The Liverpool Rummy card game is a multi-player, multi-deck Rummy game from the Contract Rummy family, unique for its use of extra jokers and additional strategic ruleset.
How to play Liverpool Rummy?
Liverpool Rummy is played with a minimum of 3 players and maximum of 8 players. Each individual plays for themselves. There are no teams or partnerships.
Games will be played with either 2 or 3 standard 52-card decks, depending on the number of players. 2 Jokers are added to each 52-card deck. Games with 3 to 4 players are played with 2 decks. Games with 5 to 8 players are played with 3 decks. In total, the game is played with either 104 or 156 cards (108 or 162 cards with Jokers).
The cards are ranked in descending order from high to low, (Hi) K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (Lo). An Ace (A) can be played high (above a King) or low (below a 2) at the player’s discretion. Jokers are always wild and can substitute for any card in the deck.
To determine which player deals first, the decks are shuffled and cut. In this preliminary round, the deck can be cut by any player. After the deck is cut, each player will draw a card. The player drawing the lowest card will deal the first round. After the completion of each round, the player to the left of the current dealer becomes the next dealer. The player to the direct right of the dealer is responsible for cutting the deck. In most rounds, this will be the player who dealt the most recently completed hand.
A game of Liverpool Rummy is played in 7 rounds. In each of the first 4 rounds, the dealer deals 10 cards to each player. In each of the last 3 rounds, the dealer deals 12 cards to each player. Cards are dealt from left to right, beginning with the player to the dealer’s immediate left. All cards are dealt face down. Once all player’s hands have been dealt, the remaining cards are placed face down in a pile known as the “stock pile”. This pile is to be kept in a central location, with easy access for all players. The top card of the stock pile is drawn and placed face up next to the stock pile, forming the “discard pile”.
The player to the direct left of the dealer plays first. The objective of Liverpool Rummy rounds is to complete a specific set of melds, known as a “contract”. Melds come in the form of sets and sequences (runs). A set is three cards of the same value (5-5-5). A sequence, or run, is four cards of the same suit and consecutive value (10-J-Q-K). In each round, the contract will increase with difficulty, meaning that the first round should be much easier to win than the fourth or fifth.
Each player’s turn consists of a draw, melding or laying off (if possible), and a discard. Every turn must end with a discard, placed face-up into the “discard pile”. The first player to successfully complete the contract and lay off their entire hand wins the round. At the conclusion of a round, all remaining cards in other player’s hands are scored based on their point value. The Liverpool Rummy player with the lowest cumulative score after all seven rounds wins the game.
Liverpool Rummy Rules
|Round number||Dealt Cards||Contract Requirements|
|2||10||One Set and One Sequence|
|5||12||Two Sets and One Sequence|
|6||12||One Set and Two Sequences|
Multiple Sequence Contracts: When two or more sequences are required for a contract, the sequences must either be of different suits or non-consecutive (meaning they are separated by at least one card of the same suit).
Laying Off: Players must first complete the round’s contract, prior to being able to lay off the remaining cards in their hand. Following the completion of a contract, the player can only lay off cards to the existing melds on the table. The player may not create any new melds of their own.
Buying: Any player may “buy” a discarded card out of turn, if the player whose turn it is does not want it. Any player that purchases a card out of turn must also take a stock pile card as penalty. If multiple players attempt to buy the same card, priority goes to the player sitting closes to the in-turn player.
Jokers: If multiple players have already completed the contract for a round and one player haslaid off a sequence containing a Joker, the other players may place the card that properly completes the sequence in place of the Joker and remove it from the sequence. The taken Joker must then be elsewhere (to the best advantage of the player) in the same turn. Jokers may only be taken from sequences, not sets.
Aces: An ace may be used to complete
high (A-K-Q-J) and low (4-3-2-A) sequences yet may notbe used to “turn the corner” (Q-K-A-2).
Penalties : Players that lay down incomplete melds will be penalized by adding 50 additional points to their overall score. Incomplete melds include 3 card sequences, 2 card sets, sequences that “turn the corner” and sequences of more than one suits.
Perfect Cut: If the player who cuts the deck is able to cut the exact number of cards required todeal the hand and supply the discard pile, the cutting player’s score is reduced by 50 points overall (regardless of round).
