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The Rules of Liverpool Rummy - How To Play Liverpool Rummy
Liverpool Rummy (aka Joker Rummy) is a popular variation on the basic Contract Rummy game. In fact, it is almost identical, save for a few important changes in the rules, such as the size of the hand dealt and the number of deals that take place in each game. We
will go into all of that in just a moment, noting the specific changes in the rules for the Liverpool version of Rummy. While there are not many, the changes do make the game unique, considering the fact that they take place in some very important aspects of the game.
Liverpool Rummy is played with anywhere from 3 to 8 players,
all playing for themselves. Take two decks of 52 cards and
shuffle them together, adding in two jokers that are wild cards. Liverpool Rummy has an increased number of jokers in the deck as Contract Rummy only includes one. The first dealer is determined by a random draw. The person who draws the lowest cards deals first. Liverpool Rummy has a set number of deals that take place, which are six.
Liverpool Rummy is regarded as a variation of the immensely popular Contract Rummy. A set pre-determined contract is required to be fulfilled for each deal in a game. For example, in deal #2 of Contract Rummy, one matched set (3 cards) and one sequence (4 cards) are required as shown on the left. Each successive deal has a new contract and this keeps the game exciting.
In each of the deals, players must come up with a specified “contract” that is made up of sets and sequences. Sets are a group of
three or more cards that are all of the same value (such as three 2’s, or four 8’s). Sequences are made up of four or more cards, all of the same suit (hearts, clubs, etc) that is going in consecutive order. These sets and sequences are called melds
and each contract has a specific mix of melds that must be met. They are as follows:
Deal #1: Two Sets
Deal #2: One Set, One Sequence
Deal #3: Two Sequences
Deal #4: Three Sets
Deal #5: Two Sets, One Sequence
Deal #6: One Set, Two Sequences
Deal #7: Three Sequences
On the first deal, the dealer gives out seven cards to each person. The number of cards dealt changes depending on the deal. The second through fourth deal has 10 cards, the fifth and sixth deal have 12, and the seventh and final deal has 14. Once the hands are dealt, the remaining cards are put face down on the table, and the top card is turned over face up and laid next to it. Turn moves to the left of the dealer and on each turn a player must pick up a card from either pile (face up or face down). Then, the player must lay down one card from his hand on the discard pile, which is the one with the cards facing up. The play continues like this until someone runs out of cards.
In order to run out of cards, you must complete the contract for that deal. When this happens, you lay down your contract and need to get rid of the rest of the cards in your hand. Each turn, you play as normal, but will be trying to lay the remaining cards in your hand onto your contract or a contract that has been laid down by another player. When someone runs out of cards, the deal is done and scoring takes place. While you play, it
is important to keep track of what the other players pick up from the discard pile. Since you can see these, it
will give you a good idea of the melds they are working on. Knowing this will give
you a competitive edge and will help you decide on what cards to draw in order to create melds of your own or block other players from making the ones you think they are putting together.
Scoring is perhaps the most important part of the game. It is done after every deal
and the scores from all seven of the deals are combined at the end to give each
player a grand total. When a player runs out of cards in their hands, the other players take a look at the cards they have left. Each card is worth a certain number of points, and these points are all added together. In the end, the person with the least amount of points wins the game. Here is the breakdown of how many points each card is worth:
Cards 2-10: Face Value
Face Cards (K, Q, J): 10 Points
Jokers: 25 Points
As cards with a higher face value are worth more points, you
will want to take careful consideration of getting rid of them first. Either discard them or make melds involving them first, because when the end comes
you will not want them around to give you a higher score. Play smart and be lucky, and you’ll find the Liverpool version of Rummy to be an enjoyable game.
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