Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 2-3   Cards 52   Type Rummy
I don't often go in for Rummy games, but as this one has some unusual features you might want to give it a try for a change.
Cards and deal
From a well-shuffled 52-card pack deal four hands of 13 cards, face down and one at a time. Each player takes up one of these and to use as their playing hand. If only two play, one of the other hands is squared up into a pile and placed to one side, having not further use in the game. Spread the other hand face up into a non-overlapping row of 13 (or two rows of six and seven).
The aim is to arrange your hand into four melds as follows:
  1. Three or four cards in suit and sequence (straight flush), Ace counting low only.
  2. Three or four cards in sequence but all of different suits (blank straight)
  3. Three or four cards of the same rank
  4. Three or four cards of different suits totalling 21, counting Ace 1 and face cards 10 each.
You can make only one four-card meld, of course, but it doesn't matter which of the melds it is.
At each turn you play as follows:
  1. Take one card from the spread and add it to your hand
  2. Make one meld (not more), if you can and wish, by placing three or four cards face up before you
  3. Make one discard face up from your hand to the spread. Your discard must not be the card you just picked up.
The first meld you make must consist of four cards, but it may be of any type. Thereafter you may place a three-card meld on the table as soon as you can and wish. You may, however, prefer not to do so if you think you may need to hold back one of its cards for use in a later meld. You may not make more than one meld at each turn.
Play continues until one player has laid out four melds. The other(s) may then each make one more draw and meld, if possible.
For your initial four-card meld you score the face value of its highest card. For each of the three three-card melds you score the face value of its lowest card. Whoever was first to make their initial four-card meld adds a bonus of 10.
Comment: What I wanted to do here was to create a Rummy game in which a higher proportion of the available cards are visible from the outset than is usually the case. Of the four different types of meld, which are designed to interfere with one another, by far the hardest to achieve is three or four in suit and sequence, especially in the two-player game (the only one I've tried). Probably the easiest to work towards is the count of 21, so you may want to make this as soon as possible in order get there first and score the bonus for it. On the other hand, when you have made three melds and are trying to complete your fourth it will usually be best to save the 21 meld till last, as you will then have the greatest variety of cards to choose from.