Progressive Rummy is a variation of the meld-making game Contract Rummy, with a few small rule changes that alter the game significantly from the original.
Like most variations of Rummy, the essential melds of the game remain the same, even though the rules around them are changed for the variation.
How to Play Progressive Rummy
Like other variations of Rummy, the game is played with the Joker variant of the standard Anglo-American 52 Card deck. With the Jokers included, these become 54-card decks.
The instructions for Progressive Rummy are similar to other forms of Rummy. The same rules in Contract Rummy apply here: For each 2 Players added to the game, add another deck into the combined deck.
For example, if 5 Players wish to partake in a game, then use 3 decks. If 7 wish to play, then use 4 decks.
Progressive Rummy’s core gameplay is focused around melds, or groups of cards that can be removed from the hand and placed on the table. These melds are known as Books and Runs.
Types of Melds
There are two types of melds, in Progressive Rummy. Namely, Runs and Books.
Runs are like Straights in comparing card games, such as Poker. A Run is an incremental row of cards that are ascending or descending in order. The rules of most games in the Rummy family demand that each card is the same suit. For example, 7♦,8♦, 9♦.
Books are groups of cards that all share the same “rank” value. This is the actual number of pips on the card. For example, 9♦, 9♣, 9♠.
In Progressive Rummy, Books must be played at exactly 3 cards in length. Individual cards may be placed on a meld after it is played, but in order to be played the first time it can only be 3 cards long, no more and no less.
Play off a Meld on the board
Players may also play off of a meld that is already on the board.
- Two turns previously, Player 1 played a Book of Kings.
- It is now Player 2’s turn and Player 2 has a King in their hand.
- Player 2 may place their King on the board as an individual card. They do this by adding onto the Book Player 1 already placed down.
This can also be done to Runs, so long as the card added is on either end of the Run.
For example, a Player may place an individual card or a series of individual cards on an already-placed Run.
Say there is a Run on the board of 4♦,5♦,6♦, and Player 1 has a 7♦ and a 3♦ in their hand. Then Player 1 may place both cards on the Run for an overall meld on the board of 3♦,4♦,5♦,6♦,7♦
Unlike in other Rummy variations, contracts in Progressive Rummy may only be placed on the board in their exact numbers.
A Book may only have 3 cards in it when it is first placed on the board, and a Run may only have 4 cards. This is one rule variation that distinguishes Progressive Rummy from Contract Rummy.
Players may still place cards on an already extant meld during their own turn.
At the start of the game, each Player will draw cards to determine the first Dealer, or the Dealer may be chosen voluntarily. Once the Dealer is chosen, the deck will be reshuffled, and dealing may begin.
The Player clockwise from the Dealer will be dealt the first card, and that Player will be the Dealer at the start of the next round.
Each Player will be dealt 6 cards for the first round. However, this is another rule change that differentiates Progressive Rummy from Contract Rummy. In Round 2, each Player will be dealt 7 cards. In Round 3, 8 cards, and so on, until Round 7, when each Player will be dealt 12 cards.
In Progressive Rummy, a round will end when a specific number of specific melds have been played in a particular round. Here is a helpful chart that will explain the order of the rounds, and the melds which will end them.
- Round 1: Two Books
- Round 2: One Run, One Book
- Round 3: Two Runs
- Round 4: Three Books
- Round 5: Two Books, One Run
- Round 6: One Book, Two Runs
- Round 7, 3 Runs
Once a Player has completed the entirety of the requirements, the round will end and a new round will begin.
If two players both play one Book in Round 1, the round will not end. It will only end when the same Player has played two Books.
Like in other Rummy variations, having cards in your hand at the end of a round results in penalty points.
Rules for Progressive Rummy
- Melds must be exact. Books may only be initially played with 3 cards, and Runs may only be initially played with 4 cards.
- A card must be drawn from either the stock or the discard pile at the start of the turn, and a card must be discarded at the end of the turn.
- Players may place individual cards on melds that are already on the board, so long as they fit in with the Book or Run.
- A Joker in a Book or Run may be swapped out by another Player for the card that the Joker represents in that particular meld.
Progressive Rummy, like most versions of this game type, is scored on a system of penalty points. This means that at the end of the game, the lowest score is actually a winner.
These penalties are assigned by tallying each card’s assigned value in a Player’s hand at the end of a round. At the end of all 7 rounds, a Player’s score for each round is added together and totaled.
Here is a helpful scoring sheet to remind you of the assigned value for each card.
Remember, you are only penalized for cards that are still in your hand at the end of a round.
|K, Q, J, 10||10|
- When playing the variation where 2s are wild, they are worth 20 points. This is more fun in our opinion.
- You can also choose to play in a way where numbered cards are worth their face value.
The following is a possible Round 1 board:
4♦, 4♣, 4♠ 9♦, 10♦, J♦, Q♦
And this is a possible Round 1 hand:
K♦, 5♠, 7♠, Joker, 10♣, A♥
By playing the Joker as a wildcard, the 5♠ and 7♠ may be combined to form a Run.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many cards do you get in Progressive Rummy?
This changes depending on the round being played. There are 7 rounds of Progressive Rummy. Each round the Player is dealt one more card than the last. In Round 1, only 6 cards are dealt. In Round 2, 7 are dealt. In Round 3, 8 are dealt, and so on.
How much is a Joker worth?
The Joker is worth 20 Points in Progressive Rummy.
Is an Ace high or low in Progressive Rummy?
In Progressive Rummy, Aces are considered high and low. This means that they can be played in a Run either before a 2, or after a King. The versatility of an Ace is why they are scored as highly as a Joker: 20 Points.