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Kalooki (CALOOCHI)

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A fascinating double-deck form of Rummy, which is a favorite among women in card, rooms from New York  to Florida.  Kalooki is also played in sporting clubs, casinos, and homes in Great Britain.  Last year when I visited England as a Gambling Consultant to the British Home Office, I stopped off at the Victoria Sporting Club in  London and witnessed a half dozen  Kalooki games in action.


  1. Two, three, or four players; the game is best suited to four-handed competition.
  2. Two standard 52-card decks and four jokers, shuffled and used as one pack, a total of 108 cards.  Jokers are wild.

Beginning of the Game.  Selection of the dealer, seating positions, changing seats,  shuffle, and cut are as described under General Rules for Rummy Games .
            Value of the Cards.  All cards bear their pip value except the ace, which counts 11, and the joker, which bears the value indicated by its use in the meld.  A meld of three or four jokers gives them an arbitrary value of 15 points each.  It had better be added that it is rarely if ever advisable to lay down three or four jokers.  There’s generally more useful work for them to do.
            Shuffle and Cut.  Dealer shuffled cards, then offers pack to player at his right for the cut.  That player must cut the cards, showing the bottom card of the cut portion of the stock by turning the cut portion face up.  Should the bottom card be a joker, the player cutting the cards takes it as his first card, and the cut is carried (completed).  If it is not a joker, it remains where it is in the pack when the cut is competed.  When the cutter takes the joker, the dealer skips that player on the first round in the deal.
            Fifteen cards are dealt each player face  down one at a time in turn, starting with the player at the dealer’s left and going clockwise.  The next card is faced up, becoming the upcard.  The dealer may take that card  if he wants it, discarding one card if he does claim it.

            The play.  After the dealer takes the upcard or declines it, play passes to the player at his left, and thereafter clockwise.  The dealer cannot take the top card of the stock if he declines the upcard.   Succeeding players may take the top card of the stock, or may take the upcard only if it can be used in a meld immediately.
            A player cannot meld unless the initial meld totals 51 or more points.  If he takes the top card of the stock he may embody it in his hand and discard one card.  Remember: no meld may be laid unless it counts 51 or more points! A card laid off on other melds may be counted toward this total, but a player may lay off only when melding and/or laying  off his 15 cards in the single play, that play is Kalooki and the player.  If he melds or lays off all his card in more than one down, he is rummy and wins the game.
            Each losing player is penalized 1 cent for each card he still holds in his hand at game’s end.  With  one exception, the cards have this 1-cent  value.  The exception is the joker.  It counts as two cards and 2 cents in penalties.  A player  going Kalooki gets doubled stakes   from each other player, plus   the kitty.  Generally in a-cent-a card game, each player antes a nickel for the kitty.  When a joker is one card of a meld and a player holds the natural card for which that joker is stand-in, he can swap his natural card for the joker.  Suppose a meld of diamond eight, joker, and diamond ten are on other board.  Suppose you hold the nine of diamonds.  In your turn of play you may exchange the natural nine for the joker, and use the joker for your own dark purposes.
            Strategy.  More than half the time, a player finds enough in his original hand to make an initial meld of 51 or more.  The meld should be made at once, so that the player can draw from the discard pile when he wishes.  The great opportunities for melding, enhanced by laying off on the initial melds (two or three sets each), give a strong chance to go out within a few rounds.  With four or more players, it is a fact that some hand goes out usually within six rounds.  consequently there can be no thought of holding up melds to avoid letting other players lay off on them.  The chances are too great of being caught.  Even jokers can rarely be hoarded safely.


One of the few games in the Rummy family played in partnership; two players team and play against two other partners.


  1. A standard 52-card deck plus four jokers, making a 56-card pack.  The jokers must be of the same design and color as the pack.

