Home > How to Play Contract Rummy & Rules

How to Play Contract Rummy & Rules

Contract Rummy, a variant of the well-known card game Gin Rummy, is played between three to eight players. As the number of players increases in Contract Rummy, the number of decks used also varies accordingly. Specifically, two decks are used for up to four players, three decks are utilised for five or six players, and four decks are employed when there are seven or eight players participating in the game. While the fundamental rummy rules of the online Contract Rummy game remain unchanged, it introduces extra stipulations to enhance the challenge.

In the game of Contract Rummy, players are tasked with fulfilling specific contracts to earn points. This Rummy variant comprises multiple rounds, each featuring a unique contract that progressively increases in difficulty with each deal. The contracts may involve achieving a certain number of melds or successfully laying down all cards in a single turn.

Contract Rummy is also known by various other names, such as Joker Rummy, Combination Rummy, and Deuces Wild Rummy. Engaging in this card game will put your rummy-playing skills and abilities to the test, so it's essential to review the fundamental rules before you begin.


In Contract Rummy, the main objective is to form sets and sequences by melding all the cards in hand. Players aim to score points by forming melds and laying off cards, with the ultimate objective of being the first player to achieve the lowest score after successfully completing all seven rounds.


Contract Rummy comprises a total of 7 deals. During the first four deals, each player receives 10 cards. In the subsequent deals, players are dealt 12 cards each. The dealing process begins with the dealer and proceeds in a clockwise direction. Cards are dealt one at a time and kept face-down. After completing the card distribution for the deal, the remaining deck becomes the stockpile. The top card from the stockpile is turned face-up and positioned beside it, forming the discard pile.


  1. Deal 1: Two groups of three cards each (6 cards in total)
  2. Deal 2: One group of three cards and a sequence of four cards (7 cards in total)
  3. Deal 3: Two sequences of four cards (8 cards in total)
  4. Deal 4: Three groups of three cards each (9 cards in total)
  5. Deal 5: Two groups, each consisting of three cards, and also to form one sequence comprising four cards (10 cards in total)
  6. Deal 6: One group of three cards and two sequences, each consisting of four cards. (11 cards in total)
  7. Deal 7: Three sequences, each consisting of four cards, and no discards

Remember, groups are formed by cards of the same value, irrespective of the suit. On the other hand, sequences are composed of cards in consecutive order and must belong to the same suit. For instance, a valid sequence would be A, 2, 3, 4, all of the Hearts. It is important to note that Aces can be treated as high or low in a sequence, but they cannot be used in both ways within the same sequence, such as in K, A, 2, 3, which would be an invalid move.

Gameplay Of Contract Rummy

The play starts with the player sitting to the left of the dealer and proceeds in a clockwise direction. Each player's turn comprises of three parts:


Players have two options for drawing cards during their turn. They can either draw the top card from the stockpile, keeping it hidden from other players, and add it to their hand. Alternatively, they may also draw one or more cards from the discard pile, provided that the chosen card is not the topmost card. If the selected card can be immediately melded, the player can also take all the cards above the chosen card from the discard pile.


Players have the option to meld various combinations of cards from their hand by placing them face-up on the table. Additionally, players can "lay off" their cards on existing melds, whether they are their own or those of other players. The player who melds a set or sequence gets the points for those cards. If a player wishes to contribute a card to someone else's meld, they should place the card in front of themselves to signify their contribution.


Players have the option to discard cards from their hand. However, if there are any cards left in a player's hand that were not used to form melds, they must discard one of those cards face-up on top of the discard pile. If a player has drawn a single card from the top of the discard pile during their turn, they are not allowed to discard that same card. However, if they drew multiple cards from the discard pile, they can choose one of those cards to discard again.

How to Form a Meld in Contract Rummy?

A meld can consist of either a set of three or four cards of the same value. For instance, a meld could be composed of the King of Hearts, King of Spades, and King of Diamonds. However, in games involving more than one deck, a meld cannot have two cards of the same suit in a group. For example, having two 5 of Diamonds and one 5 of Hearts in the same meld is not allowed; all three cards must be of different suits.

A meld can take the form of a sequence comprising three or more consecutive cards, all from the same suit. For example, a valid meld could be 3-4-5-6, provided all the cards are of the same suit, such as spades.

Note: Players have the option to "lay off" on melds by extending the existing sequence with additional cards. This process allows players to expand the sequence during their turn. Moreover, Jokers serve as wild cards and can be used to replace any card in a meld. However, it's crucial to announce the rank of the Joker, and should remain unchanged throughout the game.

Jokers in Contract Rummy

As explained above, Jokers in Contract Rummy are versatile wild cards that can replace any card required to complete a meld. When using a Joker, players must declare the suit and rank of the card they intend to substitute with it. If a player has fulfilled their contract in a prior turn and another player employs a Joker to replace a card they hold during laying off, they have the option to exchange those cards and take the Joker. However, the Joker must be utilised during that same turn and cannot be saved for future use. Jokers played within sets become inactive and cannot be retrieved for later use.

Scoring System

When a player meets the contract requirements for the current round and plays all their cards, they "go out." When this occurs, the hand concludes for all players, and the rummy scoring process begins. At this point, players collect penalty points for any remaining cards left in their hands.

  1. Face Cards (K, Q, J): 10 points each
  2. Aces: 15 points each
  3. Joker: 15 points
  4. Number Cards: Face Value

The game ends after all 7 deals. The player who has accumulated the lowest number of points throughout the game is declared the winner.

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Contract Rummy FAQs

1. Can I use Jokers in a sequence of cards in Contract Rummy?

Yes, Jokers can be used in a sequence, but they must represent a specific rank and suit. Once declared, that rank remains consistent throughout the game.

2. How do I lay off cards on existing melds?

During your turn, you can add cards to melds already placed on the table. Just place your cards next to the appropriate meld, extending the sequence or set.

3. Can I use Jokers to replace cards in a group (set) of the same value?

Yes, you can use Jokers in sets just like sequences. Declare the suit and rank they represent, and remember that Jokers used in sets also remain unchanged.

4. What happens if I can't meet the contract's requirements for a round in Contract Rummy?

If you can't fulfill the contract's requirements, you accumulate penalty points based on the cards remaining in your hand when another player goes out.

5. Can I form a sequence with Aces as both high and low cards in Contract Rummy?

No, within the same sequence, an Ace can only be used as either high or low, but not both. For example, a valid sequence could be Q-K-A-2, but not K-A-2-3.

6. How is the winner determined in Contract Rummy?

The player with the lowest accumulated points at the end of all 7 deals is declared the winner. Points are earned based on the value of cards left in hand when another player goes out.

7. Can I lay off cards on other players' melds in Contract Rummy?

No, you can only lay off cards on your own melds, not on other players' melds. Each player is responsible for their own melds.

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