Rummikub

Rummikub box art
Maximum Participants:See your state page
Minimum Participants:12

Format

Four-player matches.

Five swiss-style qualifying rounds, with a final (top 4) round of three cumulatively-scored games.

Object of the Game: To be the first player to place all the tiles from your rack onto the table.


Basic Rules

Sets

  • Groups - at least three of the same figure tile, in different colors.
  • Runs - at least three consecutive numbers of the same color.

Initial Meld

The first set you lay down. Tiles must add up to 30 or more. You may not manipulate in your initial meld.

Timing

Turns can be 30, 45, 60, 120 seconds.

The Joker

Use the joker instead of any other tile to create a set.


Setup

Once a game begins, the system will issue each player with a tile – the person with the highest numbered tile begins. Each player is issued with their 14 tiles; the remaining tiles become the 'pool'. The player can sort their tiles on their rack by colour or number– that is, into sets of "groups" (colour) or "runs" (numbers).


Sets

A "group" is a set of three or four tiles of the same number, but each in a different colour: Example of a group in Rummikub


A "run" is a set of three or more consecutive numbers which are of the same colour. Example of a run in Rummikub

Note: The number 1 can only be played as the lowest number and cannot follow number 13.


Playing the Game

Players make sets and lay them on the table – this is called a 'meld'. The first set must add up to at least 30 points (Add up the tile values) – this is called the "initial meld". If unable to make an initial meld, or a player chooses to delay, they must click the 'get tile' button and pick up and additional tile from the pool. This concludes the players turn.

Each player must lay down an initial meld, one cannot manipulate (add or take tiles away from an existing set) a set before laying down an initial meld.

Players have a time limit of 30, 60, 90, 120 seconds (as decided by tournament director) per turn. If a player hasn't completed their move before their time is up, they must replace all tiles to their previous position and pick up three tiles from the pool as a penalty.


Initial Meld

On your first move, tiles must add up to 30 or more. See examples:

10 + 10 + 10 = 30
11 + 12 + 13 = 36
8 + 8 + 8 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 36
9 + 9 + 9 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 30
7 + 8 + 9 = 24 (Less than 30)
9 + 9 + 9 = 27 (Less than 30)


Manipulation

Manipulating is the most exciting part of the Rummikub game as players try to lay down as many tiles as possible by rearranging or adding to existing sets. Below are examples of how sets can be manipulated.

Note: After a round of manipulations - all sets must be 'legal' and there should be no loose tiles left on the table.

Examples of manipulations:

  1. Adding tiles to an existing set: Add tiles to an existing set

  2. Removing a fourth tile from a set and using it in a new one: Removing a fourth tile from a set and using it in a new one

  3. Adding a fourth tile to a set, removing another tile from that same set to create a new set:  Adding a fourth tile to a set, removing another tile from that same set to create a new set.

  4. Splitting a run: Splitting a run

  5. Combined split: Combined split

  6. Multiple split: Multiple split

The Joker

  • All rules apply to both jokers regardless of color (red & black)
  • Either joker can be used to complete any group or run
  • Two jokers CAN be used in a single set
  • A joker cannot be retrieved before a player has laid down their initial meld.
  • A joker can be retrieved from a set on the table by any player who can replace it with another tile of the same numerical and color value it represents.
  • The tile used to replace the joker can be taken from the table or from the player's rack. In the case of a group of three – the joker can represent either of the missing colors (there are four colors in the game). Once a player replaces a joker, they must use it in the same turn as part of a set. Sets containing jokers can be split and manipulated like regular sets.
  • Even if a particular tile is already on the meld area twice (there are 2 tiles of the same number and color in each game. Eg. X2 tiles that are 3-red) a player may still use a joker to represent that tile a third time.
  • If a joker remains on a player's rack at the end of the game, its penalty value is 30 points.

Points and Scoring

After a player has cleared their rack and a winner has been declared, the scores of the remaining players will be calculated. The score is calculated as a negative number as the aim of the game is to have less tiles which adds up to a smaller score.

The Winner receives the sum total of all of the players point - as a positive number. These scores are then used in the calculation of the players rank.


Strategy and Tips

  • It's a good idea to hold onto some of your tiles and let others lay down their sets so that you may have more opportunities for manipulations.
  • It is sometimes useful to hold onto the fourth tile of a group or run so that in the next round you can lay a tile instead of drawing from the pool.
  • Choose when to use your joker, hold onto it for a time of need. But remember you don;t want to get caught out with it on your rack while another player completes their play.

FAQ

Can I place a number 1 tile after 12-13 to create a set? No. The number 1 can only be played as the lowest number and cannot follow the number 13.

Can I lay a meld which is identical to one already laid on the meld area? Yes. There are 2 tiles of each kind in the game and therefore two identical sets may be created.

What is an initial meld? It is the first time you lay down sets (groups or runs on the meld area).

Is there a minimum number of tiles that I need to lay down? Only your initial meld must add up to at least 30. Thereafter there is no minimum.

When can I start manipulating? After laying down your initial meld. You may not manipulate sets before or during your initial meld (even if your own initial meld exceeds 30). You may start manipulating on your very next turn.

What's the difference between the black and the red jokers? There is none. They are exactly the same.

Can I use two jokers and one tile to create a set? Yes.

Can I replace the joker as soon as it's been laid down? No. A joker cannot be retrieved before a player has laid down their initial meld.

Can I use a joker to replace a tile that is already on the meld area twice? Yes. A joker may represent ANY tile (even if a particular tile is already on the meld area twice) as long as it completes a set.


Practice and improve your skill towards the Rummikub tournaments: Play Rummikub online on Facebook - http://apps.facebook.com/rummikub