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Rummy – Thompson Variant. Public Domain - 9th March 2009 – v1.0.

Rummy – Thompson Variant

Introduction
This variant of the rummy game is played with a standard pack of 52 playing cards, 54 with
the optional addition of the 2 'Joker' wild cards. The origins of this variant of rummy are unknown,
however I was introduced to it by my mother who in turn learned it from her parents. It is a much
more tactical game than most other rummy variants with substantial opportunity for planning and
deception. The game is suitable for 2 to 5 players, but works best with 2 or 3.

Rules:
Aim of the Game
The aim is to achieve the highest score possible at the end of the game. The game ends when
any player has no cards left in their hand at the end of a turn. They must end their turn by discarding
a card and can not end a turn without discarding. At the end of the game the score is the points total
of all cards the player has 'Down' minus the points value of any cards in their hand. Negative scores
are possible. Scores may be totalled over many games to a pre-arranged score, number of games or
time.

Card Values
• All cards are worth face value, all picture cards counting 10. The ace is simply a one and can
NOT be placed above a king in a 'Run' (see below)

Setting Up
• Decide which of the players will go first, a simple way is the person to the left of the dealer,
which can be rotated. Another way is to 'cut' for it.
• Remove or add the jokers to the pack, for serious play it is recommended they be removed.
• Thoroughly shuffle the pack of cards.
• Deal each player 7 cards, it is important they are kept private.
• Place the remainder of the pack in the centre of the table, turn the top card face up and place
next to the pack, this forms the initial discard pile (explained below).

Playing the Game


• A turn is begun by 'picking up'. There are three ways in which a player can pick up, they
may choose one:
◦ They may choose to pick up the top card from the pack.
◦ They may choose to pick up the top card from the discard pile.
◦ Only if they can use a card from further down the discard pile they may pick up that
card, in which case they also pick up all cards in the pile discarded after it. They must
the immediately 'put down' the run or set of which that card forms part.
• After picking up is the time at which a player may 'put down'. They may put any 'sets' or
'runs' on the table in front of them. They may also add to any sets or runs they have. If they
already have sets or runs of their own they may add to other players sets or runs, in which
case they place the card with their own and declare on to what they are adding it.
• A set is a group of three or more cards of the same type (eg. 3 kings). A run is three or more
cards of the same suit in sequential order (eg. 9, 10, Jack – all of diamonds).
• To end the turn they must discard one card on to the discard pile, it should be placed in such
a way as not to obscure the cards below it.

The above is repeated until someone goes 'out' by discarding their last card, at which point each
player should add up.

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