Ah, Rummy. There are few card games that are as popular to play with family and friends as Rummy. And why not? It’s fun, it’s hardly super difficult to play, and because it’s generally not played for money, even fake money, (with, say, Monopoly money or casino chips) it’s a great game even for young people or for those whom their religion forbids any kind of gambling.
That said, though, Rummy can be played for money. Unlike your average casino game, though, playing Rummy for cash is generally not considered gambling and is legal even in places where, for example, online poker or slot games are strictly prohibited.
Where to Play
You can play any one of the dozen or so variants of Rummy for cash online, but the most common and best way to play Rummy for actual money is to keep things traditional and play with other players. This can be in the form of actual tournaments held online or at brick-and-mortar casinos, it can be as part of charity events (though in such cases, winners are more likely to receive sponsored prizes rather than cash) and it can even be played, less formally, between friends.
Which Version to Play
The nice thing about Rummy is that there are tons of different varieties you can play, but they all work on a similar basis of scoring points by creating “melds” of sequences (2, 3, 4, 5 of Clubs) or sets of three or more (2, 2, 2, 2 of each of the suits). It’s probably best to stick to those that you’re most comfortable and familiar with, but there are online tournaments for virtually all varieties of Rummy (though some are more common than others) and regardless of which version you and your friends prefer to play, the way you play for money is almost always exactly the same.
How to Play
To play Rummy for cash with friends, you would do almost exactly what you would do when playing at a professional tournament. The following is all you really need to know to get started:
- Each player ”buys into” the game at the start of the tournament by depositing an agreed upon minimum (and usually maximum) amount of dollars into the pool.
- Buy-ins can be required for each game (aka. after one of the players wins by, say, reaching 0 or 500 in the Gin and 500 variants, respectively) with the winner taking the pool with each game.
- Alternatively, you can play where there is only a buy-in at the start of the whole evening and players can join new games with a smaller amount and the person who wins the most over the entire night wins the pool.
That’s really kind of it. As pay-to-win card games go, Rummy certainly hasn’t been able to match something like poker, and it’s probably still most often played as a fun family game. Still, there are high stakes tournaments to join and if you want to make it more interesting when playing with friends, it’s easy enough to play for a few hours without breaking the bank.