Contract Rummy is one of the most popular rummy games that is ideal for playing with family. The game involves 7 deals all of which are defined by a contract i.e., the pattern in which melds are to be formed by the players to lay down the cards.
Contract Rummy has many versions like Zioncheck, King Rummy, Shanghai Rummy, Liverpool Rummy, Carioca Rummy, Progressive Rummy, Continental Rummy, etc. So, if you are interested in playing Contract rummy, then keep reading further to know more about the game.
· Contract Rummy game goal – To Get rid of the cards in hand by melding, laying off, or discarding while satisfying each rounds contract.
· Total Number of Players – 3-5 players; 4 is optimal
· Number of Cards – 52-card deck + 1 joker
· Order of Cards – From High to Low – A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A
· Game Type – Rummy
· Game Audience – Adult
How to Deal
To play contract rummy with up to 5 players, one single 52-deck card is used. However, for a game with more than 5 players, 2 decks of 52 cards each are used along with 2 Jokers. The Jokers are wild cards in contract rummy and can be used to replace any other card to form a meld.
The dealer is chosen by shuffling and cutting the deck of cards. The player who draws the card with the lowest rank becomes the first dealer. The deal proceeds to the left.
In all, the game has 7 deals all of which have different contracts. For the first 4 deals, players are given 10 cards each. For the next 3 deals, players get 12 cards each.
The dealer starts dealing the cards to the player from their left and then proceeds in clockwise manner. The dealer deals the cards faced down and one at a time. When the cards are all dealt, the rest of the cards form the stock pile. The top most card from the stock pile is flipped and put aside to form the discard pile.
· Deal 1 – 10 cards, 2 sets
· Deal 2 – 10 cards, 1 set and 1 sequence
· Deal 3 – 10 cards, 2 sequence
· Deal 4 – 10 cards, 3 sets
· Deal 5 – 12 cards, 2 sets and 1 sequence
· Deal 6 – 12 cards, 1 set and 2 sequences
· Deal 7 – 12 cards, 3 sequences
Players are needed to fulfil the contracts by setting down the right melds for the deal. In case the contract needs multiple sequences, then they might not be from that same suit. The last 7th deal needs that all the cards should be melded at once so the melds can be greater than 1.
How to Play
The game starts from the first player to the left of the dealer and then proceeds clockwise. In a turn, there are the below 3 phases –
1. Draw – Players will draw the top card from the stockpile. The card has to be kept hidden from other players. Then add this card to their hand. Players have the option to pick up one or more cards from the discard pile as well. Players can also take a card from withing the discard pile but then they will also have to take all the cards above the card from the discard pile.
2. Meld – Players are required to meld the combinations of cards in their hand. They will have to place them faced up on the table. Players can also lay off their cards on the already formed melds either their own or of the other players’. The cards melded are scored for the player who melded them so adding to others’ meld will benefit you as well. You can see the below section to know how to form melds.
3. Discard – Players will discard cards. Until all the cards in your hand have been used to meld you have to discard 1 faced-up card on the top of the discard pile. If a player draws the top card from the discard pile then they are not allowed to discard that card. But if the player draws more than one cards from the discard pile, then they can choose one of those cards to discard again.
How to form a meld
Meld is a set of 3 or 4 cards of the same value. For instance, a meld includes a Queen of hearts, Queen of Diamonds, Queen of Spades and Queen of Clubs. In a game with more than one deck, the melds will have 2 cards from the same suit.
A meld is also a sequence of 3 or more cards that are consecutive and belong to the same suit. For instance, 5-6-7-8 of hearts is a meld.
Players can add to melds if that extends the sequence. This is known as ‘Laying Off’. Jokers are wild cards and can be used to replace any other card in a meld. But for this, the rank of the joker has to be announced and kept the same throughout the game.
Jokers are wild cards and thus they can replace any card that is required to complete a meld. So, if you do not have a card that might complete a meld, you can simply use a Joker and it will complete the meld. Players have to first announce the suit and rank of the card they want to replace the Joker with.
When a player meets their contract at the last turn, and if another player uses a joker in a meld to replace a card they have in hand, as they lay off, they can exchange those cards and take joker. But the joker must be used during that same turn. No player can save the Joker for later. Also, the jokers that are played in sets are dead and can’t be reclaimed.
If a player has fulfilled the contract of the round and played all of their cards, then the player ‘goes out’. If this is the case, then the hand is over for all the players and they are scored. The penalty points for cards are collected by the players.
· Face Cards – 10 points for each K, Q, J.
· Ace – 15 points
· Joker – 15 points
· Number Cards – Face Value (3 points for a three card)
End of the game
Contract Rummy ends when all the 7 deals are over. The player having the lowest number of points is the winner in Contract Rummy.
That was it all about Contract Rummy game. I am hoping you have all understood the game. In case of any queries, feel free to ask us in the comments below and we will get back to you soon.