INDIAN RUMMY (PAPLU)



OBJECTIVE: Be the player with the highest score at the end of a round.   A round ends once everyone at the table has dealt.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 10 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: Two 52 Card Decks + 2 Jokers

RANK OF CARDS: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A (low)

TYPE OF GAME: Rummy

AUDIENCE: Adult


INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN RUMMY

If you are looking for a new and exciting way to play Rummy, let me introduce you to Indian Rummy (also known as Paplu).  Everything about this game is over the top.  There are multiple decks, tons of wild cards, and players have huge thirteen card hands to manage.  There is also the potential for a large amount of points to be earned each hand which makes this game quite spicy.

Reportedly, this game is often played for money.  Players buy in and start off with a certain amount of points.  If they lose, they would “pay” the points to the winning player by deducting them from their own score.  At the end of the round (after everyone has dealt), each play is accountable for their winnings and losses.

THE CARDS & THE DEAL

For more than 6 players, use three 52 card decks and three jokers.  Jokers act as wild cards and may be used in the place of any other card.

Dealer shuffles the cards and allows the player on their right to pick one from the deck at random.  That card is placed face up in the center of the table, and the remaining cards of that rank are wild for the hand. If a Joker is chosen, the remaining Jokers are the only wild cards.

Deal thirteen cards to each player one at a time.  Place the remaining cards face down on top of the wild card in such a way that the wild card can still be seen.  This is the draw pile.  The exposed wild card is not part of the game.  It remains face up as a reminder to the table of which rank is wild.  

Flip the top card over to form the discard pile.  If a wild card is turned over to become the discard pile, play continues as normal.  It is just a lucky start for the first player.

THE PLAY

The game begins with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise around the table.  

Play begins with the first player taking a card from the draw pile or the discard pile.  They add this card to their hand attempting to fill it with melds. The turn ends with the player discarding one card of their choice.  

There are a few different types of melds in this game.

  1. Natural Run:  A natural run contains three or more cards of the same suit in sequential order without using any wilds.
  2. Run: A run contains three or more cards of the same suit in sequential order and may contain one or more wild cards.
  3. Set: A set contains three or more cards of the same rank.  A set may contain a wild card.
  4. Triplets: In a game that uses three or more decks, triplets are possible.  Triplets are a set containing three cards of the same rank and suit.  

A player’s final turn begins the same way.  They draw a card from either pile.  However, once a player has 13 cards that are all part of a set or a run***, they end the hand by saying (or shouting) Rummy.  They discard their final card, and it is time to tally up the score.

There are a few special rules regarding melds and gameplay in this game.

  • ***In order to go Rummy, a hand must contain at least one natural run and a second run that may contain wilds.
  • Runs must be of the same suit (wild cards do not have to match suit).
  • Sets cannot contain two cards that are identical in rank and suit.  For example, a set of 5’s containing a 5 of spades, 5 of spades, and 5 of hearts is an illegal set.   
  • If a wild card is used as its actual rank and suit in a run, that run is considered natural.  For example, if 3’s are wild, the creation of the run A, 2, 3, 4 all in the same suit is considered a natural run.
  • If the final card from the draw pile is taken, and no one has declared Rummy, the hand is over with no winner.
  • Wilds are not allowed to be used in order to form a set of triplets unless the wild is the correct suit and rank. 
  • In a game using three decks, a hand can contain at least one natural run or a set of triplets, as well as a second run or set of triplets.

One last rule to consider.

Since this game is often played for money, players have the choice to bow out of a hand.  If a player is unhappy with their hand, they may pack meaning that they may withdraw from the hand.  They may do this only at the beginning of their turn before they have drawn a card.  

If a player packs on their very first turn, their cards are shuffled and placed on the bottom of the draw pile.  If a player packs at any other point in the game, their cards are simply placed aside for the remainder of the hand.

JOKERS 

Jokers are wild, and they may be used in place of any other card.

SCORING

Once a player goes Rummy, the hand is over, and it is time to tally up the score.

Aces: 11 points each

Face Cards (K, Q, J): 10 points each

Number Cards: Face value

Wilds: 0 points

The player who declared Rummy earns points from all the other players’ hands.  Each player counts up the value of their hands and “pays” the points to the winning player.

If a losing player did not form any melds, the winner get points for every single card.

If a losing player has a natural run, those cards are removed from the point total.  

If a losing player has a natural run and a second run (or set of triplets in a three deck game), all of the cards that are part of any runs or sets are removed from the point total.

The player who declared Rummy earns 10 points for any player who packed on their first turn and 40 points for any player who packed after their first turn.

WINNING

A game of Indian Rummy ends once every player at the table has dealt.  This is considered one round of the game.  The player with the highest score at the end of the round wins.  

It is good etiquette for a player to stay in for the entire round.  This is especially true if the game is being played for money.

Mark Ball
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