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?

  • 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. Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


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.

Source: http://www.rummikub.com/info/Rules.aspx

  • 1
    Also of interest might be this discussion on Boardgamegeek boardgamegeek.com/thread/371138/old-rules-new-rules (although I confess I didn't fully read it)
    – Johno
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 10:22
  • 1
    That link is useful, basically confirming that the official rules have changed a lot over the years. Commented Apr 21, 2012 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. Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 7:30

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