21-Card Rummy

21-Card Rummy is an exciting variation of traditional Rummy games. Played with an extra deck of cards, 21 Cards Rummy incorporates a unique blend of interesting game rules and challenging gameplay.

21-Card Rummy: Indian Marriage Rummy

21-Cards Rummy is played by 2 to 6 players with 3 standard decks of 53 cards each, including one printed Joker per deck. Just like in other Rummy versions, players play for points that have a pre-decided value (in rupees or play points). Before the game starts, each player has to place the pre-decided amount on the table as a stake. Then a random toss is made to decide which player will make the first move. Take a look at the game rules below to understand the game well:

Gameplay: 21 cards are dealt to each player and a wild Joker is selected randomly from the deck of the remaining cards. The first card from the remaining deck is placed face up on the table to form the open deck and the rest of the cards are placed face down to form the closed deck. Players need to arrange their cards in valid sequences, or sequences and sets by picking a card from the closed or open deck and then discarding one of their cards to the open deck on each turn. The 21-Card Rummy game rules about Jokers and Value Cards are described below:

Jokers: Jokers are special cards that can replace any other cards in sequences and sets.

Value Cards: Value Cards are used in addition to Jokers in the game. They can replace any cards in sequences and sets. There are three different types of Value Cards, which play special roles:

Cut Joker: The card that is randomly selected as the wild Joker at the beginning of the game is called the Cut Joker. For example, if 5? is selected as the wild Joker randomly, then it will be the Cut Joker in 21-Card Rummy.

Upper Joker: The card that is one rank above the Cut Joker and is of the same suit as the Cut Joker is called the Upper Joker. For example, 6? will be the Upper Joker if 5? is the Cut Joker.

Lower Joker: The card that is one rank below the Cut Joker and is of the same suit as the Cut Joker is called the Lower Joker. For example, 4? will be the Lower Joker if 5? is the Cut Joker.

Note: If a Printed Joker gets selected as the wild Joker, then the Ace of Spades becomes the Cut Joker. Subsequently, the Lower Joker will be the K and the Upper Joker will be the 2 of Spades.

Upper and Lower Jokers can be used in their original values and suit to form pure sequences, just as wild Jokers can be used in 13-Cards Rummy.

For example, the Upper Joker 2 can be used to form a pure sequence with 3 and 4 of the same suit. However, if the Upper/Lower Joker replaces any other card in a sequence, it will be considered an impure sequence. For example in 9, 10, 2 is an impure sequence.

Concepts of Tunnela and Dublee

The concepts of the Tunnela and the Dublee make 21-Cards Rummy one of the most exciting variants of Rummy. Find out how to form tunnelas and dublees below:

Tunnela: A tunnela is a group of three cards of the same rank and the same suit. For example, 8?, 8?, 8? is a tunnela, as all the three cards are of the same rank (8) and of the same suit (?). A Joker cannot be used to form a tunnela. However, three printed Jokers grouped together form a valid tunnela.

A tunnela is considered a pure sequence. So if you have three cards of the same suit and value grouped together, it will be considered a pure sequence.

Dublee : A dublee is a pair of two cards of the same suit and the same rank. For example, 4?, 4? is a dublee, as both the cards are of the same rank (4) and the same suit (?). Though a Joker cannot be used to replace a card in a dublee, two printed Jokers grouped together form a valid dublee.

How to Win in 21-Card Rummy

You need to complete any of the following objectives and then discard one of your cards to the Finish Slot to declare your hand. According to 21-Card Rummy game rules, you should have the following to declare your hand:

Minimum 3 pure sequences and the remaining cards arranged in sets or sequences.

  • 3 Tunnelas in separate groups. The rest of the cards need not be arranged in sets or sequences.
  • 8 Dublees in separate groups. The rest of the cards need not be arranged in sets or sequences.
  • 8 Jokers in a single group. The rest of the cards need not be arranged in sets or sequences.

How are points calculated in 21 Cards Rummy?

The gameplay comes to an end when one of the players makes a valid declaration. Look at the points below to understand how to calculate points in 21-Card Rummy:

• Card Points: The values of cards are as follows:

  • Js, Qs, Ks and A’s of all the suits carry 10 points each.
  • All the numbered cards carry points equal to their face values. For example, the 4 of Spades is worth 4 points and the 9 of Clubs is worth 9 points.
  • Jokers are worth zero points each.

Points Calculation

The calculation of points varies between winning and losing players in 21-Card Rummy.

Winning Player: When a player wins a game, after making a valid declaration, he/she wins points from the losing players. In other words, he/she gets points equal to the sum of the points lost by all the losing players. The winner’s points shown on the result screen are always in the positive.

Losing Player: The points of the losing players are always shown in the negative on the result screen, as they lose those points to the winner. For example, if a player loses by 50 points, his/her points will be shown as -50.

Rules for calculating points

A player can lose a maximum of 120 points in one game, irrespective of the total points value of his/her cards. For example, if a player’s sum of points is 180, he/she will still lose by only 120 points.

