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Rummy the name is frequently truncated to Rum, is one of the most popular of all card games. It is played with the full 52-card pack, and is suitable for any number of players up to five or six, each playing for himself.  More than six players should prefer coon can or the variation known as continental rummy.

            Ten cards are dealt to each player if only two play seven cards if three or four play; and six cards if five or six play.  The rest of the pack (the stock ) is placed face downwards in the center of the table, and the top card of it is turned face upwards and laid alongside it to start the discard pile.
            Each player in turn, beginning with the one on the left of the dealer, must take into his hand either the top card of the stock or the top card of the discard pile, and discard a cardfrom his hand, but if he has drawn the top card of the discard pile he must not discard it in the same turn.

            The object of the game is to make sets of three or more cards of the same rank, or sequences of three or more cards of the same suit (the Ace being low) and declare them by exposing them on the table, after drawing a card from the stock or discard pile and before discarding a card from the poker hand.  At the same time a player may add one or more proper cards to sequences and sets already declared either by himself or the other players.
            If the stock is exhausted before any player declares all his hand, the discard pile is turned face downwards and becomes the stock. 
            The player who is first to declare all his cards wins the hand, and the other players pay him for every court card left in their hands 10 points each, for every Ace 1 point, and for every other card its pip value.  If a player declares all his cards in one turn he scores rummy and is paid double.
            Rummy is a very simple game that has lent itself to a number of improvements.

In BOATHOUSE RUMMY a player may draw the top card of the stock; or he may draw the top card of the discard pile and then either the top card of the stock or the next card of the discard pile.  He may, however, discard only one card from his hand.
            In a sequence the Ace may be either high, low, or round the corner.
            The play does not come to an end until a player can declare his entire hand in one turn.
            A losing player pays only for the unmatched cards in his hand, but Aces are paid for at 11 points each.

CONTINENTAL RUMMY is variation of the parent game that is suitable for any number of players up to twelve.  If two to five play two packs with two Jokers are used; if six to eight play three packs with three Jokers are used; and if nine to twelve play four packs with four Jokers are used.
            Each player receives fifteen cards.  A player may not declare until all fifteen of his cards are melded either in five 3 card sequences, or in three 4-card sequences and one 3-card sequence, or in one 5-card, one 4-card and two 3-card sequences.  Sets of three or more cards of the same rank are of no value.  A Joker may be used to repre4sent any card.  The Ace may be high or low, but not round the corner.
            There are many ways of scoring, but generally the winner collects from all the other players 1 unit from each for winning, and 2 units from each for every Joker in his hand.

GAMBLER’S RUMMY is so called because it is the variation of the parent game that is most frequently played for high stakes. 
            Only four players take part and each is dealt seven cards.  The Ace is low and, as in the parent game, counts only 1 point in the settlement.  A player is not allowed to declare all his hand in one turn.  He must declare it in at least two turns, but he is not debarred from going out second turn even if on his previous turn he played off only one card on another player’s declaration.
            The stock is gone through only once.  When it is exhausted the players must draw the top card of the discard pile, and the game ends when a player refuses it.

KNOCK RUMMY, or Poker Rum, is played in the same way as the parent game, but a player does not declare his sequences and sets by exposing them on the table.  Instead, after drawing a card, he knocks on the table, and then discards. Play comes to an end.  The players separate their matched cards from their un-matched ones, and each announces the count of his unmatched cards, as reckoned in the parent game.  The player with the lowest count wins the difference in counts from all the other players.  If a player ties with the knocker for the lowest count he wins over the knocker.  If the knocker does not have the lowest count he pays a penalty  of an extra 10 points to the player with the lowest count.  If the knocker goes rummy (has all his cards matched when he knocks )  and wins, he receives an extra 25 points from all the other players.

The player should take the 5 ♠ and discard 9 ♣, as 5 ♠ offers alternative chances of melding : either with 5 ♥ or 6 ♠

Scotch Whist Scotch Whist, sometimes called Catch the Ten because one of the objects of the game is to win the trick that contains the 10 of the trump suit, is played with the pack of thirty-six  cards.  The 2s,3s,4s, and 5s are removed from Ace (high) to 6 (low) with the exception that the Jack of the trump suit is promoted above the Ace.
            The game is suitable for any number of players from two to eight, but, as every player must begin with the same number of cards, if five or seven players take part the 6 of Spades is removed from the pack, and if eight take part all four 6s are.  If two, three, five or seven play, each plays for himself.  If four, six or eight play they may either play each for himself, or form into partnerships.
            Dealing varies with the number of players taking part in the game.  If two play each receives eighteen cards that are dealt in three separate hands of six cards each, to be played independently; if three play each receives twelve cards that are dealt in two separate hands of six cards each, to be played independently; if four or more play the cards are dealt in the normal clockwise rotation.  In every case the dealer turns up the last card to indicate the trump suit.
            The player on the left of the dealer leads to the first trick.  Thereafter the player who wins a trick leads to the next.  Play follows the usual routine of trick-taking games: a player must follow suit, if he can, to the suit led, if he cannot he may either trump the trick or discard on it.

