How to Play Rumoli

By eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

Rumoli is a classic Canadian card game that combines poker with rummy. Any sized group between two and eight can play Rumoli. When more people play Rumoli, then the initial size of each hand is smaller, which can make for faster game play.

Divide the chips evenly among the players. Shuffle the deck of cards. To determine who will fill the position of the dealer, each player draws a single card and the highest draw wins the position (ace is considered the highest card). Play begins as each player places a chip on each of the nine sections of the Rumoli board.

Shuffle the cards, and deal them out to the players plus an additional hand (known as the widow) until all cards are gone. Each player reviews their cards. The dealer has the option of exchanging his cards for the widow (sight unseen). If he does not wish to do so, he may auction off the widow, still without being seen, to any interested players (the dealer keeps the chips paid in the auction). If any player uses the widow, their original hand is placed aside, face down.

Selecting the five best cards from their hand and temporarily discarding the rest, players ante up for a poker round. Starting with the dealer, players may raise the ante if they wish. All players that stayed in throughout the ante process reveal their cards and high hand takes the pot. All poker hands are now discarded and the players return to the rest of their cards.

Arranging their cards in suits, players begin the Rummy phase of the game. The Poker phase winner begins by placing the lowest value card in his hand face down on the table (at any time if a player has a numerical sequence of the same suit, all cards can be played at once). Play passes to the left, with each player placing the next card in the suit on top of the pile, if they have it.

Playing the ace of a suit or going around to each player and discovering that no one holds the next card in the numerical sequence of the suit breaks the play. The player who played the last card discards the lowest card they have in a suit of a different color and play continues. If they do not have a card in a different colored suit, the play passes to the left until someone does or the hand is over. Each player places another chip on each Rumoli board section and a new hand begins. Otherwise, play continues until a player plays all of her cards.

Winning a hand means a player has played all of their cards and she wins all chips in the Rumoli pot on the board. Each player with cards remaining in his hand must pay the winner one chip for each card they still hold. The position of dealer passes to the left, and a new hand begins. Any unclaimed chips on the board carry over to the next hand. Chips are claimed when a player plays the card or sequence of cards named in a section of the board.

Playing Rumoli continues through either a predetermined amount of hands, at which point the player with the most chips wins, or until a player collects a predetermined amount of chips.