Rumino is an exciting knock rummy-style card game typically played by 2-6 players. The game plays similarly to Gin Rummy but has a unique scoring system and special hands that allow players to win instantly.
The goal of Rumino is to be the last player remaining with fewer than 100 points. Getting your score as low as possible each round is key to staying in the game and ultimately coming out victorious.
In short, the Rumino rules are as follows:
- Form 3+ card sets and sequences
- Deadwood cards add to your score
- Knock with 7 or fewer deadwood points
- Gin with 0 deadwood points for -10 score
- Get 100+ points and you’re out
- Last player with <100 points wins
Setup and Deal
To play Rumino you will need:
- A 108-card deck comprised of: 2 standard 52-card decks 4 jokers
- A table to play on
- Scorekeeping method (paper/pencil)
- 2-6 players
- Chips or cash for betting (optional)
To begin, thoroughly shuffle the deck. The player that draws the highest card becomes the first dealer.
The dealer then deals each player 7 cards face down. The remaining cards are placed face down in a stack in the center as the stock pile. The top card of the stock is flipped face up to begin the discard pile.
Gameplay and Melds
Gameplay proceeds with each player taking turns in clockwise order starting with the player to the dealer’s left.
On your turn, first draw either the top card from the stock pile or the top discard. Then, choose one card from your hand to discard face up on top of the discard pile.
The goal on your turns is to improve your hand by forming melds. A meld is 3+ cards of the same rank (3 of a kind, 4 of a kind) or consecutive cards of the same suit (3+ card Straight Flush).
Jokers are wild and can substitute for any card when forming melds.
|Three of a Kind
|6♣ 6♥ 6♠
|Four of a Kind
|8♥ 8♦ 8♣ 8♠
|Three-card Straight Flush
|10♦ J♦ Q♦
|Four-card Straight Flush
|4♥ 5♥ 6♥ 7♥
Any cards not in melds are called “deadwood” and add to your point total. These are scored a follows:
|Face cards (K, Q, J)
|9 – 2
*Face value means that for example Nines are worth 9 points, Fours are worth 4 points, etc.
Once you have 7 or fewer deadwood points in your hand, you may knock on your turn before drawing. This ends the round.
All players reveal their hands, separating melds and deadwood. Unmelded cards are counted as points against each player.
Hitting Gin or Rumino
If you manage to reduce your deadwood to 0 points, you’ve hit gin! This results in -10 points for you.
There are also two special melds called “Ruminos”:
- 7 cards of the same rank
- 7 card Straight Flush (e.g. 2♣ 3♣ 4♣ 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ 8♣)
Hitting a Rumino instantly wins the game regardless of the score!
Ending and Rebuying
When a player exceeds 100 or more points, they are eliminated. However, the player can rebuy into the game for an additional stake. This resets their score to the lowest current score under 100.
When only 2 players remain, rebuying is no longer allowed. The last player staying under 100 points wins the entire stake pool.
Hold onto Wild Jokers
Having a joker in your hand is powerful for forming melds. Try to avoid discarding jokers since they can fill in for any card. Holding onto them will give you added flexibility and help reduce your deadwood.
Target Face Cards First
Since face cards are high value (10 points each), try targeting them early for melds. Forming a set of Kings, for example, eliminates 20 deadwood points right away. This will make hitting gin or getting under 7 points much easier.