OBJECTIVE OF TOONERVILLE ROOK: End the game with the lowest score
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 5 players
MATERIALS: One Rook deck per player in the game, way to keep score
TYPE OF GAME: Rummy
INTRODUCTION OF TOONERVILLE ROOK
The 57 deck, commercially known as the Rook deck, was first published by Parker Bros. in 1906. It was created as an alternative to the standard French suited pack that conservative groups did not care for. The lack of face cards and any connection to gambling or Tarot made the Rook deck appealing to Puritans and Mennonites. It has been over a century and the popularity of the Rook deck has not waned.
Toonerville Rook is a Contract Rummy game often played in a tournament format. The game requires one full deck for each player at the table. Each round, players will be competing to be the first to complete the contract. The players remaining with cards in their hands will earn points. The player with the lowest score at the end of the game is the winner.
THE CARDS, THE DEAL, THE CONTRACTS
Toonerville Rook uses one Rook deck per player at the table. Shuffle all of the cards together. Each round will have a different contract and possibly a different hand size. After the first deal, the rest of the cards make the draw pile for the round. Turn the top card over to begin the discard pile.
The contracts and deals for each round are as follows:
|1||12 cards||Two sets|
|2||12 cards||One run, one set|
|3||12 cards||Two runs|
|4||12 cards||Three sets|
|5||12 cards||One run, two sets|
|6||12 cards||Two runs, one set|
|7||12 cards||Four sets|
|8||12 cards||Three runs|
|9||15 cards||Five sets|
|10||16 cards||Four runs|
|11||14 cards (no discard allowed)||Two runs, two sets|
During the game, players will be trying to build melds and empty their hands. The first player to empty their hand ends the round and scores zero points. The rest of the players will earn points for the cards left in their hands.
There are two types of melds including runs and sets. Melds can be played on a player’s turn.
A run is four or more same colored cards in sequential order. A run cannot go around the corner meaning that it must end at the 14.
A set is three or more cards that are the same number. They do not have to be the same color.
THE PLAYER’S TURN
On a player’s turn, they may draw the top card from the draw pile or the discard pile. If the player does not want the top card from the discard pile, the other players at the table are able to buy it. The card must be bought before the player completes their draw from the draw pile.
Before the player taking their turn completes their draw from the draw pile, the player or players interested in buying the top card from the discard pile must say so out loud. They simply need to say, “I want to buy that” or “I’ll buy it.” If multiple players desire to buy the card, the closest player left of the person taking their turn will get the card. That player also draws an additional card from the draw pile. After this is complete, the player who is trying to take their turn draws from the draw pile.
FINISHING THE TURN
A player finishes their turn by discarding.
ENDING THE ROUND
Once a player meets the contract for the round and either discards or plays their final card, the round ends. Remember, ending the final round with a discard is not allowed. The player’s entire hand must be part of a meld.
The Rook is a wild card in this game. If the Rook has been played in a run on the table, a player may replace it with the card for which it is substituting. If a player does this, they must immediately play a meld containing the Rook.
A Rook used in a set cannot be replaced.
Players earn points for the cards remaining in their hands. 1’s – 9’s are worth 5 points each. 10’s -14’s are worth 10 points each. Rooks are worth 25 points each.
The player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins.