Game Rules Finder


<< Back to Search

Continental Rummy


Game Type: Matching, Rummy
Age: Teens, Adults
Players: 2-12
Deck: Two or more Standard, Jumbo index, 52 card deck

This game is one of the most popular Rummy pastimes for large groups. It is played in many different forms, but always with the same basic requirements.

Number of Players. Two to 12 people can play.

The Pack. Two or more standard 52-card packs plus one joker per pack are shuffled together. Five or fewer players use a double pack, six to eight players a triple pack, nine to 12 players a quadruple pack.
Rank of Cards. A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A. (Aces may be high or low.)

The Shuffle and Cut. If a double pack is used, the dealer shuffles. If a triple pack or quadruple pack is used, the dealer and one other player each shuffle a portion of the pack, the dealer having the right to shuffle each portion last, and the portions are then combined. The player on the dealer's right cuts.

The Deal. Each player receives 15 cards, dealt three at a time. The winner of each deal becomes the next dealer.

Note: When the pack is too thick for the dealer to handle, he may take the top portion and deal as far as it will go and then resume dealing with the remaining portion, as necessary.

Object of the Game. Each player tries to go out by forming sequences in accordance with the following requirements:

A player may not lay down any cards until he can go out all at once with five 3-card sequences, or three 4-card and one 3-card sequence, or one 5-card, one 4-card, and two 3-card sequences. Two or more of these sequences may be in the same suit, but a sequence may not "go round the corner." Matched sets do not count in Continental Rummy, only sequences do.

The Play. Each player in turn draws either the top card of the stock or the top card of the discard pile, and then discards, as in Rummy, until one player goes out. Any joker is wild and may represent any card its holder designates. (Many play with deuces also as wild cards.)
Scoring. The winner of the game collects from all the other players: 1 point (or chip, or similar counter) for game, 2 points for each joker used in the winner's hand, and 1 point for each deuce used as a wild card (if deuces are wild).

Variations. There are many variations, both in play and in scoring, including the following bonus payments, which are used in some localities: for going out right away without drawing a single card, 10 points; for going out after drawing only one card, 7 points; for going out without using a joker or wild deuce, 10 points; for having all 15 cards of the same suit, 10 points.

Irregularities. Going down illegally. If a player lays down a hand that does not conform to the requirements stated above, he must leave his hand face up on the table, and play proceeds with his hand exposed. Any collections he has made are returned. Any other player who has exposed his hand may pick it up.