Play Plan : Rummy

General Information

Card deck: Children’s cards or standard cards (as per the child’s play level)
Prerequisites: Counting, number recognition, card game 0, card identification
Play arena: Standard
Number of players: 3

Game Overview and Basic Rules for Play

Each player is dealt 13 cards. The remaining cards are placed in a face down stack in the middle, forming the draw pile. The objective of the game is to be the first to form a hand consisting of valid combinations of sequences and/or sets. A set consists of at least three cards of the same rank, for example 4♥ 4♦ 4♠ or K♥ K♦ K♠ K♣. A run consists of at least three consecutive cards of the same suit J♣ Q♣ K♣ or 4♥ 5♥ 6♥ 7♥.
For a winning hand to be valid, the following rules should be observed:

  1. A randomly picked card will be selected as the joker before game-play begins. Cards of the same rank as the selected card, as well as the jokers of the pack can be used in lieu of any other card to form a sequence or set.
  2. Cards in each category rank from low to high: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen and King. Ace can be used as 1 or a face card when forming the sets.
  3. A winning hand will contain 4 sets/sequences, one of which will be a set/sequence of 4 cards each and all the others will contain 3 cards each.
  4. There should be one true sequence (a sequence with no joker) of not less than 3 cards of the same suit.
  5. There can be up to 2 sets in the winning hand, which are either sets of 3 or sets of 4 cards.

Play Session plans

Session 1

  • Before the session: Keep the card pack (after removing the kings, queens and jacks), and the play arena at hand. Now you are ready for the session.
  • Since the game has many intricacies, it is advisable to introduce the children to the game in an orderly, step-by-step manner. In the first session, explain the first part of the game to the children, how to order numbers and create a sequence. In this session, the children will play only with 3 cards. They will identify the numbers on the card, and draw and discards cards to create a sequence. For this session, ignore the suits on the cards.
  • Now explain to the children that the game is all about making sequences. A sequence is a set of numbers in order, such as 2, 3, 4 and 8, 9, 10. Their aim in this session is to identify which card they need to complete their sequence and play the game until they do so.
  • Once you are sure the children have understood, hand the pack to one of the children and ask him/her to deal 3 cards each to all participants.
  • Gently guide and prompt the children to figure out which cards they need to create a sequence.
  • Some children might be comfortable with the idea of making sequences already and will not need help, while some others will need prompts.
  • Tell children that they should now discard their unwanted card (the card that does not fit the pattern) and pick up another card from the draw pile. The next child should now first check if the top card in the discard pile is one they want, and pick another card from the draw pile only if they do not.
  • Allow the children to get familiar with the game as well as the draw and discard process.
  • Play until a child has a sequence.
  • If time permits, play 2-3 more rounds of the game.

Session 2

  • Ask the children if they remember the game.
  • If there are any students who were absent from the previous session, ask the children to explain to him/her what the game is all about.
  • When you think the children are clear about the rules, start playing. This time sit back and only help where absolutely necessary. Let the children figure out on their own.
  • After 2 rounds of play, explain to them that you are now going to make the game a little more challenging this time.
  • Tell the children that, from the next round, 6 cards will be dealt to each child instead of 3, and that they should make 2 sequences to win.
  • Help the children where necessary.
  • Play some more rounds of the game, while ensuring that you are more of an observer than a teacher.

Session 3

  • This time, after playing 2 rounds of the game as played in the previous session, add 3 more cards to the hand each child is dealt.
  • Each child will now have 9 cards and will have to make 3 sets of sequences to win.

Session 4

  • Play 2-3 rounds of the game as before.
  • Now, introduce the face cards to the children. By this time, the children should be using the standard deck of braille cards and not the junior cards. Explain the names of the face cards and their positioning and order within a suit. Also explain the unique position of ace (that it can act as 1 as well as a face card above king).
  • After you are certain the children have understood, also add and explain an additional 4 cards to the hand each child is dealt. Now, each child will be dealt 13 cards, and will have to make 1 set of 4 cards and 3 sets of 3 cards each.
  • Play the game for another 2-3 rounds.

Session 5

  • Play the game for a couple of rounds as it has been played in the previous sessions.
  • Now, explain to the child that they can no longer make a sequences with numbers of any suit. Instead, each sequence they make should consist only of numbers from 1 particular suit.
  • Before the game play, also introduce the jokers to the children. Explain that the jokers are to be used as substitutes for a card they do not have. Also introduce the process of randomly picking one card in the beginning to be the joker.
  • Now begin playing.
  • The children will have many doubts and will need help in arranging their cards, figuring out where to put a card, etc. Help as and when necessary.
  • Play at least a couple of rounds so that children get used to the game.

Session 6

  • Play 2-3 rounds of the game as before.
  • Once you are sure the children have figured all the rules of the game explained to them so far, explain to them the concept of rummy. Tell them that they can make sets of rummy also as they play. However, they can make only up to 2 such sets. This could be a set of 3 or a set of 4.
  • Now play the game with all the rules.