Seven Bridge, also known as Seven Rummy, is an enjoyable rummy-style card game that originated in Japan.
Despite its name, the game bears no resemblance to the game of Contract Bridge. The “seven” in the name refers to the unique and pivotal role that sevens play in the game.
The goal is to be the first player to form their entire hand into melds and reach a predetermined scoring threshold.
A quick summary of the Seven Bridge rules can be found below:
- Deal 7 cards to each player
- Melds are 3+ cards of the same suit in sequence, or 3+ of a kind
- Melds with a 7 can be just 1 or 2 cards
- Aces are low.
- Take turns drawing, melding, and discarding
- The first to meld all cards wins
Setup and Deal
Seven Bridge is played with 2-5 players using a standard 52-card deck.
- The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt 7 cards.
- The remaining cards are placed face-down in a draw pile.
- The top card of the draw pile is turned face-up to begin the discard pile.
The player to the dealer’s left goes first. On their turn, a player must follow this sequence:
A player’s turn begins by drawing a card, either from the top of the draw pile or occasionally from the top of the discard pile. Normal draws are done by taking the top card from the face-down draw pile and adding it to your hand.
However, there are two special cases where you can draw the top card of the discard pile instead:
- If you can meld the top discard with two cards from your hand to form a new sequence, you can take it and meld it immediately (called “Chî”).
- If you can meld the top discard with two cards from your hand to form a new set, you can take it and meld it immediately (called “Pon”). You can do this even when it’s not your turn, but must declare “Pon” first.
You cannot draw from the discard pile on your very first turn of the hand. You also cannot simply take a discard into your hand; if you take a discard, you must immediately meld it.
After drawing, you now have the option to meld cards from your hand. To meld, lay valid combinations of cards face-up in front of you.
There are two types of melds:
- Sequences: 3+ cards of the same suit in consecutive order (e.g. 4♥ 5♥ 6♥)
- Sets: 3+ cards of the same rank (e.g. J♣ J♥ J♠)
The standard meld requirements are waived if a meld contains a 7. A single 7, a 2-card sequence with a 7, or a pair of 7s are all valid melds.
You can lay down as many melds per turn as you are able, but cards used in a meld cannot be reused in another meld.
Note that the game can also be played with a Joker, acting as a wild card.
Once you have melded, you may lay off cards onto existing melds on the table. To lay off, you extend another player’s meld using cards from your hand.
For example, if a 6♠ 7♠ 8♠ is on the table, you could add the 5♠ or 9♠ to it from your hand. You can lay off cards immediately after melding for the first time.
To complete your turn, discard one card from your hand face-up onto the top of the discard pile. You must discard even if you meld out all your other cards.
After discarding, your turn ends, and play passes clockwise.
The hand continues until a player melds/lays off every card in their hand and discards their final card. This player wins the hand.
Seven Bridge Scoring
When someone goes out, the other players add up the value of their deadwood cards:
|Face cards (K, Q, J)
|Numbered cards (2 – 10)
Note that the above is not set in stone and that some play with different scoring values.
The winner of the hand scores the total deadwood points of all opponents. Going out in one turn by melding all 7 cards scores double.
Players set a target score beforehand, once this score is reached by one of the players, that will be the final winner.
- Prioritize melding 7s: Since 7s can be melded by themselves, they are low-hanging fruit. Try to meld lone 7s early to clear them from your hand. Hold onto other cards that can meld with 7s.
- Watch the discard pile: Keep an eye out for Chi and Pon opportunities from the top discard. Be ready to seize cards you need to complete or extend melds.