Chicago Rummy is a variation of Rummy in which players compete to be the last player remaining in the game. Players attempt to collect combinations of cards in their hands to avoid having a high score of non-scoring cards. Similar to the game of Hearts, players attempt to have the lowest score.
Players and Cards
Shuffle two standard decks of playing cards together to form the deck. Remove jokers. Two to eight players can play Chicago Rummy. Deal seven cards face down to each player to start the game. Place remaining cards face down in the center of the table to form the draw deck. Face the top card next to the draw deck to start the discard deck.
Each of the cards in Chicago Rummy has a point value. Face cards are worth 10 points each. Remaining cards are worth face value with the ace worth one point. Twos are wild so a player can use the card in any suit she wishes.
Melds are collections of three or more cards in certain combinations. Melds consist of three or more cards of the same rank or three cards in the same suit in numerical order. In Chicago Rummy, melds are not played on the table during the game. Players keep the melds in their hands.
A player has two options for picking a card on his turn. He can take the top card from the top of the draw deck or take the top card of the discard deck. The player must then either discard a card or "knock."
When a player "knocks," she ends the hand though all of her cards are not in melds. To be able to knock, the maximum number of points for unmelded cards is based on a player's score at the beginning of a round. A player with a score of 91 or lower may knock with as many unmelded points as nine in her hand. With a score of 92 he must have 8 or fewer unmelded points. The number of unmelded points allowed for knocking reduces by one for each score above 92 until the player reaches 100. A player can not knock if she begins the round with 100 points; she must get "rummy" to end the hand.
Rummy and Wild Cards
A player can end a round by going "rummy," which means every card in his hand at the start of his turn is part of a meld. To do this, he reveals his hand to everyone. If a player melds seven twos in a hand, he wins the game immediately.
After a player "knocks," all players reveal their hands. Each player adds the point value of any unmelded cards to her score. If the player who knocked does not have the lowest score for unmelded cards, a 15-point penalty is added to her score. If a player goes "rummy," the same scoring rules are used, but there are no penalties when a player does not "knock."
Winning The Game
The object of Chicago Rummy is to be the last player remaining in the game. When a player's score reaches or exceeds 100 points, he is eliminated from the game.
Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.