3 of us were playing with older Rummikub rules where if you want to use a Joker that is on the board, you must replace it with a tile from your rack of the same color and value. One player made this move, replaced the joker and used it elsewhere, and then, during the same turn, removed and reused the tile they had replaced the joker with. We contended that if the Joker has to be replaced, then the replacement tile must be in the Joker's spot at the end of the turn. Which is correct?

For demonstration:

 beginning of turn: Rack = [O1] [O2] [R1] [Blu1] Board = [[J] [R2] [R3] [R4]] [[Blk1] [Blk2] [Blk3] [Blk4]]
 halfway through turn: Rack = [Blu1] Board = [[O1] [O2] [J]] [**[R1]** [R2] [R3] [R4]] [[Blk1] [Blk2] [Blk3] [Blk4]]

 where the **[R1]** replaced the Joker. 
 end of turn: Board = [[O1] [O2] [J]] [[R2] [R3] [R4]] [[Blk2] [Blk3] [Blk4]] [**[R1]** [Blu1] [Blk1]]

Certainly in the new rules, the Joker would already be cleared and there would be no issue, but in the Joker replacement rules, it seems that a tile would have to be in the Joker's place at the end of the turn.


1 Answer 1


I am not clear on the distinction you are making. In Rummikub, you can completely revamp the entire board on every turn. Every tile can be "moved" and put into different runs/configurations. All that matters is that the Joker is replaced with a correct tile from your rack, which is what was done. The "correct" tile can end up anywhere after that. At least via my understanding of the rules.

  • So I think the distinction is whether you have to replace a Joker in its previous location, or whether you can replace just the presence of the Joker with the same colored and numbered tile, but put it in any valid location on the board, as long as the original set is still valid. I assumed that the Joker has to be replaced in its previous location before that tile can be moved, but maybe it comes down to your definition of "replace."
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 5:09

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