Several years ago, my parents taught me a new version of rummy called Polish Rummy. Its a crazy version that we really enjoy playing. I didn’t some time researching it, and often found that the name Polish Rummy was attributed to a different version. I kept searching and and finally found an article from Pagat, that was the closest to what I learned, 5000 Rummy.

Setup

You can play this game with 2-4 players comfortably with one deck, past 4 players, I would suggest adding two decks to the game. Leave the Jokers out!

The Deal

Choose the first dealer however you’d like. If we’re teaching the game we usually deal first just so people understand what is going on. 

Starting to the dealers left, the dealer will place one card in front of the player face-up. The rank of this card determines the amount of cards the player will receive. The dealer will then deal the player the number of cards face-down (v1, v7) needed to equal that rank. This process repeats for each player. Face Cards (J/Q/K) have a rank of 10, Aces have a rank of 11.

Example: The dealer places a 5 in front of the player face-up, the dealer then deals 5 more cards face-down

When it is time for the dealer to deal their own hand, their first face-up card will become the wild for that round (v2). 

Example: The dealer receives a 7 as their face-up card. 7’s are now wilds for this round.

Once all the cards are dealt, the dealer then places the remaining cards in the middle of the table as the draw pile, and flips the top card of the draw pile. This flipped card marks the beginning of the discard pile.

Players are able to pick up their cards, including the face-up one, as soon as the dealer moves on to the next player, or they can wait for all players to be dealt.

The Round

The player to the dealer’s left begins play, and play will continue to the left until the round is over.  Each players turn will consist of three steps


Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash

1.  The Pickup

The player will first either to decide to pick up a card from the draw pile, or they can take one or more cards from the discard pile. A player is able to take more than one card from the discard pile, but must:

2. The Meld

After a player has picked up, they can attempt to make as many melds within the turn as they wish.

Types of Melds

In 5000 Rummy there are two types of Melds available. Creating a new meld requires at least three cards before being placed down. Adding to an existing meld can consist of one or more cards.

Sets

A set consists of at least three cards of the same kind. If you are using one deck the max cards a set may have would be four, if your using two decks the max cards a set may have is eight.

Example: the Player lays down the 5 of clubs, 5 of hearts, and 5 of spades.

Runs

A run consists of three more cards in consecutive rank of the same suit. Card rank goes as follows A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A. The ace can be at the start or end of run, you may not use the ace to wrap a run (K-A-2)

Wildcards

5000 Rummy takes advantage of wild cards. Wilds are determined by the face-up card dealt to the dealer (v6). You can use a wildcard to represent another card at any point when you are melding.

Example: Aces are wild, and you have the A♥, and the 7♣ and 9♣. During your turn, you could meld the 7♣ A♥ 9♣ as a run. 

You are also able to steal wildcards. If a card in your hand matches where the wildcard is being played, you are eligible to replace the wildcard with your card and then use the wildcard during a meld for your turn.

Example: The player before you placed a 7♣ A♥ 9♣. You have the 8♣. During your turn, you replace the A♥ with the 8♣, giving the other player the run of  7♣ 8 9♣ now. You then play the A♥ in another run meld consisting of 
A♥ 2♠ 3♠.

3. The Discard

Once a player has completed all the melds they would like during their turn, they will then discard one card from their hand on top of the discard pile. 

Ending the Round

The game is over once a players last card is placed on the discard pile, and is unplayable on any available melds. This is commonly referred to as “going out”

Running Out of Cards: In the event there are no more cards left in the draw pile the game ends if a player cannot play, or doesn’t wish to take, any card(s) from the discard pile.

Floating

If a player uses all their cards during the melding process and doesn’t have a discard available, they are considered floating and play would continue to the next player.

Rummy

If a card that was discarded can be used on an active meld on the table, any player who has previously played a meld can call “rummy”. The player then adds the discarded card to their meld(v3) and then play continues as normal. (v4)

Scoring

After a player goes out, all the players will add up the scores of the melds in front of them

Lastly, the players also count the points of the cards in their hand and subtract it from their meld score(v5). You are able to go negative in your score

Example: The game ends, and you count your score. You have 125 points from what you melded, and 15 points in your hand. Your score is then 110 points.

Ending the Game

The game is over once a player reaches 5,000 points. In reality, you can set the point goal to whatever you wish, for shorter games you could 500 or 1,000 (v2).

Variations

There are a lot more variations available at Pagat that I encourage you to check out, these are just some of the few that I enjoy or play regularly!