Kalooki 51 – Rummy

May 25, 2009 by John Chambers in Kalooki 51 Rummy

Kalooki 51 Rummy is a unique draw and discard game that has just enough quirky qualities to make it a refreshing break from other Rummy games. Kalooki 51 is usually played with no leas than two players and not more than 4. One of the quirky rules is that Jokers are used as wild cards. These treasured cards greatly influence the play of then hand.

In Kalooki, two 54 card decks are used so there are four Jokers in the game. Each player receives 13 cards. The next card is turned face up to initiate the discard pile. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table and serve as the stock pile. If the stock pile is exhausted and no player has gone out, the discard pile is shuffled and turned face down to become the stock pile.

After the deal, the creation of the discard pile and the placement of the stock pile, the player to the left of the dealer commences the first turn. In Kalooki, a player’s turn consists of three parts. As the first step, the player must decide to draw a card from the discard pile or to draw from the stock pile. Once drawn, the player must then form sets or runs or add cards to existing melds. Lastly, the player must either go out or discard, which action commences the next player’s turn.

An initial meld may not be declared and placed down unless it has a value of 51 or more. Once a player has laid down their initial meld, the player can add to the meld or any other meld on the table. This action, called building, creates a large meld.

In most variations of Kalooki 51, face cards equal 10 points. Aces carry a value of 11 and all other cards have a value equal to their rank. The Joker assumes its value of the card it represents in a meld, but if unused in a hand has a penalty value of 25.

The Joker adds flexibility and diversity to Kalooki. When used by a player in a meld, the joker assumes the value of the card it represents. If a player goes out and another player is holding the Joker, the assessed penalty value is 25 points. Proper management of the Joker is a key element of Kalooki.

If a player uses the Joker in a set, an opposing player can claim the Joker by inserting the two cards of equal rank for different suits. For example, if a player melds the Joker with the 8 of clubs and the 8 of diamonds, an opposing player can claim the Joker by melding the 8 of hearts and the 8 of spades. Players can also seal the set by melding either the eight of hearts or eight of spades and leaving the Joker. Once this action is completed, the set is closed and the Joker cannot be taken.

If the Joker is used in a run, any player can claim the Joker by installing the card the Joker represents. Only melds containing a Joker can be rearranged. Otherwise, melds placed on the table cannot be re-structured. However, players can add to sets and runs.

The play of the hand ends when a player goes out or goes Kalooki. To go Kalooki, a player must draw from either the stock or discard pile and meld all but one card, which is discarded. The discard ends the hand and the discard may not be used by an opponent. A player may also go out by disposing of all cards in their hand at once.

Unlike other draw and discard rummy games, once the player goes out, opponents may not lay off held cards. The deadwood total is the total of all held cards at the time a player goes out.

When a player goes out, Kalooki scoring is tabulated as follows. If a player is caught with an Ace, the penalty value for each ace is 11. If a player is caught holding a Joker, the penalty value is 25. All other held cards receive their penalty value according to their rank. The value of all opponents’ deadwood is tallied and added to the value of the out player’s melds to determine the score. The first player to reach the designated tally is the winner.

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1 Comment »

  • I been playing at Rummy Royal for some time now and have tried various other rummy rooms and I think it will take alot for me to change, but I guess its a good thing that there are some bigger players entering the market – it creates awareness and hopefully we will start seeing bigger prizes like there is in poker.

    Comment by Kim D — August 4, 2009 @ 11:13 am

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