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The Rules of Royal Rummy - How To Play Royal Rummy
Royal Rummy is also known under a variety of alternative monikers: Rummoli, Tripoley®, Michigan Rummy, Calliente and Poch to name but a few.
Some of these may be variations on the original
theme. The game is played in rounds of three phases or hands, not all of which are compulsory.
Royal Rummy is known under a range of different names, such as Tripoley in North America, Poch in Europe, Calliente in Australia and in Germany it is still known as Poch. The primary name in the United States is Michigan Rummy and there is a corresponding game board with cards which is still sold today. The game is packaged with poker chips which are used for wagering. The game rules across all versions are basically the same and these games remain popular under a range of different brand names.
Setting up and dealing
The first thing that needs to be done is the appointment of a banker. The banker will distribute a certain number of chips (decided by the players) evenly. Chips should be of different colours and weighted to represent 10, 5 and 1 credit chips. Each player places one chip on every square of the
Rummy Royal playing mat, including the pot and the kitty.
Each player then draws a card from the deck, and the player who draws the highest card is the dealer for this round. Aces high or low should be decided before hand. The dealer then deals out the entire deck, dealing one more hand than there are players (so if there are four people playing, five hands must be dealt). The dealer can then decide whether or not they want to keep their hand or discard it for the spare hand. The dealer is not allowed to look at the spare hand until he or she has decided whether or not they want to discard their hand.
If the dealer does not wish to take the spare hand, he or she can auction it off to the highest bidder, and keep all of the chips from the sale. If the hand is not claimed by the dealer or bought by any player it is left face down, and no player is allowed to look at it. It is important to remember that no player is allowed to look at the spare hand until they have committed to discarding their own hand and taking up the spare hand.
Betting on the Corner Aces (Optional Phase)
In each corner of the Royal Rummy board there is an Ace. Before the deal or before the players have looked at their cards the dealer can decide to place a bet on one of these Aces. If the players would like to cover the bet they must place an equal amount on the Ace. The cards are then revealed and the player with the Ace that was bet on must declare it.
If that player bet on the Ace they take all of the chips bet on that Ace, otherwise the chips stay on the board until the next deal. On the next deal each original bettor must place another bet on that corner Ace.
The Poker Hand (Also Optional, but usually played)
Hand runs according to a single handed game of five
card Stud. Each player selects five cards from their hand to be their
Poker hand. The player to the left of the dealer may declare a bet or decide not to bet (fold). Each player may bet or fold, and once the highest bet has been met by all players who have not folded, the best poker hand wins the pot (of chips betted during the poker hand).
Note that in the Poker hand, Aces are always high.
If a player folded then they are ineligible for the pot, even if their hand was the best. The hierarchy of poker hands is (from best to worst):
Royal Flush (10, J, Q, K, A, same suit)
Straight Flush (5 Cards in sequence in same suit)
Four of a Kind (Four Aces, etc)
Full House (Three of a Kind and a Pair)
Flush (5 cards of the same suit)
Straight (5 cards in sequence, any suit)
Three of a Kind (Three Aces, etc)
The Rummy Hand
The Rummy Hand is where the game of Rummy
Royal really takes off, and is the only hand of the game that must be played. The player who won the Poker Hand (or the player to the dealer’s left if the Poker Hand was not played) lays down their lowest black card (spades or clubs). The player to their left must now either put down the next card in that suit, or pass.
Players may put down more than one card at a time, provided they are in sequence. As cards or card combinations that correspond to the spaces on the
board are played, the player may take the chips placed on those squares. When the hand suit that is being played can no longer be played (that is, the next card is in the discarded hand), the next player starts with their lowest card of a suit opposite in colour to that which was just played. If no player is able to change the colour each player must add one chip for each card they still hold to the kitty.
The player to lay down all his or her cards first wins the game and takes the kitty. Each player must also give the winner one chip for each card they still hold. Any chips that are still on the board at the end of the game remain in place until the next game, when they will be doubled.
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