Empty Stock Pile: If the stock pile runs out of cards prior to the completion of a round, thediscard pile is to be shuffled, cut, turned face down, and used to replace the stock pile. Prior to shuffling, the top of the old discard pile is to be placed face up and used to create a new discard pile. In the event that both piles run out, the round ends and each player’s remaining hand is scored.
Below are examples of hands that can be played to complete the contracts for each round of Liverpool Rummy:
Round 1 Contract (Two Sets)
8♠ 8♥ 8♦
J♥ J♥ J♠
3♠ 3♣ 3♥ (Joker)
5♦ 5♦ 5♦
Round 2 Contract (One Set and One Sequence)
6♥ 7♥ 8♥ 9♥
A♣ A♥ A♠
3♠ 4♠ (Joker) 5♠ 6♠
Round 3 Contract (Two Sequences)
6♣ 7♣ 8♣ 9♣
J♦ Q♦ K♦ A♦
2♦ 3♦ 4♦ 5♦
10♥ J♥ Q♥ (Joker) K♥
Round 4 Contract (Three Sets)
3♣ 3♥ 3♠
5♠ 5♥ 5♣
9♣ 9♠ 9♥
4♠ 4♥ 4♦ (Joker)
7♦ 7♦ 7♠
8♠ (Joker) 8♦ 8♣ (Joker)
Round 5 Contract (Two Sets and One Sequence)
3♠ 3♣ 3♥
9♣ 9♠ 9♥
6♥ 7♥ 8♥ 9♥
3♣ 3♥ 3♠
7♦ 7♦ 7♠ (Joker)
3♠ 4♠ 5♠ (Joker) 6♠
Round 6 Contract (One Set and Two Sequences)
A♦ A♥ A♠
3♦ 4♦ 5♦ 6♦
8♣ 9♣ 10♣ J♣
7♥ 7♦ 7♠
5♥ 6♥ 7♥ 8♥
3♣ 4♣ 5♣ (Joker) 6♣
Round 7 Contract (Three Sequences)
2♠ 3♠ 4♠ 5♠
3♣ 4♣ 5♣ 6♣
9♣ 10♣ J♣ Q♣
5♣ 6♣ 7♣ 8♣
7♦ 8♦ 9♦ 10♦(Joker)
7♠ 8♠ 9♠ 10♠
Liverpool Rummy is scored by calculating the sum of the remaining cards in each player’s hand after a player has won a round. If you win a round, your score for that round will be zero. These scores are kept throughout all rounds of the game. The player with the lowest score at the conclusion of all 7 rounds wins the game.
Any penalties or perfect cut awards are added/subtracted from players’ total scores. The point value of each card is detailed in the scoresheet below.
6 Liverpool Rummy strategy tips to win the game:
- Building sets and sequences of lower point value cards will assist you in keeping your overall score low throughout the entire game.
- Use Jokers as frequently as possible, as they have a very high point value.
- Consider taking cards you do not need from the discard pile if you believe your opponent may need them. You can always add to their sets and sequences when they lay down their hand.
- Strategically discard cards your opponents may need in order to coax them into buying your card for a penalty.
- Keep close watch of the cards discarded by your opponents to learn what they may be looking for.
- Avoid penalties from playing sequences that connect to one another or laying down incomplete melds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Gin Rummy and Liverpool Rummy?
Gin Rummy and Liverpool Rummy are very different games. The primary differences between the two games are that Gin Rummy is generally played with 2 players, while Liverpool Rummy is played with 3-8 players; Gin Rummy players aim to maximize their scores (be the first to reach 100) while Liverpool Rummy players aim to have the lowest overall score; and Liverpool Rummy has more complex objectives, like contracts.
How many cards are dealt in Liverpool Rummy?
The number of cards dealt in Liverpool Rummy depends on the number of players in each game and the round number. For example, games of 4 players will have 40 cards dealt in the first 4 rounds and 48 cards dealt for the last 3 rounds.
How many decks are needed for Liverpool Rummy?
The number of decks needed in Liverpool Rummy is determined by the number of players in the game. Games of less than 5 players will need 2 decks, while games of 5-8 players will need 3 decks.
Who gets to draw the discard in Liverpool Rummy?
The discard can be drawn by the in-turn player or bought by out-of-turn players for a penalty.