of the game will let other players open up the table. Hold back the fourth tile of a group or run and lay only three, so that on the next turn instead of drawing from the pouch you can lay a tile. It is also a good strategy to keep a joker on your rack; however, when another player goes “Rummikub”, you risk losing 30 points.

Scoring

When a player clears the rack and calls “Rummikub”, the losing players add up the tiles they hold. A negative score is totaled. A positive (plus) score is awarded to the winner based on all the losers’ points. Each player totals his minus and plus scores at the end of each round. Whoever gets the most points wins. Check that the plus score equals the total of the minus scores in each round and in the final tally. The player with the lowest count wins that round if all the tiles in the pouch are used before anyone goes “Rummikub”. Each loser adds up his tile value and subtracts from the winner’s. These results are scored as a minus. The winner gets the sum as a plus. Place all the tiles back in the pouch after scoring the round, and begin the next round by following set-up instructions.’

Time Limit

There is a time limit of 2 minutes per player, per turn. A player who goes over the time limit must  draw a tile from the pouch and his turn ends

Incomplete Runs:

A player who unsuccessfully builds on or manipulates other sets on the table must replace the tiles in their original positions, take back the tiles he played and draw three tiles from the pouch.

Building on Sets:

A player may build onto a set in any of the following ways (or in any combination of these ways) as long as there are only legitimate sets on the table and there are no loose tiles left at the end of his turn.

 

Add one or more tiles from rack to extend a run
Remove 4th tile from a group and use it
Rummikub 2

Strategy

Rummikub can seem slow at first, but as the table builds, more plays are possible. Holding back some tiles in the early stages of the game will let other players open up the table. Hold back the fourth tile of a group or run and lay only three, so that on the next turn instead of drawing from the pouch you can lay a tile. It is also a good strategy to keep a joker on your rack; however, when another player goes “Rummikub”, you risk losing 30 points.
 

Scoring

When a player clears the rack and calls “Rummikub”, the losing players add up the tiles they hold. A negative score is totaled. A positive (plus) score is awarded to the winner based on all the losers’ points. Each player totals his minus and plus scores at the end of each round. Whoever gets the most points wins. Check that the plus score equals the total of the minus scores in each round and in the final tally. The player with the lowest count wins that round if all the tiles in the pouch are used before anyone goes “Rummikub”. Each loser adds up his tile value and subtracts from the winner’s. These results are scored as a minus. The winner gets the sum as a plus. Place all the tiles back in the pouch after scoring the round, and begin the next round by following set-up instructions.
 

How do you win?

The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins.

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