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I don't have the paper rules here as a reference, but I grew up playing Rummikub with the rule that, if you replaced a joker on the table you must immediately replay the joker in a run or set with at least 2 tiles from your hand. This rule could make the endgame particularly interesting. We also played that the joker froze whatever group of tiles it was in--they couldn't be manipulated without replacing the joker. However, I just looked up the rules online to settle a dispute about making the initial meld, and noticed that both of these special joker rules are missing.

I'm pretty sure that way back when they were official, not house rules; were they? If so, when (and for bonus points, why) were they changed?

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My family played by those rules as well and I was confused when I played with another group of friends and we checked the joker rules. – Bryan Rosander Apr 16 '12 at 19:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to the official rules, your house rule (which I also used to play) IS currently official:

Once a player replaces a joker, they must use it in the same turn as part of a set.

Although it specifically contradicts your other house rule about manipulating sets containing a Joker:

Sets containing jokers can be split and manipulated like regular sets.

FWIW, I used to play that Jokers didn't have to be replayed in NEW sets, but could alternatively be played in existing sets (e.g. I replace a Joker, and then add it to a 6-7-8 run as a 5 to allow me to play a 4). I infer from your question that your house rules require Jokers be replayed into new sets, but I may be misunderstanding your explanation.


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Also of interest might be this discussion on Boardgamegeek (although I confess I didn't fully read it) – Johno Apr 19 '12 at 10:22
That link is useful, basically confirming that the official rules have changed a lot over the years. – Gregor Apr 21 '12 at 17:34
Also, you did understand my explanation. We play where at least two tiles played with the Joker must be new from your hand. – Gregor Oct 26 '12 at 7:30

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