Instructions for the Card Game "Michigan Rummy"

By Grahame Turner
Michigan rummy is a betting game.

Rummy is a card game for two to six players, in which players need to construct sets of three or more cards, or runs of three in a row. Michigan rummy, sometimes called Tripoli, is a similar game which adds a whole set of betting rules and a play mat to the game for added challenge. The Michigan variant of the game can be played with more players, but requires a second deck of cards to even out the challenge.

Shuffle the deck of cards. If you have five or more players in the game, shuffle two decks together.

Lay out the game mat.

Instruct players to ante up. Each player needs to place a chip in each of the eight compartments on the game board. The dealer places two chips in each compartment from the House.

Deal the cards out to the players. The dealer deals out the entire deck to all players, to himself and to one dummy hand. So if there are four players and the dealer, there will be six hands in all.

Check your hand, if you are the dealer. If you don't have any bonus cards in this hand, you can exchange it for the dummy hand. Bonus cards are those labeled on the game board. Otherwise, the dealer is allowed to sell that hand to the highest bidder.

Play until the first player discards all of his cards. The first player, the person to the dealer's left, must discard the lowest card of any suit that he has. The next player needs to play the next-lowest card she has available and so on, until the ace of that suit is played, or no one is able to play a card. The last card played is called the "stop card."

Collect any chips from the bonus cards if you play one. If you put down the king of hearts, for example, you win the chips located in that card's slot on the mat.

Return to the last person who played a stop card. He should place the lowest card in the opposite suit; if the previous run was black cards, this player needs to play a red card.

Count the cards in your hand when the first player discards their entire hand. Pay in one chip for each of the cards still in your hand. If you have discarded your entire hand first, you collect the chips in the pot.

Give the player with the best poker hand at the end of the round all of the chips in the poker hand section of the mat.

Collect the cards, re-shuffle and pass the dealer both decks. Everyone antes up, and play begins again. Any chips still on the table stay on the table until the next round.

Things Needed

  • 2 decks of cards
  • Michigan Rummy play mat
  • Poker chips

Tip

If you don't have a play mat, you can print one out from the website under Resources and tape it together.

Warning

If a player does not play the lowest card in their hand, or a card when he is allowed to, he may not collect any money for the remainder of that hand.

About the Author

Grahame Turner has worked as a freelance writer since 2009 and a freelance reporter since 2010 for Wellesley Patch and Jamaica Plain Patch in Massachusetts. He also works part-time as a bookseller at the Northeastern University bookstore. He is a Northeastern University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English.