OBJECTIVE OF RUMINO:  Be the last player to have a score of less than 100 points

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 6 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 104 cards (Two standard 52 card decks and four jokers)

RANK OF CARDS: A (low) – K (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Rummy card game

AUDIENCE: Family, adults


Rumino is an Italian Rummy game which, in many ways, plays a lot like Gin Rummy.  The biggest difference between the two games is how the score is kept.  Rather than wanting to earn points, a player wants to have as little deadwood as possible in order to keep their score low.  Once a player has reached 100 points or more, they are out of the game.  The last player remaining with a score of less than 100 wins the game.

There is also a special win condition in this game.  A hand formed of seven cards matching in rank, or a sequence of seven cards in the same suit is called a Rumino.  If a player accomplishes this, the game is automatically over.  The player who built the Rumino automatically wins!


In order to play this game, you will need two 52 card decks and four jokers.  Shuffle the decks together thoroughly and deal seven cards to each player.  Place the remaining cards in the center of the table to become the draw pile.  Flip the top card of the draw pile over to become the discard pile.


During the game, players are trying to build a hand full of melds.  Melds include three or four cards of the same rank, or a run of three or more cards in the same suit.

Each player’s turn is composed of two steps.  They first draw a single card from either the draw pile or the discard pile.  Second, they choose a card to remove from their hand and place it on the discard pile.  Play then passes to the next player and continues until the end of the round.


Any cards that are not part of a meld are called deadwood.  Once a player has a total deadwood value of 7 or less in their hand they may knock.  Knocking signals the end of the round.  Each player lays down their hands displaying their melds and deadwood cards.  Each player earns points based on their deadwood value. 

If a play chooses, they may work towards having zero points of deadwood.  This is called going gin.  If a player manages to go gin, that player subtracts 10 points from their score.  The rest of the players earn points equal to the deadwood value in their hand.

Once a round is over, the player to the left of the previous dealer collects all of the cards, shuffles, and deals.


In Rumino, there are four joker cards in play.  Jokers may be used to help form melds by standing in for missing cards.  In other words, Jokers are wild.


Aces = 1 Point

2 – 10 = Value of the Card

J – K = Ten Points

Jokers = Ten Points


As the game progresses, when a player reaches 100 points or more they are out of the game.  The final player remaining with fewer than 100 points is the winner.


A Rumino is formed when a player builds a hand consisting of seven cards of the same rank or a sequence of seven cards in the same suit.  When a player forms a Rumino, the game is immediately over, and that player is the winner. The score at that point in time is irrelevant.

Mark Ball
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