How to Play the Card Game Farmer's Rummy

By Dana Severson
Playing rummy is a fun way to pass time.

Farmer’s Rummy is a lot like a standard game of Rummy, except that each round has a different contract each player must try to fulfill during play. Players are dealt a hand of 11 cards; from there, they are each tasked with making runs and ranks out of their hand. The first player to rid their hand of cards before the rest wins the round, unless they were unable to fulfill their contract. Lowest score at the end of 7 rounds win the game of Farmer’s Rummy.

Deal out the double deck until each player has a total of 11 cards in his hand. The remaining cards are placed towards the center of the table, acting as the draw pile. The top card is flipped over and placed next to the draw pile. This will act as the discard pile for this round of play.

Draw a card, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, from the draw pile. You are looking to create runs and ranks in sets of three or more. If a top card on the discard pile is a card you’d like to draw, you must pay for it with 1 poker chip. But, you not only take this card, but draw another from the draw pile.

Lay down any runs or ranks in your hand. If you have a run or a rank in your hand, you may lay them down on the table at any time in your turn. If other players currently have runs or ranks laid out in front of them, you may also play on them at that time.

Discard a card from your hand to indicate the end of your turn. You may only ever discard 1 card, even if you ended up drawing two (when paying for a card from the discard pile). Play moves to the left around the table in a clockwise direction.

Fulfill your contract as you create runs and ranks. Each round of Farmer’s Rummy will bring about a new contract that every player must try to fill. For the first round, you’re looking to create a rank of 3 cards—3 aces, 3 kings, 3 queens and so on down the line (see Step 8 for further details on each contract).

Continue to play the game, laying down cards in sets or on other player’s sets, until one player rids his hand of cards. Of course, this player must’ve fulfilled the standing contract for the round.

Tabulate any points remaining in your hand. Cards are valued as follows: jokers are worth 15, aces are worth 11, face cards are worth 10 and all other cards are worth their face. If you were unable to fulfill your contract, even if you’ve rid your hand of cards, you earn a total of 25 penalty points.

Learn the contracts for the game of Farmer’s Rummy: Round 1 – a set of 3 cards of the same rank Round 2 – two sets of 3 cards of the same rank Round 3 – a set of 4 cards of the same rank Round 4 – a set of 3 cards of the same rank and a run of 3 cards of the same suit Round 5 – a set of 3 cards of the same rank and a run of 4 cards of the same suit Round 6 – two runs of 4 cards of the same suit Round 7 – a set of 4 cards of the same rank and a run of 6 cards of the same suit (all cards must be laid on the table at the same time).

Win the game of Farmer’s Rummy by having the lowest total score at the end of 7 rounds.

Things Needed

  • Two decks of cards (including jokers)
  • Poker chips (7 per player)
  • Pad of paper
  • Pen or pencil

Tip

To determine the order of play for the game of Farmer’s Rummy, simply dealing out the cards face up until one player is dealt a jack. This player will act as the first dealer. Subsequent deals will move to the left in a clockwise direction around the table. Jokers are wild in the game of Farmer’s Rummy and may be used in place of another card in runs or ranks.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.