            The object of the game is to win tricks containing the five top trump cards, and the player, or partnership, that does scores 11 points for the Jack, 4 points for the Ace, 3 points for the King, 2 points for the Queen, and 10 points for the Ten.  Over and above this, each player, or pinochle partnership, counts the number of cards taken in tricks, and scores 1 point for every card more than the number originally dealt to him, or it.

            The game ends when a player, or partnership, has reached an agreed total, usually 41 points.
            It stands out that a player must direct his play towards winning tricks that contain the top cards of the trump suit, particularly that which contains the 10, since the Jack can only go to the player to whom it has been dealt, and usually the luck of the deal determines who will win the tricks that contain the Ace, King and Queen.
            In a partnership game the player who has been dealt the 10, either singleton or doubleton, would be well advised to lead it.  It gives a good score if his partner is able to win with the Jack; if an opponent wins the trick the partnership must hope to recover by aiming to win as many tricks as possible.  If the game is being played all against all, the player who has been dealt the 10 should try and get rid of all the cards in his shortest suit, so that he can win the 10 by trumping with it.

Spoil Five

Spoil Five, sometimes called Forty-five, is an excellent game for any reasonable number of players, but is best for five or six, as it calls for some show of skill.
            It is played with the full pack of fifty-two cards, but that it is rarely, if ever, played outside its native Ireland may be ascribed to the eccentric order of the cards.  The 5 of the trump suit is always the highest trump, the Jack of the trump suit is the second highest, and the Ace of Hearts the third highest.  Thereafter, if a black suit is trumps the cards rank in the order A K Q 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 and if a red suit is trumps in the order A (if Diamond are trumps) K Q 10 9 8 7 6 4 3 2.  In plain suits, the black suits rank in the order  K Q J A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ; the red suits in the order K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 A (except in Hearts ).  It is concisely expressed as ‘highest in red; lowest in black’, but even with this help it is all rather involved.

            Five cards are dealt to each player either in bundles of two then three, or three then two.  The next card is exposed to determine the trump suit.  A pool is formed to which every player contributes an agreed amount, and it is usual to fix a maximum and, after the first deal, only the player whose turn it is to deal contributes to the pool.
            The object of the online poker game is to win three tricks, and, at the same time, prevent another player from winning them.
            The player who wins three tricks takes the pool; and if no-one wins three tricks ( a spoil) the deal passes to the next player.  When a player has won three tricks the hand ends and the deal passes, unless the player who has won them declares ‘Jinx’.  It is an undertaking to win the remaining two tricks.  Play then continues and if he fails to win the two tricks he loses the pool; on the other hand, if he wins the two tricks not only does he take the pool but the other players each pay him the amount that they originally contributed to the pool.
            The player on the left of the dealer leads to the first trick.  Thereafter the winner of a trick leads to the next.  The rules of play are precise and peculiar to the game:

  1. If the card turned up to denote the trump suit is an Ace, the dealer may rob.  He may, that is, exchange the Ace for a card in his hand, but he must do so before the player on his left leads to the first trick.
  2. Any player who has been dealt the Ace of the trump suit may exchange any card in his hand for the turn-up card, but he need not do so until it is his turn to play.
  3. If a trump is led a player must follow suit if he can, but the 5 and Jack of the trump suit and the Ace of Hearts are exempt from following suit to the lead of a lower trump.  It is called reneging.  It means that the 5 of the trump suit need not be poker played if the Ace of Hearts is led; if, however, the 5 of the trump suit is led no trump can renege.
  4. If a plain suit is led a player may follow suit or trump as he chooses, but he must not discard from another plain suit if he is able to follow suit or trump.
  5. If a player misdeals the deal passes to the next player

    East is dealt the 8 ♣ but exchanges is for the 9
    In a 4-handed game, South deals and turns up the 9.
                West leads the J .  North may renege the 5 , but it would hardly be good play not to use it to win the second highest trump, so he plays it.  East, who holds the A , robs by exchanging the 8♣ for the 9 and, of course, plays it.  West who started with the hope of a jinx is now not so sure that he will win even three tricks.  His prospects, however, improve when South, perforce, plays the A ♥.  At least South cannot hold another trump.
                North leads the J ♣, East plays the 5 ♣, South the 7♣, and West wins with the 2.
                West leads the K ♠, North plays the 6♠, and East sees the possibility of himself winning three tricks.  He trumps with the A , and South plays the 9♠.  With any luck East should be able to win the last two tricks with the J ♠ and 5♠.
                As it happens, however, East’s play has enabled West to win three poker tricks, because when East leads the J ♠, West wins with the 3 and the last tricks with the 2 ♠.


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