|A simple game that's hours of fun.|
There tend to be two types of people when it comes to card games (assuming money is not involved). There are those who prefer the reflex games, where speed is the most important attribute, and those who prefer the contemplative games, where strategy is the most important. I fall firmly into the latter category, as my reflexes apparently only work in video games. However, in my opinion, rummy does an excellent job of combining great strategic elements with a little bit of reflex action every now and again.
Each player is dealt 7 cards and the top card of the draw pile is flipped face up. The goal is to lay down either a set (3 or 4 cards of the same value) or a run (3 or more consecutive cards of the same suit). To that end, on your turn you either take the top card off the draw pile or grab the face-up card from the discard pile. The catch is that you must be able to use the face-up card on that turn to be able to pick it up. When your turn is over, you must discard a card. If there is more than one card in the discard pile, a person may pick up any card in the pile if they can use it that turn, but they must take every card on top of it into their hand. People can also play off of other people's runs and sets; for example, if someone else laid down three jacks and you have the fourth jack, you can put that down on your turn. The hand lasts until one person has no cards left in their hand. At that point, everyone determines their score by subtracting the value of the cards left in their hand from the value of the cards they've put down. 2 through 9 are worth 5 points, 10s and royals are worth 10, and aces are worth 15. The game goes to a predetermined point limit.
I like this game because it requires that you get inside the heads of your opponents. For example, you don't want to pick up a card buried within the discard pile if you think someone is going to go out soon, but on the other hand, the more cards you have, the more potential you have to put down sets and runs if the hand is going to last a while longer. There's another important rule that applies to this as well, and this is where the reflexes come in: if there is a card in the discard pile that can be played off a set or run on the table, any player can call "rummy" at any time and play that card. It could be because someone laid down a set or run that could be complemented by a card deep within the discard pile, or someone could've just not been paying attention and thrown away a card they could've played. Either way, that element forces you to pay attention even when it's not your turn.
Another great aspect of the game, and one it shares with many card games, is the ability to customize it to suit your needs. Only have 2 people? Just deal them more cards! (10, to be exact.) The same works the opposite way, though to a lesser extent; you're not going to want to play with many more than 5 people. It's also nice because of the lack of a set point limit. A game to 100 could only last one hand, or if you've got time, you could play to 1,000 or more. The possibilities are many.
Mr. Rhythm Says:
A fine game indeed. If you've never played, grab a deck and some friends and start dealing. I know you've got one somewhere...
Written by Mr. Rhythm, 2005-09-18 21:06:30