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How to Play Progressive Rummy

Progressive rummy is a version of contract rummy played with a few exceptions.
a deck image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com

Rummy is an extremely popular card game with hundreds of variations. Once you've learned any Rummy game it's easy to transition to another--including Progressive Rummy. Progressive Rummy is challenging but it adds an interesting twist on the classic game. Grab some friends and a couple decks of cards. It's time to play.

Get a few decks of cards. For three to four players, get two decks plus three jokers--or 105 cards. For five or more players, get three decks of cards plus two jokers--or 158 cards.

Gather three to eight friends. Up to eight can play Progressive Rummy, but four is the best arrangement.

Deal the correct number of cards. In Progressive Rummy the number of cards dealt is different for each hand: deal number one is 6 cards per player; deal number two is seven cards; deal number three is eight cards, etc., until deal number seven where 12 cards are dealt. This is the last hand of the game.

Know the contracts for each hand and meet them exactly when melding. The contracts for each deal are as follows: deal number one is two sets, number two is one set and one sequence, number three is two sequences, number four is three sets, number five is two sets and one sequence, number six is one set and two sequences and number seven is three sequences.

Draw a card when it's your turn. In Progressive Rummy you may draw from the discard pile or the stock pile. If you don't want the discard, the person to your left may take it. If he doesn't want it, the next person to the left may take it, and so on. If someone does take the discard, he must take the top card off the stock pile as a penalty.

Lay out your cards. Once you've melded in a deal hand, lay down additional cards to your meld or others players' melds. This is known as laying out and will help you get rid of your cards.

Discard. You must draw a card and either meld or lay out the cards in your hand during your turn. Once you're done the play moves to your left.

Win the hand. Be the first person to meld, lay out or discard everything in your hand and you've won the hand. Next tally each player's points. The cards held by the other players are scored as follows: numbered cards count for the amount on the card, face cards are 10, Aces are 15 and Jokers are 25. The object of Progressive Rummy is to be the player with the lowest score.

Things You'll Need:

  • Two to three decks of cards
  • Three to eight people


A set is a group of three cards all of the same number (fives of hearts, diamonds and spades for example). A sequence is a run of cards in order of the same suit (three, four and five of hearts). Aces are either high or low but can't be both. Jokers are always wild. When the Joker is played, the player must state the value of the card. If you have that card, you can exchange the Joker for the card in your hand. The Joker then becomes your wild card to be played as you like. When more than one sequence is required, you can't meld in order. For example, if you meld the Jack, Queen and King of clubs, you can't also meld the eight, nine and ten of clubs. The deal in Progressive Rummy goes clockwise or to the left. The person dealing also moves clockwise with each successive hand. For a more difficult version of Progressive Rummy, play with 15 hands instead of seven. Find the full rules for this variation online at Pagat.

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