OBJECTIVE OF BICYCLE’S KALUKI: The first player to earn 250 points wins
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 4 Players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 108 Cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) Ace – King, Ace (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Rummy Card Game
AUDIENCE: Ages 10+
INTRODUCTION OF BICYCLE’S KALUKI
Kaluki is a contract rummy game for 2 – 4 players. There are many different ways to play this game, and Bicycle’s rule set is unique in that the same contract is required each round. A player’s first meld must be 51 points or more before they can lay any other cards or melds down on the table. The first player to meld all of their cards or discard their final card wins the round. They earn points for any cards remaining in their opponents’ hands. Rounds are played until one player reaches a score of 250 points or more. That player is the winner.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Two full decks (including Jokers) are required for this game. Shuffle the 108 card pack together and deal 15 cards to each player. Put the remaining pack face down in the center of the table and turn over the top card which begins the discard pile. The eldest hand (player left of dealer) goes first.
There are two types of melds in Kaluki: sets and runs.
A set is three or more cards of the same rank. Since this game is played with two decks, it is possible for a set to have more than one card of the same suit in it (3♠ 3♠ 3♥). To increase the difficulty of play, require sets to contain no more than one card from each suit.
A run consists of three or more cards of the same suit in sequential order. In this game, Aces are high (Q K A) or low (A 2 3). Going around the corner (Q K A 2 3) is not allowed.
Jokers can be used to represent any card needed to complete a meld. The Joker takes on the value of the card it is replacing. To increase the difficulty, require players to complete melds that have more natural cards than Jokers.
Once a meld that contains a Joker is played, an opponent may replace the Joker with the natural card. They must immediately create a meld with the Joker. This action does not require the player to have completed their Opening Meld, but the player must immediately play their opening meld after doing so.
Each player will begin their turn with a draw. They may only draw from the top of the draw pile unless they have laid down their Opening Meld or they are able to immediately create their Opening Meld with the top card of the discard pile.
The first meld that a player can lay down must be 51 points or more. When determining the point value of a meld, number cards are worth their rank, court cards are worth 10, Aces are worth 15, and Jokers are worth the value of the card they replace. The 51 points (or more) must be met with a single meld.
Once a player has played their opening meld, they may take the top card off the discard pile at the start of their turn. They may also begin laying off cards on other player’s melds. To do this, simply give the opponent the card, and they will add it to the meld.
Play continues clockwise until one player empties their hand of cards. This is called going out. A player does not have to discard in order to go out. Once a player goes out, the round is over.
The player who goes out earns points for the cards remaining in their opponents’ hands. Number cards are worth their rank, court cards are worth 10 points each, Aces are worth 15 points each, and Jokers are worth 25 points each.
The deal passes left each round. The first to reach 250 points wins the game. For a longer game, play to 500.
- TRIPLE SNAKES - February 15, 2021