7 Crazy Rummy Rules That You Need to Know ...

It’s important to know the Crazy Rummy rules before starting to play this card game. My extended family plays Crazy Rummy all the time; it's a staple in our family. The question isn't "Do you want to play?" but "How many people are in?" I hope that by clarifying the Crazy Rummy rules, you and your family can add this wonderful game to your home.

1. What You Are Looking for

The first Crazy Rummy rule is to know what you are looking for. There are different rounds but each is a combination of two main building blocks. One is a set of "three of a kind," such as three 5s, three 7s or three Ks in any suit. The other is a "run" of four cards in the same suit, such as A, 2, 3, and 4 in hearts or 9, 10, J, and Q in spades. Once you’ve committed these two building blocks to memory, let’s get to the basics.

2. The Rounds

Each round varies but the goal is to lay down all your cards and get the lowest score. Round One: 2 sets of three of a kind. Round Two: 1 run and 1 three of a kind. Round Three: 2 runs. Round Four: 3 sets of three of a kind. Round Five: 2 sets of three of a kind and 1 run. Round Six: 2 runs and 1 set of three of a kind. Round Seven: 3 runs.

3. How to Play

The game starts once everyone is dealt 13 cards and the pile is put in the center. The first card is flipped over and the player to the left of the dealer can either pick it up or choose the top card. Your turn starts by either picking up the last card from the discard pile or the top one from the deck as you go clockwise, trying to look for the cards of that round. You need to have the entire set of what you are looking for that round before placing them down in front of you on your turn.

4. Laying Cards

Once you have laid down your cards in front of you, then you can lay them down on other players. If your mom has a pile of 3s, feel free to add yours to the mix. If your aunt has a 7, 8, 9 and 10 of diamonds, it’s fair-game to lay down your 4, 5, 6 and 10 of diamonds on her cards. The goal is to lay down all your cards so that you have no more left. Once you play every card in your hand, the round is over and everyone adds up their score before shuffling for the next round.

5. Red Aces

One of the most valuable cards in your hand is a red ace. It’s a wild card. You can use it as any number you want to. And if your dad has a run with 4, 5, a red ace and 7 of spades, then you can replace his red ace with a 6 of spades and move the ace in the slot of the 4 or 8, allowing you to put down a 3 or 9 of spades.

6. “May I?”

Every round you have 2 “May I's.” That means if it isn’t your turn but you need the 2 of spades that was just discarded then you can ask, “May I?” Whoever’s turn it is says yes if they don’t need the card or takes it for their own hand if they say no. If they say yes, you need to take the top card as a penalty along with the one you “May I’d” for. If you don’t get the card, it’s okay because you still haven’t collected 2 “May I's.” You cannot have more than 17 cards in your hand. Once you’ve laid your cards down in front of you, you cannot “May I” for any more cards or stop someone when they “May I” during your turn.

7. Keeping Score

The winner: the one with the lowest score. Numbered cards are worth face-value, so an 8 is worth eight points. Royal cards, i.e. J, Q and K, are worth twenty points. Aces, both red and black, are worth fifty points. You only add up the cards in your hand. If you went out and have no cards in your hands, then your score is zero.

Crazy Rummy is a fun game that I love to play with family. It’s a great way to pass the time as you talk and catch up with each other. I’m dealing, are you in?