OBJECTIVE OF MACHIAVELLI: Play all cards in hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-5 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: Two 52 card decks

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

TYPE OF GAME: (Manipulation) Rummy



Machiavelli is an Italian card game with Rummy roots. Since this game does not include any gambling, it is a fun party game which is unintimidating and easy to learn. The origin of this card game goes back to around World War II. This particular brand of Rummy is called Manipulation Rummy, because it is a variation of rummy in which you can rearrange melds set on the table.


The game utilizes two standard decks of cards with the jokers removed. The first dealer is chosen randomly, in any mechanism that best suits the players. They deal each player 15 cards, starting to their left and moving clockwise. If the game has more than 5 players, the dealer can reduce the size of the hand, at their discretion. However, there is a strict 3-card minimum.

The cards the remain form the stockpile, which is placed in the center of the table so every player can easily reach it.


The objective of Machiavelli is to play all of your cards by using them to form combinations on the table. The valid combinations are as follows:

  • A set of 3 or 4 cards that are the same rank but different suits.
  • Three of more cards in sequence from the same suit. Aces can count as both the high card and the low card, but cannot be used in a turn-around. For example, 2-A-K is not a valid sequence. However, 3-2-A and Q-K-A are.

During a turn, players may:

  • Play 1+ cards from your hand to the table. They must be arranged in one of the combinations described above.
  • Draw the top card from the stockpile

You can only choose one of these actions! After you complete an action play passes to your left.

When melding, you may break up and rearrange existing melds on the table. This occurs during the first action, when you choose to play at least one card in hand to the table.

The first player to play all cards in their hand, or go out, wins the game!



This is a variation on Machiavelli. Players are dealt 5 cards to begin. During your turn, if you have not played any cards, you must draw 2 cards from the stockpile. However, if you have melded one or more cards without going out, you draw a single card from the stock at the end of your action. After a player goes out, all players that remain earn 1 penalty point for every card left in hand.



Nakoa Davis

2 thoughts on “Machiavelli”

    • Hi Fern, I don’t know if I understand your question completely. in order to win a player must go out, which means to play out the final card from their hand. if you mean drawing cards from the stock, and the stock is exhausted, then play proceeds without the option to draw. PLayers must move forward in the game playing cards from their hands or passing if unable, though this would be very unlikely.

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