How to play Continental Rummy

Summary: Continental Rummy is one of the most popular games designed for larger numbers of players groups. There are a few different variations of continental rummy – depending on the agreement of players involved – however the same basic premise applies throughout.

Deck: 2-5 Players uses a 52-card deck and 1 Joker per deck, 6-8 Players uses triple deck, 9-12 uses four decks.

Rank of Cards: Aces may be high or low, A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-A

Number of Players: 2-12

The Shuffle and the Cut: For 2-deck cards, the dealer shuffles and for triple or 4-deck cards, the dealer and one player shuffles; player on the dealer’s right will have the opportunity to cut.

The Deal: Each player is dealt 15 cards each and dealt 3 at a time, probably one of the many differences compared to other variations. The winner in continental rummy for each deal becomes the next dealer.

Object of the Game: The main goal is for each player to “go out” by forming sequences or “melds” according to the following requirements:

  • A player cannot lay down any card until he can go out all at once with five 3-card sequences or three 4-card and one 3-card sequence,
  • Or one 5-card, one 4-card, and two 3-card sequences.
  • Two or more of the above sequences may be in the same suit, but a sequence may not “go round the corner.”
  • Matched sets are not counted unlike other variations

The Play: In How to play Continental Rummy a player’s turn consists of drawing either from the top card or taking the top card from the discard pile until one player goes out. Jokers are wild and can represent any card and in some variations Deuces (twos) are also wild cards.

Scoring: The winner of the game collects 1 point or chip or whatever is agreed amongst each player, 2 points for each Joker used in the winner’s hand, and 1 point for each Deuce used as a wild card.

Bonuses: Going out without drawing a single card counts as 10 points, going out after drawing only one card equals 7 points, going out without using a Joker or Wild Deuce will have a score of 10 points; and for all 15 cards of the same suit is 10 points.

Penalties: In continental rummy if you go down illegally, meaning a player lays down a hand that does not agree to the requirements, he must leave his hand face up on the table and play proceeds with that player’s card exposed. Any collections made are returned.