Table of contents

Playing rummy for the first time? As a beginner in rummy, one of the steps in learning how to play rummy is to understand the rummy terms. So, 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.


Each standard deck of 52 cards contains four Aces of every suit - Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs. The Aces are used to either form high-value cards sequence like Ace King Queen or low-value sequences like Ace, 2, 3. Each Ace carries 10 points. If a printed joker is selected as a wild joker, all the Aces are used as wild jokers in that particular rummy game.


The amount a player pays to enter a cash rummy tournament is called by-in. Buy-in is also commonly known as entry fee.


In the deals rummy game, chips are used as virtual money for playing rummy. Players pay for the chips and aim to win the maximum number of the chips to win in deals rummy.


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.


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 centre 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.

Face Card

All the Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks are called face cards in rummy. Each face card carries 10 points.


The cards that each player receives at the beginning of a rummy game are called a hand. The players arrange the cards in hand into valid sequences and sets.

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.

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.

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 rummy 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 and is called a player's score at the end of the game. 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 cards are shuffled in both online and live games to maintain randomness of cards. The process of sliding the cards, face down, over one another is called shuffling.


The different types of rummy games that players can play as per their convenience and experience are called rummy game variants. For instance, the Indian Rummy or the 13 Card Rummy variants include, Points RummyDeals Rummy, and Pool Rummy. Rummy also has other variants such as Gin Rummy21 Card Rummy, 500 Rummy, etc.

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 familiarised with the important terminologies of online rummy, you can get started with your first game.


How do you Play the 13 Card Rummy Game for Beginners?

How Many People can play Thirteen Card Rummy?

How do you become an Expert in 13 Card Rummy?

How do you show the cards while playing 13 Cards rummy?

How many cards do you deal in 13 Cards Rummy?

Which Sequence is compulsory in 13 cards rummy?

How many jokers can be used in 13 Cards Rummy?

Related Articles
The Legality of Online Rummy – Is Rummy Legal in India?
Online rummy is one of the most loved card games in India. Here's all you should know about the legality of online rummy in India.
Tips for Beginners: How to Form a Pure Sequence in Rummy
The most important step in rummy is forming a pure sequence. Here are a few tips on how you can form a pure sequence in rummy.
Online Rummy Game: Top Facts to Know About Points Rummy
Get to know how the rummy points system work and is calculated in the points rummy card game. Learn the rules and gameplay as well.
Copyright © - Galactus Funware Technology Private Limited | All rights reserved