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Why Is Rummikub Called Rummikub?

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Have you ever played Rummikub and wondered where it got its random name from? Maybe you have played a game like Pictionary where you draw things on a board. Its name actually makes sense since you draw pictures in pictionary.

So why would someone call a tile game Rummikub? Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about Rummikub and where that name came from. 

So why is Rummikub called Rummikub?

When the tile game originally released it was known as the child of Rummy. This is why its original name was actually Rummikid. Later in the 1970’s, the name was changed to Rummikub. This has been the name since then and they are not planning on changing it now. 

If you want to know more about Rummikub and the official rules and how to play, you will want to keep reading this article. You can also check out this video to learn the official rules of Rummikub and how to play. 

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Everything you need to know about Rummikub

Rummikub is a tile-based game where 2-4 players can compete with each other. It is considered as the “Child” of Rummy because the only difference this game and rummy has is “Rummy is played with cards, and Rummikub is played with tiles.”

The game is dependent on the total number of 104 tiles where each player is awarded with different tiles containing different colors. There are two joker tiles also involved, which plays a key role in processing the game forward.

All the players initially have 16 tiles, and every time you cannot play, you must draw a tile. Every set must have at least 3 tiles in the set to be legal. 

The most important and the loving feature of the game Rummikub is that “you can play with the tiles that you’ve already drawn,” unlike the Rummy game where you can’t use draw cards.

When talking about the history of the Rummikub, it was invented by “Ephraim Hertzano” who was born in Romania but later on moved to the “Israel.” The owner of the game started to sell this game to the nearest shops, and later on, the game got the title of “Best selling game of Israel” and “Best selling export game.”

The game was sold with the name of “Rummikid” in the mid-1970s, but later on, the name was changed to Rummikub.

The owner of the game also published a book named “Official Rummikub Book” that was published in 1978. According to the official book of the game, there are three versions of the Rummikub which are listed below.

  • American
  • Sabra
  • International

All three games are different from others, but there’s one common rule in them, which is you play the game with 104 tiles and with 2 Jokers.”

Also, when we compare the Rummikub game with other central European Card games, then you’re going to find out a lot of similarities in it. Machiavelli and Vatikan have the same rules because they work on the principle of 106 cards with two jokers as well.

Let’s talk about the rules of Rummikub now.

Rules of Rummikub

The following rules are based completely on the book that was revealed by the owner of the game. Let’s break them down.

  • Setup

All the tiles are shuffled together for more than a minute, or you can spread them out by putting the face on the numbers towards the ground. Each player has to draw one tile, and the one who has the greater number will start the game. Now, the game will officially take a start, and each player will choose 14 random tiles and then arrange them in his rack. The game will continue processing in the clockwise direction (Previously, it was used to process in the anticlockwise direction).

  • Sets

All the tiles in the game must be arranged in the form of sets. Each set contains at least 3 tiles. The two valid set types are known as “runs and groups.”

The following are the examples of moves that are invalid.

  • If your numbers are not consecutive, your run will be considered as invalid.
  • If you have consecutive numbers, but the colors aren’t the same, then the run will also be considered as invalid

Now, it’s high time that we answer all the questions that are linked with the Rummikub game. 

Who invented Rummikub?

The game was invented by “Ephraim Hertzano” who was born in Romania but later on moved to the “Israel.” The owner of the game started to sell this game to the nearest shops, and later on, the game got the title of “Best selling game of Israel” and “Best selling export game.”

Is Rummikub luck dependent?

Yes, the game is more luck dependent than skills because you’ve no control over the numbers and colors you get. Skill does actually matter though as well to form a set because if you don’t have skills to play the game, then you might end up losing because you do not recognize manipulations that could have won you the game. 

So, skills also play a vital role as well, but luck is the foremost thing as well.

Is Rummikub hard to play?

No, Rummikub isn’t hard to play. All you have to do is to understand the concept of the game and practice before you challenge anyone. You’ll always end up on a winning side. This is our go-to game when the family gets together as it is fun and challenging and enjoyable for people of all ages. 

So, giving this game a try is what we recommend to you. You can’t give excuses like “this game is luck dependent when you don’t have the skills to play the game.”

How many tiles do you need to draw in Rummikub?

There are around 104 tiles in the Rummikub game and two separate jokers as well. Players can get up to 14-16 tiles depending on the version of the game that you’re playing. The game will take a start by drawing a single tile, and the one who has the highest number will start the game for you.


Although there are different versions of the game, they are all similar, and are all based upon the same number of tiles and jokers. Even though the game does take some skill and some luck, it depends upon who you ask to determine how much of each you need.

Some people believe the game is more skill than luck, while other people believe that the game is all luck and no skill at all. 

No matter if you believe that the game is skill or luck, there is no denying that Rummikub is a fun game that is extremely popular. Not only is it popular here in the United States, but it is popular all around the world. The creators of Rummikub even go as far as holding a competition in Israel to see who the best player in the world is. If you win the tournament, you can even win a trip around the world! 

So the next time you think you are pretty good at the game, maybe you should compete for your chance to win a trip around the world.