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Online Rummy Terminology: Everything you should know about the terms used in online rummy

Rummy has been a top-rated game among many in India and several other countries for a very long time. In India especially, a vast majority is acquainted with the rummy card game. Now, with the advent of the online rummy game, this craze has precipitated even more. So, it becomes imperative for you to learn the online rummy terms.

Here’s a useful rummy glossary of rummy terminology that contains everything you need to know if you want to start playing a game of rummy or even if you want to have a brief insight into the card game. If you are new to rummy, it can seem quite challenging since it requires many skills and rummy tricks to win in a game of rummy. However, the first step to start playing rummy games is understanding the rummy terms and what each term means within the game.

Rummy Glossary of Important Rummy Terminology


The player who deals the cards for all the other players is known as the dealer. While some players decide to choose the player with the lowest value card as the dealer, in online rummy, the dealer is automated and the players are dealt 13 cards each, automatically.

Pack of Cards/Deck

A pack or deck of cards is a collection of 52 cards that contain 13 cards of each suit – Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds.


One of the most common online rummy terminologies is “Draw”. Drawing a card is when the player selects a card from the stacks of cards on the table at the time of their move. Each game has one discarding slot as well as one picking slot.


Discard happens when you place the card in the discard pile as you think it is of no use to you and won’t help you make any sequence or win the chance. In simple words, to discard is to get rid of the card.

Discard Pile/Open Deck

A discard pile/open deck comprises cards that are discarded by players, with the exception of the very first card. It is positioned adjacent to the closed deck and has a single card facing up. After cards are dealt at the beginning of the game, one card from the remaining lot is placed face-up on the table to form an open deck. A player can pick the top card from the discard pile or draw cards from the closed deck.

Draw Pile/Closed Deck

In a typical rummy game, the dealer deals 13 cards to each player, and the remaining cards of the deck are placed face down at the center of the table. This deck is called the Draw Pile or Closed Deck. A player can pick a card from the closed deck or draw pile during their turn, and discard a card into the discard pile. If the cards in the draw pile are all used, the cards from the discard pile, except the last card, are reshuffled to form the draw pile.


In rummy, a player has the option to leave or drop out before the game ends. The option that enables the players to leave the game is called Drop. If a player chooses to drop, they are given penalty points based on whether it was the first drop or the middle drop.


Declare is the rummy terminology used when a player wishes to end the game as they have met the purpose of the game, i.e., the player has formed the desired sets and sequences. The player that has met the game objective can tap on declare to make a valid declaration.

Deadwood/Unmatched Cards 

Deadwood refers to the ungrouped cards in hand. The remaining cards that do not contribute to forming any sequence at the end of a game are called the unmatched or unarranged cards. So, these cards are added as points.

Joker/Wild Joker

At the beginning of every rummy game, a joker is selected randomly from the deck. This joker card, also called wild joker, can be used to substitute for any missing card while forming an impure sequence or a set. For instance, if the wild joker is a 5 of Spades, all the 5 numbered cards, irrespective of the suit, can be used as a wild joker.

Read about the role of joker in cards, its history, and tips to use joker in rummy.

Printed Joker

A standard deck of cards contains two or three printed jokers. The printed joker in the deck of cards plays an important role in the game, although it carries no points. Players can replace the desired number with the Joker card to form an impure sequence.


As players play rummy on MPL online, they will have to make their moves turn by turn. After all the players finish making their first moves, it is termed the first round.

Rummy Table

It is referred to as the table where the rummy game is played with players seated around the table. Two to six rummy players can sit around the rummy table for one particular game. 


A sequence is a combination of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. A sequence is formed when cards of the same suit are aligned together. There are a total of two types of sequences in the rummy card game; pure sequence and impure sequence. A player needs to form at least one pure and one impure sequence to be able to declare the game after they complete all their melds. 

Pure Sequence

A pure sequence is formed by a group of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit. A wild or printed joker cannot be used to form a pure sequence.

Impure sequence

An impure sequence is formed when the player runs short on cards of the same suit and uses Joker to form the sequence. From here, we can identify the importance of Joker in the rummy card game.

First life

The first life is the target to form the first of the player’s two mandatory sequences to ensure a valid declaration. However, this first sequence needs to be a pure sequence.

Second life 

The target to form the second sequence to be able to make a valid declaration is called the second life. But there is a relief for the players as the second sequence can be pure or impure. 


Sets are a group of three or more cards that have the same rank but belong to different suits. It is to be noted that the sets also contain the Joker cards. 


The score is the sum total of all the cards that are no longer a part of any sequence or set, at the end of the game, is called a player’s score. The score varies with different cards. For instance, the score for all the high-value cards is 10 points, and the Joker card has 0 points, whereas the score of the remaining cards is equivalent to their numerical value.


The different types of rummy games that players can play as per their convenience and experience are called card game variants. For instance, the Indian Rummy card game variants include, points rummy, deals rummy, pool rummy.

The right step before starting any rummy game for the first time is to know the rummy terms that are common for most rummy variants. The next step is to understand the rummy rules of the variant you choose to play. Now that you are familiarized with the important terminologies of online rummy, you can get started with your first game. You can confidently go ahead and start playing an online game of rummy with more ease and efficiency.

Siddharth Shukla
I am an engineer turned content writer as I find writing as the best mode of expression for me. Having nearly 4+ years of experience in content writing, I have worked in various niches across different industries. I also hold the working knowledge of on-page SEO and a theoretical brief on off-page SEO. Besides, I am an avid theatre practitioner and a trained vocalist (Hindustani Classical). I also am a big supporter of LGBTQ rights.


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