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Rummy Vs Rummikub: Are They The Same? (What’s The Difference?)

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Have you ever heard someone say that Rummikub was the same as the card game Rummy? Maybe you are wondering how this can be, or if it is even true. Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about Rummikub and Rummy. 

So is Rummikub the same as Rummy?

Although Rummikub and Rummy do have some very similar rules and characteristics, they are not the same. Rummikub and Rummy are two separate games with one being played with tiles and the other using cards.

You can also rearrange tiles on Rummikub which you cannot do with Rummy. That makes Rummy more based on luck than Rummikub (pronounced rummy cube) since you can play on everyone’s tiles in Rummikub.

Both of these Rummy games are older with Gin Rummy coming out in the early 1900s and the original Rummikub coming out in the 1930s.

If you want to know more about Rummikub and Rummy, you will want to keep reading this article.

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What Is The Difference Between Rummy And Rummikub?

One of the most obvious differences that these two is that Rummikub uses tiles while Rummy uses playing cards to play the game.  Rummikub uses 106 tiles with four different colors and two jokers. 

You can play Rummikub with anywhere from 2 to 4 players and you can add extra players by simply adding another Rummikub game to the mix.  The first person to use all of their tiles on the board is the winner of the round and then you can either keep score or simply make the round winner the game-winner and start all over again. 

We have discussed a lot about the Rummikub game in a variety of our articles, but we have never discussed Rummy… until now. 

What is Rummy?

Rummy is a match-making card game where each player is handed cards from the deck. The goal of each player is to build runs which can be in the form of three or more cards (same suit with sequence) or sets (three or four cards of the same number).

There are actually a lot of variations that people love to play all around the globe, but they all share the same concept that we have mentioned here.

It is believed that the game was derived from Mexico and China. The game works on two principles; drawing and discarding cards.

In this game, the player always tries to empty his hand by building a set or run as quickly as possible. When your turn is over, you will discard one of your cards. The next player will then have the option of picking up one of the discarded cards or drawing a new one.

The winner of the game is the person who uses all of the cards in their hand and has the most points laid out on the table. 

When it comes to an understanding of the game, things aren’t complicated at all. The rules and regulations of the game may slightly be different from Rummikub, but there are a lot of similarities between the two. If we compare both of the games, then you will see that Rummy is actually easier than Rummikub in a lot of ways. 

Rummy starts with the 52 cards in a deck. In the beginning, each player should draw a card, and the player that gets the lower card has to deal first. The game proceeds in a clockwise direction.

The numbers of cards are highly dependent on the number of players playing the game. When there are only two players playing the game, each player will be given 10 cards. When 4 players are playing, then each player will get 7 cards, and 6 cards will be distributed among 5-6 players.

Let’s talk about the variations of Rummy now.

Variations of Rummy

The game is so popular that it’s being played in most of the world! Many people even love to bet money on this game. Different regions of the world have different ways of playing the game. They have adopted new rules and regulations, but every single game works on the core concept of drawing and discarding cards.

There are four different types of Rummy:

  • Contract Rummy: 

The players are given different objectives, and the one who achieves the objectives first will win the game.

  • Robber’s Rummy: 

This game has similar rules but what makes this game different is that you will have to play the game until you’ve got a minimum number of the cards in your hand.

  • Knock Rummy: 

You have to reveal your entire hand at the end of the game. All you have to do is to give a knocking signal that you’ve completed the pairs.

  • Family of Tile Rummy: 

This game is a little brutal. In this game, players use tiles instead of cards and follow a lot of the concepts like Rummikub.

What Is Rummikub, And How Does It Work?

Rummikub is a famous game, which is a tile-based game for 2-4 players. You can compete with 1 friend or 3 friends at one time or team up as well. All the players have 14 tiles initially, and the one who is able to get rid of all the tiles in their hand is the winner of the round. 

In this game, you can draw only one tile at a time. You can also play this game online or on your mobile device if you choose. The game is free to download and play, but if you want to send gifts to any other player, then you will have to buy them online. 

You can of course play this game in person with actual tiles and sit down with family and friends. If you do not own a Rummikub game yet, you can get one here for fairly cheap. 

The game begins with everyone selecting one tile first and the one who has a tile with the greatest number will go first in the game. The game follows a “Clockwise” direction rule. Once everyone draws them, all the tiles get returned to the pouch and mixed back up before everyone chooses their 14 tiles. 

Each player takes 14 tiles and places them on their tile rack. They will use these tiles to make up melds with sets and runs of the tiles. The first person who lays down and uses all of their tiles on the table is the winner of the round. 

In Rummikub, you have to have an initial meld or melds that equals 30 points to get out. That means you have to have a run of tiles with consecutive numbers or a set of 3 or 4 tiles of the same number. The total tiles value has to equal 30 points for you to be “out” and play on the other tiles that have been played on the table.

You can manipulate the tiles on the table as long as you use all of the tiles in the proper manner. If you don’t all of the tiles must be returned to their original positions and you have to draw 3 tiles as a penalty.

Unlike Rummy, in Rummikub, you are able to manipulate all of the tiles on the table as the tiles laid down do not count toward the final score. 

This means if someone uses a joker in a run, you can put your tile in the place where the joker was. You can then use this joker to help you lay down more tiles out of your rack. 

Ultimately, the winner is the person who gets the highest score after a certain number of rounds or the one who reaches a predetermined number first (normally 200-400 points).

At the end of each round, all of the “losers” add up the points left on their rack and those points count as negatives on their score. The total of all of these negatives is then tallied as a positive score for the winner of the round. 


Now that you know the differences between the two games and how to play each game, you can clearly see that they are not the same game. Rummikub is one game that is fun for families and uses tiles. Rummy is a card game that many people play all over the world. Although the first part of Rummikub does make it seem like it is the same game as Rummy or at least a variation of it, it is not. 

Rummikub is a fun game as is Rummy, but just because they have names that look similar and they both have sets and runs, does not mean that they are the same game.

These are two very different games and are played quite differently as well. Rummikub is actually a very laid-back and slow game while Rummy is a fast-paced game that more young people play than anything. 

No matter if you prefer to play Rummy or Rummikub, you will be able to have fun playing these games if you follow the rules of each game. You should never cheat, or change the rules of the game just cause you do not like them.