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How Many Rounds Do You Play In Rummikub?

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Have you ever heard of a game called Rummikub? Maybe one of your friends was trying to explain how to play the game and it kinda sounded confusing, but also fun. No matter what question you have about Rummikub, we will answer it for you in this article! 

So how many rounds do you play in Rummikub?

Although there are a couple of different options to play the game, the amount of rounds you play in Rummikub is determined by how many points are earned each and every game. Before the game starts, you will want to choose the amount of points you will be going to to win.

Normally if you have more than 4 players you will want to play to 300 or more. This makes sure that one player does not win the entire game by simply winning one round. 

If you want to know the full rules of Rummikub and the detailed way to play it, you will want to keep reading this article. You can also watch this video which will show you how to play Rummikub step by step. 

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What is Rummikub?

Rummikub is one of the most popular tile games in the world. It has won several ‘Game of the Year Awards’ in Germany, Holland, and Israel as well as being a best seller in the United States of America. This game was a brainchild of Ephraim Herzano (a Romanian-born Jew who later migrated to Israel in the 1940s. 

The initial games were all handmade and sold door-to-door. Gradually they became licensed to other countries. Today it is a game that is played and loved by people all over the world.

How to play Rummikub

Rummikub is a tile-based game that consists of 106 tiles. These tiles include 2 jokers and 104 tiles numbered from 1 to 13 and colored in either black, blue, red or yellow.  Each combination of numbers and colors is represented twice. It is played by two (2) or four (4) players.

To begin the game, you will draw 14 tiles and place them on a rack. You will want to make sure you pick up these tiles without revealing the identity of the tiles to any of the other players.

The aim is for a player to be the first to place all their tiles on the table to achieve an initial meld. The meld is achieved by placing a set of three tiles of the same color (group) or three tiles of the same color but with consecutive numbers (game) from an initial fourteen (14) or sixteen (16) tiles.

Should a player not play, they are required to draw an additional tile from the ’tile pool.’

Sabra version and how to play

In the Sabra version (which is the most known version), the first player to use all their tiles earns a positive score based on the total of the other players’ hands, while the losers get a negative rating. A critical feature of the game is that players can work with the tiles that have already played. 

Tiles are mixed and either placed into a container or spread out across the table. Each player picks and reveals a tile with the holder of the tile that has the highest value initiating the game.

After the determination of the player who will start the game, all tiles get pooled, and players collect 14 random tiles and position them on their respective racks. Play begins with the starting player and proceeds in a right-handed direction.

For a player’s first move, they must arrange a set whose value is thirty (30) points or more, with the points being a total of the value of all tiles played in the respective round. A joker can substitute any tile, with the joker valued at the value of the tile replaced.

Other players’ tiles cannot be used to create the initial meld, and a player who does not make the initial meld picks an additional tile from the pool and adds it to their rack.

After a player makes an initial meld, they can then play one or more tiles from their rack, creating or adding to runs or groups. Players may play tiles by amending existing sets.

The only limit to the length of a run is the excesses of the tile values. Groups are limited to four because colors may not repeat within a group.

Players may add the appropriate tile to either end of a run or remove a tile from the other end for use elsewhere. If yellow 2, 3, and 4 have already been played, a player may add the yellow 5 to the end and remove the 1 for use elsewhere. 

Players may split long runs and supplement the corresponding tiles in the middle. For instance, if red 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are already a run, the player may insert his own 8 to make two runs: 5, 6, 7, and 8, and 8, 9, and 10.

A player may substitute any tiles in a three-tile group, with a tile of the fourth color and the same value. If black 5, blue 5, and yellow 5 are already a group, the player may add the red 5 and remove any one of the other three for use elsewhere.

As long as the remaining tiles form a valid run, tiles are removed from the ends of runs. Any single tile can be removed from a four-tile group.

A joker cannot be retrieved from the table before the initial meld. So before you get “out” you can’t take a joker from the table and use it to create your initial meld. A joker can be retrieved from a set by replacing it with a tile of the same numerical value and color it represents, by manipulating all of the tiles on the table, or by playing additional tiles from your hand.

A joker that has been replaced or removed from a meld by manipulating the tiles on the table must be used in the player’s same turn as part of a new set. You cannot put the joker back on your rack just because you removed it from the meld that it was played in.

A set containing a joker can have tiles added to it, be split apart, or have tiles removed from it.

If you have a joker on your rack you will want to be careful though. The joker has a penalty value of 30 points if it remains on a player’s rack at the end of the game so be sure to use it as the game is winding down so you don’t get stuck with a 30 point penalty.

Rummikub is played on continuous turns

In the course of a turn, a tile that is “picked” from an existing set is played during the turn; it cannot be retained for future use. Once a player has won, the losing players must add up the values of the tiles remaining in their racks (their score for the game).

A player’s score for the game is subtracted from his present total score. Once calculated, each of the losing players’ scores for the game is added to the winner’s current cumulative score.

For example- suppose in a game player Chris wins. Player John has a score of 6, player Regina has a score of 12 and player Faith a score of 2. Chris will now have a cumulative score of 20, John will have −6, while Regina will have −12 and Faith will be −2.

If there is no winner, the player with the fewest tiles in their rack is the winner. Scoring is carried out in the normal manner. The game continues until a player has used all of the tiles in the rack, at which point they should call out “Rummikub” and are declared the winner.

If the pool runs out of tiles, play continues until there is a winner or no player can make a valid play. The entire game is over when one player reaches the total score that is agreed upon to start the game. 


Many people love to play Rummikub. This game is a lot of fun to play as well as can be challenging for even the sharpest minds. This game requires you to pay close attention to what is going on and being played even when it is not your turn.

This game is definitely fun for the whole family, and loved by families all over the world.