OBJECTIVE OF KNOCK RUMMY: The objective of Knock Rummy is to have the lowest value of unmatched cards.  

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5 players 

MATERIALS: A standard 52-card deck, chips or money for betting, and a flat surface. 

TYPE OF GAME: Rummy Card Game 



Knock Rummy is a rummy card game for 2 to 5 players. The goal is for you to win the pot by having the lowest value of uncombined cards.  

Knock Rummy is a betting game. Players should determine before the game begins how much a stake will be worth. Each round is its own separate game, meaning players may come and go between hands.  


The dealer first dealer is chosen at random and passes to the left for each new round. Then the dealer will shuffle the deck and allow the player to their right to cut the deck. The dealer will then deal each player a hand, one card at a time. For 2-player games each player receives 10 cards each. For games with 3 or more players 7 cards are dealt to each player.  

The rest of the deck is placed centrally as a drawing pile. The top card is revealed and placed next to the draw pile to start the discard pile.  

Card Ranking, Point Values, and Combinations 

The ranking is ace (low), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and King (high).  

The value of each card is as follows. Aces are worth 1 point, 2s through 10s are worth their numeric value, and Jacks, Queens, and Kings are all worth 10 points each.  

The point of the round is to form as many cards in your hand into valid combinations as possible. The types of combinations that can be made are as follows. Players can make sets or runs.  

A set is 3 to 4 cards of the same rank. A run is 3 or more cards of the same suit in ranking order. Ace is always low for runs and cannot be used to bridge between King and 2.  


The game begins with the player left of the dealer, and passes clockwise from them. On a player’s turn they will draw either the top card of the draw pile or the top of the discard. This card is added to their hand. Then a player must either discard one card form their hand face up to the discard pile or knock.  

If a player chooses to knock, they will discard one card from their hand face down to the discard. This ends the game.  

If drawing the top card form the discard pile, you may not discard the same card again. A player may always knock on their turn, even during their first turn of the game.  

If the stockpile is empty and the next player to draw does not wish to draw from the discard pile the round will end, and scoring begins. This does not count as a knock for scoring.  


When the round ends player reveals their hands. All players sort their hands into valid sets and runs and leave any unmatched cards to be scored. Players score their unmatched cards, also known as deadwood.  

The player with the least amount of deadwood is paid the difference between their deadwood and all other players. For example, if one player wins with 5 deadwood and another player has 10 deadwood, the losing player would pay 5 stakes worth to the winner. If the winner is not the player who knocked, if such a player exists, then the knocker must pay an additional 10 stakes along with the difference to the winner.  

If there is a tie for least deadwood two things can happen. When the knocker and another player tie, the other player takes all the winnings but the knocker does not pay anything. If two other players, other than the knocker, tie, then all winnings including the knocker’s payment are split evenly between the two players.  

If a player knocks and has 0 deadwood, they automatically win, even if another player has 0 deadwood. The knocker is paid the difference from each player plus 25 additional stakes.  

Amber Crook
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