Rules to play Rummikub

Basic Rules to Play Rummikub

Rummikub is a tile-based game that is very similar to Rummy in many aspects. The game requires a player to create sequences and manipulate the existing sequences by adding more connecting tiles. Take a look at the rules to play Rummikub, along with some useful strategies.
Rummikub's Card Version
Rummikub can also be played using normal playing cards, wherein the four colors are differentiated by the four suits, and the royal cards are substituted by numbers corresponding to their rank. Jack is 11, Queen is 12, and King is 13.
Rummikub is played with 104 tiles classified into four colors: red, blue, yellow, and, black, plus two jokers. Each color is further divided into two sets of one to thirteen numbered tiles. Players are required to make specific sequences from a randomly chosen group of 14 tiles, aiming to exhaust all of them.

Only the first meld or the 'initial meld', as it is called, is determined beforehand, wherein a player is required to form a sequence summing up to a minimum of 30 points. The point value of each tile is equal to its face value; if jokers are used, their value is equal to the tile they substitute. The initial meld is necessarily supposed to be a fresh sequence; a player cannot lay off tiles to an existing sequence on his/her first turn.

Given below are the instructions to play Rummikub. Check them out!

How to Play Rummikub

Sets
To play Rummikub, it is essential that you understand the type of acceptable sequences or sets. A player can place tiles on the table (play area) only by forming 'groups' or 'runs'.

A group typically includes three or more tiles of the same number, and each with a different color.

Runs comprise a sequence of three or more consecutive numbers, all belonging to the same color.
(Note: In a run, number 1 is considered to be of the lowest rank, and can't follow 13 in any case. For instance, 1-2-3-4 is a correct run, whereas 11-12-13-1 is not.)

Beginning Play
Rummikub requires a minimum of two to a maximum of four players to play. The objective of the game is to place all the tiles on the table in appropriate sequences, and the first player to do so wins the game.

To begin playing, place all tiles face down on the table. Each player would then select 14 tiles at random from the pool.

Once all the players are done with picking the tiles, they should form the initial meld, summing up to a minimum of 30 points (as mentioned above).

After a player has formed the initial meld, he/she on his/her subsequent turns can do any of the following:
  • Form new melds.
  • Build up the existing melds.
  • Manipulate the existing melds to open up avenues for creating new melds.
In case, a player doesn't wish to play on his/her respective turn, he/she must pick a tile from the pool before passing his/her turn.

If all the tiles in the pool get exhausted, and nobody stands a winner, all players get one last chance to get rid of the maximum tiles possible. After this, all the players compute their points, and the player with the least points wins. In this case, the value of a joker is 30 points.

Types of Manipulation
When manipulating the existing sequences, the following possibilities can be considered.

Building an existing set by adding tiles.

Taking the fourth out of a set and building a new set.

Splitting one run of five tiles into two by adding one or more tile(s). For instance, 1-2-3-4-5 would split as 1-2-3, and 3-4-5; here we added an extra '3' tile.

Splitting two or more sets into multiple sets.

Tips
On a turn, it's always beneficial to think about manipulation first, and then about building new sets.

If you have a set of four tiles, which you wish to place on the table, it's better to place three, and keep the fourth for the next turn. This is anytime better than not having any set to play, and picking up a tile instead.

Try to look for even the slightest manipulations possible; they are sure to help you further in the game. Also, try to pick as less tiles as possible from the pool. Using the right strategy is surely going to help you win the game. You could visit the Rummikub game website and play it for free.
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