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What Are the Standard Rules of Etiquette for Rummy

Unless you’re playing an online version where you play against an AI, rummy is a fairly social game, played against anywhere from a couple of players to multiple players. As such, any game of rummy, be it with friends and family or in a crowded casino requires a certain etiquette between players to keep things running smoothly and civilly. 

Are there specific rules of etiquette for rummy, though? Sort of. Some of it has to do with the rules of the game and some with more general etiquette rules for playing games like rummy.

Here are some of the most important of these.

Who Deals? 

Aside for the games when there is a dedicated dealer, the best way to decide who deals when playing with others is to draw a card and whoever gets the highest card deals first. Each player then gets a turn to deal on each turn, moving clockwise.

Who Goes First?

Obviously, if it’s just two players then the dealer deals and the other person plays first. With multiple players, the person to the left of the dealer plays first and then the game proceeds in a clockwise direction.

playing cards scattered

Keeping Your Distance

When playing with others in an informal setting, it’s crucial to make sure that the seating plan is such that you can’t see each other’s cards. On the other hand, you also need to make sure that each of the players have equally easy access to the discard pile and can see all the cards clearly.

Know Which Game You’re Playing

One thing that many players don’t realize about rummy is that there’s really no single game called rummy, but a whole group of similar games that are all based on the same meld-based objectives, but have often quite different rules. The way you win each game isn’t even all that consistent with gin rummy and rummy 500 having quite different ways of scoring and winning. Make sure you and the other players are all on the same page of which version of rummy you’re playing and that you know the relevant rules.

Other than these four rules of etiquette, the only other things you really need to know are the actual rules of each variant of rummy (or the ones you’re interested in playing). Then it’s just a matter of applying the rules of etiquette that you use with every other kind of game imaginable. Don’t be a sore loser. Don’t be a sore winner. Keep things civil and courteous with other players. 

Do these things and any game of rummy is yours to enjoy.

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