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The Game Kaluki is a rummy version in which two to five people can play. Usually two full decks of cards are used, plus a couple of jokers. Altogether, there will be 106 cards in play.

The first thing you need to know about this game is the card ranking that it uses. The Ace always counts as 11 (it only counts as high this is very important to remember when you're melding your cards), T, J, Q,K count as 10 each, and the other cards have face value. The Jokers can be used to replace any card in a set or a run, in which case they take up the value of the card they're substituted for. If you get stuck with a joker in your hand at the end of a game, its value is 15, so it will hurt you the most.

Throughout the game, players will draw cards and discard them, looking to eventually get rid of all the 13 cards they're dealt by melding them into sets or runs. The player who manages to get rid of all his/her cards the fastest, wins the game. This is known as calling up. The stakes involved in the game are usually distributed according to the following blueprint: the call up, which is the amount of money the winner receives from the other players, is 1 unit. The kaluki (kaluki happens when a player puts all his 13 cards onto the table at once) is 2 units. The initial stake (players will have to pay the initial stake when they take a seat at the table) is 5 units, and the buy-in (which is the amount of money a player needs to pay if he wants to get back into the action after having been eliminated) is the equivalent of the initial stake: 5 units.

After the winner calls up, all the other players have their cards' values counted and receive penalty points. Make sure you get rid of your jokers in a timely manner, because as I pointed out above you really don't want to be caught with one of them in hand when one of your opponents calls up.

If you garner more than 150 penalty points over a number of hands, you are eliminated. In this case, you need to pay the buy-in to get back into the action. The stakes system may seem complicated at first sight but you'll realize it's pretty simple once you get the hang of it.

The order in which players are seated and the dealer are determined in a pretty peculiar manner. Cards from A to 5 (A,2,3,4,5) are shuffled and given to the players. He who draws the A becomes the dealer, the other players, are seated in a clock-wise order according to the value of the cards they drew (2-3-4-5).

The dealer hands the other players their cards, one at a time, until everyone gets 13. Then, another card is put face-up in the middle of the table and left there. This card is the base of the discard pile. The remaining cards will constitute the stock.

Melding is the most important part of the game. You can either make sets or runs. A set consists of three or more cards of the same value but of different suits. Same value same suit cards are not allowed in a set. A Run consists of at least three consecutive value cards of the same suit. The Ace always acts high, so don't make your runs counting on a low Ace.

Your initial meld needs to contain cards which add up to at least 40. You cannot place a set or a run totaling less than that onto the table. After you've made your initial meld, you can place any set or run onto the table, regardless of the total value of cards in it. You need either build on the previously melded sets or runs, or you can start new ones.

When your turn comes, you'll be required to draw a card, then to meld your set(s) or run(s) if you have any, and you're willing to - and discard one of your cards.

If you're eliminated, you'll be allowed to buy-in two more times. The third time you go over 150 penalty points is your last as you'll be eliminated for good.



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