- Rummikub Game
- 106 Rummikub Tiles
- 4 playing racks
- Tile Pouch
Additional Setup Notes
- Place the Rummikub tiles into the pouch and shuffle them around throughout to ensure they’re mixed well. All players will pick a tile; whoever selects the highest number goes first. Return all tiles to the pouch. Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
- Before playing, determine how many total points to reach to signify the end of the game.
The objective of Rummikub is to be the first player to eliminate all the tiles from your rack. This is accomplished by forming Rummikub tiles into sets of runs and groups to get them out of the rack. Whichever player has the highest score at the end of the game wins.
Begin by having each player select 14 tiles from the pouch, which will then be placed on their rack. Players should become well acquainted with the two possible sets: a “group” and a “run.” A run is a set of three or more consecutive numbers all in the same color. A group is a set of three or four tiles of the same number in different colors. 1 is always low and doesn’t follow 13 in a sequence.
To begin placing tiles on the table and getting them out of your rack, players must be able to make a play of at least 30 points in one or more sets. With each tile worth its face value, these points are added from the tiles on the rack, not from tiles that may have already been placed on the table.
The Joker can be used as a tile with its point value representative of the tile it’s subbing out for. It’s best to use Jokers as soon as you see them because the penalty for holding a Joker if another player wins the round is 30 points. If a player cannot enter the round (whether by not having any possible sets or by strategically choosing not to), that player must take a tile from the pouch, and the turn ends.
Once all players have made their initial plays, they can start building on other sets on the table with tiles from their rack. If a player cannot add anything to other sets, they will then pick a tile from the pouch, and the turn ends. Of course, tiles taken as a penalty for playing nothing cannot be played immediately; they must wait until the player’s next turn to be played.
Players alternate making plays until one player manages to empty their rack. Once this happens, the player should shout, “Rummikub!” Once Rummikub has been called, the round ends and players tally up that round’s points. The round may also end once the pouch becomes empty and no more plays can be made.
In Rummikub, scores are totaled as a negative amount. Once a player has called Rummikub, the losing players subtract the value of the tiles they are holding on their racks from zero. For example, if a losing player’s tiles add up to five points, their score for that round would be -5. Alternatively, the winner of the round receives a positive (plus) score by adding the value of the other player’s scores. Ex: In that same example, the winner of the round would earn a score of +5. By the time Rummikub is called, there will be many rounds with varying levels of positive and negative scores.
At the end of the final round, players will calculate their negative and positive scores to produce a total score at the end. The player with the highest score is crowned the Rummikub champion.
What happens if all the tiles in the pouch are used before a player calls Rummikub?
In the unique case all tiles are used before Rummikub is called, the player with the lowest count of tiles on their rack wins. Each of the losing players adds up their total tile value and subtracts from it with the winner’s total. The resulting score is a negative amount. The total of each of the loser’s racks is granted to the winner as a positive amount. After scoring is completed, place tiles back in the pouch and begin the next round as usual.