Rummy is one of my favourite card games - we used to play it endlessly when I was at uni using various different rulesets. So I'm now trying to teach my children the basics of Rummy, as they love playing [children's] card games, but being 5 and 7 they are a bit young to fully comprehend matching runs in the same suite (though matching the same numbers is fine).

I came across some basic rules for a children's version of rummy on Wikipedia (described as "Children's Rummy" or "Ruckus"), but the rules there are not entirely clear (and Ruckus itself uses its own set of cards, so that's not too helpful).

Can anyone clarify some basic rules for a children's version of rummy, or have any other ideas about simplified rules for children to learn rummy [EDIT: using a standard deck of cards ideally]? (I'm talking basic rummy here, not Gin rummy or other variants).

Wikipedia describes the "children's rummy" rules thus:

Children's Rummy or Ruckus is played by young children; each player is dealt 7 cards. Players immediately put down all cards of the same value (example, two 6's or three Kings) face up. If another person has a card of that value, they can put it down on the pile and take the pile to their part of the table. All players do this at the same time. Once all play has stopped, the dealer hands out new cards, and the pile building and taking is repeated until all cards have been dealt. The player with the most cards in piles at the end wins.


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    If you didn't specifically want a card game I would suggest Rummikub. It's been a favorite in my family at all ages. rummikub.com – Apreche Sep 13 '11 at 12:02

Far be it for me to answer my own question, but... I've play tested the partial rules from wikipedia with my children, and have worked out the following fuller set of rules, if it's helpful (also trying to make it more rummy-like):

  • For 2 players, each player is dealt 10 cards. For >2 players, each player is dealt 7 cards;
  • Players immediately put down all cards of the same value (example, two 6's or three Kings) face up in piles in front of them;
  • Once everyone has put down their starting-hand matches, players take it in turn to put down cards matching other people's matches (this differs from the wikipedia rules: wikipedia said to do this extra laying off all at the same time - that becomes rather frantic with children as they argue who put down a card first if there is more than one match). If they lay down a match, they take the pile to their part of the table;
  • Once all above starting play has stopped, the dealer hands out a new card to each player in turn, and the pile building and taking is repeated by each player in turn until either:
    • all cards have been dealt and no more matches have been played (most of the time, all cards would be matched by now, but sometimes they can't be, e.g. with 4 players each player could end up with one of the same card number);
    • a player manages to lay off all the cards from their hand (this is again different to wikipedia's rules, but makes the game shorter if you have young children playing - keeps their attention a bit better by allowing more rounds to be played);
  • Once either of the above conditions is met, the cards in front of each player are counted (count of number of cards, not face values). The player with the most cards wins. Optionally, you could subtract any cards left in players hands from their score if using the second of the above ending conditions.

My children picked up these rules pretty well and really enjoy playing it!

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  • I feel odd answering my own questions too at times, but when the answer is helpful, it's quite encouraged. – Stephen Sep 21 '11 at 15:32

I used to play "Sequence Rummy" when I was a kid.

I think my parents even still have it.

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  • Thanks @warren, looks like a good children's game, but this doesn't use a standard deck of cards, which ideally is what I'd like to use. – Nick Shaw Sep 13 '11 at 10:44
  • @Nick Shaw - did not know a standard deck was a prerequisite; sorry about that – warren Sep 13 '11 at 14:16
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    that's ok, I thought it was implied in "children's version of rummy", as rummy is played with a standard deck. Will edit question. PS - I didn't downvote your answer. :) – Nick Shaw Sep 13 '11 at 15:59
  • @Nick Shaw - thanks for the clarification .. now just curious as to who did :) – warren Sep 13 '11 at 16:17

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