Selecting Partners and Seating Positions

  1. The  four players seat themselves at any four places around the table; where they sit is for the moment irrelevant.
  2. Any player may shuffle the pack and offer the pack to any other player for a cut.
  3. When cutting for partners the jokers are excluded from the deck.
  4. Each player cuts a group of cards from the pack, immediately exposing to the others the bottom card of his group.  Players drawing the two low cards become partners.  So do the players drawing the two high cards.
  5. If players draw three or four cards of the same rank, a new deal must take place.  Upon deciding which two are high and which low, partners seat themselves opposite each other.
  6. To avoid controversy as to positions the several partners take, one player for each team cuts the pack and exposes the bottom card of his cut.  If it is black card, partners remain in the positions they have taken.  If it is a red card, they must exchange seats.
  7. The player who cut low card in the cut for partner positions starts the game by dealing the first hand.  From then on the deal moves to the dealer’s left, clockwise.

Object of the Game.  For a team of two partners to score more points than the other team at the conclusion of three hands or deals.  Points are scored by putting down melds of three or four cards of the same numerical rank or three or more cards in sequences of the same suit.  The ace may be used with two or three other aces, with the king and queen of the same suit, or with the deuce and trey of the same suit.  It cannot be used in the around-the-corner combination of  king-ace-deuce.  The jokers are not wild.  They may be used only in a meld of three or four jokers.  They cannot be used in a sequence.
            Face cards count 10 points; all other cards have their numerical values except the ace.  It counts 15 points – except when melded with a deuce and trey, in which case it counts but 1 point.  The joker counts 20 points either in a meld or when caught in a player’s hand, except in case a player melds the four jokers at one time, in which one case he is credited with 160 points for them, twice their normal value.
            All cards melded four at a time count twice their normal value.  The ace counts 15 points except when laid in a meld with the ace-deuce-trey of the same suit.  It then counts but 1.  A player laying down a meld of the three aces would get a point credit of 45 points, and if in a later play he laid the fourth ace on that meld, its points value would become 60 points.  But if a players melds the four aces at the one time, they score 120 points for the melder.
            The Deal.  Beginning with the player at his left, the dealer deals each player seven cards one at a time.  The twenty-ninth card is faced up, constituting the upcard, and the rest of the cards are turned face down beside it to become the stock.
            The Play.  Each player in his turn may (a) either take the top card of the stock or (b) take any card of the discard pile, provided:

  1. That he takes all cards in the discard pile above the card he wants.
  2. That he uses   this card in meld immediately with at least two other cards already in his hand.

A player may lay down as many melds as he likes at his turn of play, and may lay off cards on his own melds or his partner’s melds, keeping his layoff cards in front of him.  Then he discards.
End of the Hand

  1. The deal or hand ends whenever a player melds all his cards, either in proper melds or in layoffs.  The player must discard his last card; he cannot meld it.
  2. If the stock is exhausted without any player having gone knock rummy, the upcard is set aside to start the new discard pile, and the discard pile is turned over to form the new stock.  This goes on until a player goes out.
  3. When a player goes out, his team goes out.


  1. At the end of each hand, each player counts the value of the cards he has melded, and subtracts the value of the cards remaining in this hand.
  2. Partners consolidate their credits and subtract their consolidated their credits and subtract their consolidated minuses, because partners ’ scores are entered as a unit on the scores sheet.
  3. The player who goes out (rummy) gets a 25-point bonus .

End of Game.  The game ends on the completion of three hands.  The side having the highest score wins.
            Bonuses.  The winning side gets credit for the difference between the consolidated team scores.  The winning side gets a game bonus of 100 points.  The game is played  for so much per point.  Winning partners divide their winnings evenly.
            Strategy.  This is a game of jokers, aces, and other high cards.  Lesser melds are of trifling value.  Persian Rummy fans have devised a “system” comparable with Bridge   system – e.g. the discard of an ace shows that the player has two or three jokers and the discard of a face card shows two or three aces.  (These conventional meanings do not obtain if the discard is made in the same turn when a player melds.)  All lower melds are used so far as possible to capture the discard pile, and to enable one partner to transfer useful cards to the other online play poker.



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
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Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
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Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
Skarney Singles
Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

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Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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