Who said that Rummy does not have many variations? Probably this is the game that has the most types in the world. Since it is an old game, it had time to change into many things in many parts of the world.
A type everyone knows is 500 rummy. This game has a lot of names, but all mean the same. It is played by 2 or 8 people with a 52 cards deck. In this game the sets and runs melded are scored distinctively. This is the main difference from other types, but basically it is played like other rummy games.
It is believed that many other types of rummy have derived from this game, so 500 rummy is a base for styles of play. Even such a basic game can have types that differ in some small things. 500 rummy has some variations we will talk in the following lines.
The first to mention is dealer’s gambit. Here the main difference is the number of cards, because two or four jokers are added to the pack. This way the game becomes more interesting, since jokers can be used as any other card to form a set and meld it. Since scoring is important in this type of game, jokers play a huge part in the play. If someone wants to make a strategy in this game, it certainly has to contain things with jokers. There are only 52 cards, so four jokers can easily get into the hands of a player. This means that there are good chances to form better sets, if we do not have ones already in our hands. Jokers can also be used as doubles, meaning that they double the value of any set they are in. This is also a great thing, especially if a player has a good set. To use this thing in our favor, we have to wait until we get a joker, and a good hand, because melded sets cannot be doubled.
Another type that is fun and also challenging is partnership 500 rummy. This game is played by four players who are organized in two teams. The players in a team face each other and they are able to play each other’s sets. This means that players have to make a communication channel between each other, so the other team won’t understand them, in order to know what kind of cards they want to play.
Partnership 500 rummy has another variation, where jokers are added to the pack. Four jokers are added but not as wild cards, but as cards that count 20 points each. This game is called Persian rummy. Melding scores are a bit different here, but basically, this game stays the same as the one it is derived from. This type of rummy is not so known, they can be found online, but not in casinos.
It is obvious that if we have a good base game that is highly variable, we can get many variations from it.