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Traditional Rummy

The Game Traditional Rummy is obviously the basic version of the game most other variants spun off of. As such it used to be the most popular form of Rummy too, until Gin Rummy and some of its more recent spin offs took over.

Even though it is no longer the most popular Rummy variant per se, Traditional Rummy tables are available in all online rummy rooms, and they do still get a fair amount of player traffic.

In Traditional Rummy, players are dealt 10 cards each. After the deal is done, the dealer places the remaining cards face-down onto the table to form the draw pile. A card is also placed face-up onto the table to start the discard pile. In lengthy games, the draw pile might run out. In such cases, the discard pile is shuffled up and placed face down to form the new draw-pile, with the exception of a single card which stays face-up to make the base of the new discard-pile.

Players get their turns acting. Here's what a player's turn consists of: he picks up a card. This is supposed to improve his chances of making melds (sets " which consists of three or more cards of the same value but of different suits, or runs " three or more cards of consecutive face-value and the same suit). Picking up a card is not optional: players must do it. After he's picked his card up, a player can decide whether or not he wants to lay the melds he created onto the table. This move is optional. The player may elect not to place his melds onto to table even if he has several valid sets or runs. He may hold out in the hopes of improving his melds on a later turn. The last move a player must undertake on his turn is to ditch one of his cards.

If a player does place his melds onto the table (always face up) other players may complete his sets or runs with one or more cards.

Victory in Traditional Rummy can be achieved either by "going out" or by "going rummy". If a player manages to include all his cards into the melds that he places onto the table and has one left over to discard, he wins the round by "going out".

If a player includes all his cards into melds but one " which he then discards " without having placed any melds on the table previously, he's "going rummy". You want to "go rummy" whenever possible because of the scoring system which works like this:

In case of someone "going out", all other players receive penalty points which equal the total value of the cards they're stuck with when the "going out" happens.

When a player "goes rummy", all the other participants receive the penalty points they would've received if someone had gone out, but they get an additional 25 points of penalty on top of it.

Players who reach a set number of penalty points are considered eliminated, and will have to pay a buy-in if they intend to get back into the action.


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