Read on to learn how to play 21-Card Rummy and calculate points for losing players:

  • No Pure Sequence: If a losing player has not formed any pure sequence, the points of all his/her cards will be added up.
  • 1 or 2 Pure Sequences: If a losing player has formed one or two pure sequences, the points of pure sequences are not counted.
  • 3 Pure Sequences: If a losing player has formed three pure sequences, the points of the pure sequences and any impure sequences and sets are not counted.
  • 2-Point Loss Rule: A losing player can lose by only 2 points if he/she declares with the following groups of cards in his/her hand:
  • 3 Pure Sequences with all the other cards arranged in valid sets or sequences.
  • 6 or more dublees with each dublee placed as a separate group.
  • 7 or more Jokers with all the Jokers grouped as one independent group.

Drop Points & Consecutive Misses

First and middle drops have different points; the middle drop attracts a penalty of more than double the first drop. The 21-Card Rummy game rules for drops, declaration and misses are as follows:

• First Drop: If a player drops as his/her very first move (without picking any card), he/she loses by 30 points.

• Middle Drop: If a player drops after the first move (after picking a card), he/she loses by 70 points.

• Consecutive Misses: Every player is given some extra time to make his/her move. If a player still misses three consecutive moves, he/she gets a middle drop score of 70 points.

Invalid Declaration: If a player declares his/her hand without completing the objective of the game, he/she loses by 120 points.

Points for Losing Before Making the First Move

If a player loses a game before making his/her first move, he/she loses by points equal to half the value of the cards in his/her hand. For example, if the sum of the points of the losing player’s cards is 50, the player loses by 25 points.

The minimum points that a player can lose by in this scenario is 2, even if the sum of the cards in his/her hand is 2, 3, 4 or 5. The maximum points that a player can lose by is 60, even if the total in points is 120 or above.

Rules for Calculating the Scores of Value Cards

Value Cards in 21-Cards Rummy are the Cut Joker, the Upper Joker and the Lower Joker. Besides replacing any cards to form sequences and sets, Value Cards play a special role. Every non-dropped player gets a positive score if he/she has Value Cards in his/her hand and gets a negative score if the other non-dropped players have Value Cards in their hands.

Value Card Single Card Two Cards Three Cards
Cut joker 10 30 50
Upper Joker 10 30 50
Lower Joker 10 30 50

Here are some examples of Value Card scores:

Value Cards Held by Players Points Received from Each Non-dropped Player
2 Upper Jokers 30
1 Upper Joker, 1 Lower Joker 20
2 Upper Jokers, 1 Lower Joker 40
2 Same Suit Jokers, 2 Lower Jokers 60

What is a Marriage?

One Cut Joker, one Lower Joker and one Upper Joker of the same suit form a Marriage. For example, if 8? is the Cut Joker, you can form a Marriage by grouping 7?, 8? and 9? together. A player with a Marriage in his/her hand gets 100 points from each of the non-dropped players.

Single Marriage Two Marriages Three Marriages
Points 100 300 500

Note A Marriage can be used as Jokers in 21-Cards Rummy to form sequences and sets. It is not necessary to declare it as a sequence to receive positive points. However, on making an invalid declaration, the losing player will exchange points with the other players for his Value Cards.

How is the total score calculated?

Several factors are taken into consideration while calculating the total score in 21-Cards Rummy. The number of Value Cards in a player’s hand as well as the number of dublees and Jokers plays a big role in the game.

Look at this example to understand how the total scores are calculated in a game of 6 players:

Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 Player 4 Player 5 Player 6
Points Won -2 (6 Pairs of Dublees) -50 First Drop = -30 First Drop = -30 (2+50+30+30+70 = 182 (Declared) Middle Drop = -70
Value Cards 2 Lower Jokers 1 Marriage None None 1 Cut Joker 1 Cut Joker
Points received for Value Cards 30x2 = 60 100x2=200 0 0 10x2 = 20 0
Points Given to others for value cards -100-10 -30-10 0 0 -100-30 0
Net Score -52 120 -30 -30 72 -70

The net score or the total loss (points lost + Value Cards score) that a player has to bear is capped at -200. For example, in a game of 2 players, if the sum of the losing player’s card points is 110 and he needs to give another 100 points (Value Cards score) to his/her opponent due to a Marriage, his/her total loss will be capped at 200 points, irrespective of the total points lost by him.

How are winnings calculated in 21 Cards Rummy?

The total score is calculated by using the following simple formula:

Total Score = Winner’s Positive Points and the Negative Points of the others + Value Cards Points received from each non-dropped player – Value Card Points given to each non-dropped player.

The calculation of the money won by the players who have a positive score at the end of the game is done by using the following formula:

Winnings = (Positive Score of the Winner X Rupee-value of one point)

For example, 4 players play a Rs. 2/point game. A player wins the game and the three losing players get total scores of -20, -30 and -40 points. The winner's total prize will be calculated as 2 x (20 + 30 + 40) = Rs.180.

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