The Top 5 Rummy Variations You don’t know

Depending on the area and population, there are a large number of variations of Rummy.
Most of the variants of Rummy are based on making sequences, while some of them are slightly different on counting points.

Rummy is actually a huge origin of many games, and some of the extensions are not even card games!

In North America, “Rummy” is always referred to a certain game called “Gin Rummy,” while people are actually talking about Indian Rummy which is known as “Paplu.” Indian Rummy aka Paplu is also known as marriage Rummy, usually because it’s played in wedding ceremonies.

Since there are a lot of variations of Rummy games, normally we can divide them into several families.

card game-teen patti
card game-teen patti, credit to Pexel

Melding family of Rummy

This is the most basic and closest family of Rummy. The main goal of “melding family” will always be making your cards into sequences and sets. Some of them even set the minimum points requirement on the very first sequence or set, while some of them must include a discard for the final meld. Also, the difference of cards’ points are the distinction.

These are all in the Melding family of Rummy games:

German Rummy
Indian Marriage
Indonesian rummy (remi)
Red three rummy

500 Rum
5000 Rum
Bing rummy

Penang rummy
Scala 40
Seven bridge
Shanghai rum
Speed Rummy

Ten pennies
Three thirteen

Contract Family of Rummy

In this variant of Rummy, players are assigned specific goals to achieve. The objectives can be known or unknown to other players. What’s more, players can even decide the goal on their own, announcing them before the Rummy starts. Eventually, players will be either prized or punished with extra points depending on whether their mission is completed or not.

These are all in the contract family of Rummy:

  • Contract rummy
  • Kalooki
  • Dummy rummy
  • Carioca
  • Phase 10
  • Liverpool rummy
  • Zioncheck

Canasta family of Rummy

In the canasta family of Rummy, two or more decks of cards are often used, and there will be many wild cards which can replace the card you want. Rules and limitations are more on the first meld.

These are all examples of the canasta family of Rummy.

  • Buraco
  • Biriba
  • Canasta
  • Hand & Foot
  • Samba
  • Mille

Knock Rummy

In Knock Rummy, players have to reveal all the cards in hand at the end of the game. The reason why it’s called knock Rummy is that players may make a sign like knock or discard his final useless card to inform other players.

These are all in the category of Knock Rummy:

  • Gin rummy
  • Indian Rummy
  • Rumino
  • Tonk (aka Tunk)
  • Viennese Rummy

Variations with special cards or equipments

Mahjong from East Asia, or Rummikub which is popular in the Middle East, or the four color cards are all variations of Rummy as well.


Do the amount of variations from Rummy make an impact on your mind? The simple rules and basic concept are the reason that makes Rummy so widely spread, for people can always find their favorite rules and variants to play.