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Poker vs Rummy: A Comparison between the Most Popular Card Games

Rummy and Poker games are the most popular card games played online and offline across the globe. While poker is popularly played in casinos, rummy holds great significance in Indian homes around festivals and occasions. However, both rummy and poker games are enjoyed alike on online gaming platforms by card game lovers.

Rummy and poker share a few similarities but also have a lot of differences. Both the card games require skills and strategies to play and win. But the gameplay and structure of a poker game differ majorly from that of a rummy game. Therefore, learning and playing poker may still be challenging if a player knows how to play rummy.

So, if you are a beginner at both the games and want to understand the poker-rummy similarities and differences to decide which one to begin with, here’s a comparison between rummy and poker games.

Origin of Poker

The poker card game dates back to nearly 1000 years and is believed to have originated in the 10th century as a domino-card game played by a Chinese emperor. Some historians claim poker is a descendant of a Persian card game known as As Nas, dating back to the 16th century.

The closest predecessor to poker was in the 17th century – Poque, a European game, and Pochen, a German game. These games were based on a Spanish game primero from the 16th century, which involved bluffing and betting on poor cards as a strategy. The English-speaking settlers in the US adopted the 5 cards for each player feature of Poque and referred to the game as poker.

The poker game played widely today originated in the 1800s in the Mississippi River regions, where people played the card game at gambling houses. The most common variations of Poker are Texas hold ’em and Omaha.

Origin of Rummy

The origin of the rummy game is based on two theories with origins in either China or Mexico in the nineteenth century. According to the first theory, rummy originated in Mexico in the 1890s and was known as Conquian. The game was played with a Spanish deck of 40 cards and included melding mechanics.

According to the second theory, rummy originated in Asia as a Mahjongg variant called Kun P’ai. The game was westernized in 1891 and was called Khanhoo.

Rummy has many variations which are played all around the world, with similar rules. Some of the popularly played rummy variations include Gin, Canasta, 500 rum, and Indian Rummy.

Poker vs Rummy Gameplay

Poker

Poker is played between 2 players to more than 5 players. There are two main online poker variants – Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

In Texas Hold’em, the players receive two hole cards and play the first round of betting. The players can call the big blind, raise or fold. The players then receive three community cards called the flop. Then the following two community cards are turned one by one to play a round of betting for each card. The player with the highest five-card hands wins the pot.

The Omaha variant can be played between 2 to 10 players and has two other types: Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. The game is played with a 52-card deck and includes preflop, flop, turn, river, and showdown phases. The players have an option to call, raise, or fold during preflop action.

Also Read: Why should you learn Pot Limit Omaha Poker?

Rummy

Rummy is played between two to six players with a standard deck of 52 cards. Depending on the rummy game you play, the game can be played for one round, several rounds, or for a pre-decided target score. Each player is dealt 13 cards, and the dealer places the remaining cards on the table faced-down, called draw pile.

The players meld their cards in sequences and sets and have to create a minimum of two sequences, including a pure sequence. Each player takes turns picking a card and discard another card in the discard pile. To win the game, you have to be the first player to make a valid declaration.

A pure sequence is the most critical sequence in rummy formed by grouping three or more cards of the same suit. An impure sequence is formed by grouping three or more cards of the same suit, including jokers and wild cards, to substitute a missing card. A set is formed by grouping three or more cards of the same rank and different suits.

Here’s how you can form a pure sequence easily!

Poker-Rummy Similarities

Number of Players

Both poker and rummy require a minimum of two players to play the games. Depending on the gaming platform, you can join a two-player table or a five to six-player table in online rummy and online poker.

Skill & Strategy

The rummy and poker card games involve a high degree of skills and strategy to understand and play the games. Playing poker or rummy merely on luck factor will not take the player too far in the game. Winning in these card games requires experience and strategies to defeat the opponent, which comes with practice and skills. Players need to analyze the cards in hand and keep a close watch on their opponents to understand their strategy and play accordingly.

