The history of Rummy dates back to the 1940's and was invented by Ephraim Hertzano and it has since become one of the most popular games in the world. The game is based on Traditional Rummy game play but is characterized by two different attributes that make this game an exciting and dynamic games. The first characteristic is the game tools. As opposed to the basic card games, Rummikub is played with colorful tiles with the numbers 1-13 (2 sets of 4 colors) including jokers. The other characteristic that differentiates this game is the fact that players can disassemble existing melds and arrange them so that they can get rid of tiles in their hand.
The game is designed to be played by 2 - 4 players with the main goal of the game being to be the first player to reach at least 200 points. Points are accumulated by melding tiles to the meld area. Like in most Rummy games, Rummikub also has two types of valid melds - sets, which are made up of the same number in 3 - different colors and runs - which are at least 3 tiles in sequential order from the same color.
In most Rummy games each player starts their turn by drawing a card. In Rummikub, drawing a tile is an optional move only. If a player is able to meld any tiles in their hand they do not have to draw a card. They can make a move that assists them in their goal of getting rid of their cards and end their turn by discarding a tile.
Note that melds can only be disassembled or built on only if the following three things are true:
In Rummikub there are two face tiles which are the Joker tiles. Jokers can be used in exchange of any of the tiles in the game. If the round ends and a player has a joker remaining in their hand they are penalized with 30 penalty points.
When a player has gotten rid of all of the cards in their hand the round ends. At this point every player is given penalty points according to the tiles remaining in their hand except the winner who is awarded their opponents penalty points in the form of positive bonus points. The game ends when one player reaches 200 points or more.
For more information about the rules of Rummikub and the free Rummikub variations.
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