- Deck of 52 standard playing cards (no Jokers)
- Paper to keep score on
- Aces low (K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A)
- Face cards (K, Q, J) are worth 10 points
- Aces are worth 1 point
- All other cards are worth their face value
- Wild cards are worth 25 points
The objective of Wild Rummy is to have the lowest score after 13 rounds of play.
Wild Rummy uses the general rules of Rummy, but with a few notable exceptions.
Everyone is still dealt 7 cards each round, and the remaining are left in a stack in the center with the top card flipped to start the discard pile. However, there will be a new wild card each round, starting with aces. The next round, 2’s are wild and so on. You play a total of 13 rounds (one round for each card). These wild cards can be used in any meld.
Starting to the left of the dealer, players start their turn by drawing either the top card of the face-down deck or the top card of the discard pile. You cannot draw cards from the middle of the discard pile like Rummy 500. Melds can then be played, but you do not have to show them if you have them in your hand. The turn ends when the player discards one card.
Once a player has a meld in front of them, they can play off of other players’ melds like other versions of Rummy. However, players can also steal wild cards from other players by replacing a wild card in a meld with the card it is standing in for. For example, if one player has a meld of the 5 and 6 of hearts with a wild ace acting as the 7 of hearts, the player with the 7 of hearts can replace the ace and take the wild card.
Each round ends when one player runs out of cards. They must do this by discarding at the end of their turn, but they cannot discard a wild card. Once someone goes out, everyone counts the points remaining in their hand. This is their score for the round.
If a player has one card left, they must draw from the face-down stack, not the discard pile. They also must replace the card in their hand if they draw and cannot go out. This prevents someone from sitting on a low value card.
After all 13 rounds have been played, the player with the lowest score wins!
Wild Rummy Variations and Alternate Rules
2 players: With 2 players, you can deal up to ten or thirteen cards per player.
More than 6 players: When playing with more players, two decks can be mixed and used. In this case, a player can include two of the same card in a three-of-a-kind (e.g. a meld of the Q of hearts and 2 Q of spades would be valid).
Can you play wild cards on a four-of-a-kind?
No. Runs can be extended with wildcards, but once someone has a meld of four equal cards, a wild card can not be played. Think of it like playing a fifth card of the same value, which makes no sense when there are only four of each card in a standard deck. When using two decks, this can be extended up to 8 cards but no more.