Fold/Drop

In the poker card game, the players have an option to fold anytime. Folding in poker means discarding the hand and making no further bets. However, if a player folds, they lose any claim in the pot and cannot win.

Similarly, in the rummy card game, the players have an option to drop. The players can drop a hand at the beginning or in the middle of the game. They are given penalty points based on whether it is the first drop or the middle drop.

Other Similarities

The other poker-rummy similarities entail showing cards when the winner is declared and the important role of the dealer. Both games have a dealer that deals the cards to all players at the beginning of the game. In live poker or rummy games such as casinos, the dealer also calculates the pot and ensures all players follow the game rules.

Poker-Rummy Difference

Variants

Poker:

Playing poker and rummy is fun, owing to the numerous variants. Essentially, there are mainly three types of poker games – stud games, draw games, and community card games.

In stud games, the players are dealt five to seven cards and must use the original cards to make the best hands. 7 Card Stud, Follow The Queen, and High/Low Chicago are popular variants in stud games.

In draw games, the players can trade a few cards to improve their hand. 5-Card Draw is a popular variant in this category.

Community card games are the most popular type where the players are dealt hole cards face down and have to make their best hand by playing off the community cards. The popular community card games are Texas Hold’Em and Omaha.

Rummy:

Rummy is famous for its variations such as Gin rummy and Canasta from the 2oth century. Another variation played in the US is 500 rum. In India, Indian rummy, also known as 13-Card rummy, is extremely popular and is an extension of Gin Rummy and 500 rum. The Indian rummy variation has three further variants. When you play online rummy, each gaming app offers the three Indian Rummy variants, which are:

Points Rummy – Players play for points, and the first player to make a valid declaration with zero points wins the game.

Pool Rummy – Players play for a prize pool formed by a fixed entry fee. The player who reaches the maximum score of 101 or 201 points based on the pool rummy variation is eliminated.

Deals Rummy – Players play for a pre-decided number of deals and with an equal number of chips. The player with the maximum chips at the end of all deals wins the game.

Betting Factor

The betting factor holds prime importance in the difference between rummy and poker. In basic rummy games, there’s no betting involved, and the game’s outcome purely depends on your strategy. However, placing a bet is an integral part of the poker gameplay as the players have to assess their hands and bet accordingly.

Game Rules

The rummy game is relatively easier to understand and learn as compared to those of poker. If you have never played rummy and poker, you will find rummy rules and gameplay easier than poker. Poker has many rules, which often become difficult for a beginner to understand right away.

Learn how to play Poker here.

Strategy

In an online rummy game, your skills and strategy hold prime importance to emerge as a winner. You need to assess your cards, take calculated steps, watch the cards that your opponents discard while melding your cards in a sequence or set. Every action in rummy is based on your strategy. While poker is also a game of skills and strategy, however, the outcome in the game also depends on whether you are dealt a weak hand or a strong hand.

Venues to Play

Poker is a popular game in casinos all around the world. The game is also widely played on online platforms, with real players spread across different regions. In comparison, rummy is a traditional card game in India that has been an indispensable part of Indian households during festivals and other occasions. Like poker, card game lovers also like playing rummy online on mobile apps against real players.

Popularity Factor

Rummy is especially popular in India and neighboring countries, often played on the streets. The online rummy popularity is immense for Indian rummy variants. On the other hand, poker enjoys global popularity. It is one of the most played games in casinos. Poker players also enjoy the poker experience on mobile and desktop apps.

Also Read: How Poker Increased The Popularity Of Online Card Games In India?

Conclusion

Despite the similarities and differences between rummy and poker, both games are equally challenging and entertaining. These games enhance the skillset of the players and require experience and practice to ace the games. If you are a beginner, you can begin with the free rummy and poker games before you move on to the cash contests of poker and rummy on the MPL app.

Vijaya Bharti
A postgraduate in accounting and finance, she embraced content writing as her full-time profession. She is a Gaming Writer but her endless desire to learn new things enables her to write about just anything that intrigues her. She enjoys learning in the process as she believes there is no end to gaining knowledge.

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