How to Play Liverpool Rummy

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Liverpool rummy is a rather complicated card game, but if you know the rules, it is very fun to play. This article includes all of the rules needed to play Liverpool rummy. They may seem confusing and hard to remember, but after a few games they become second nature.  

The objective of Liverpool rummy is to have the lowest score after five rounds of play. The winner of each round gets no points. A regular deck without the jokers can be used if two or three people are playing, two decks should be used if four or five people are playing, and so on.

For each round, a different number of cards are dealt: six cards for the first round, seven cards for the second round, eight cards for the third round, nine cards for the fourth round, and ten cards for the tenth round. For each round, the players should try to get a certain combination of sets and runs. A Set is three or more cards with the same number or letter. A Run is a sequence of four or more consecutive cards with the same suit. In each round, a different number of sets or runs are required to win: two sets for the first round, a set and a run for the second round, two runs for the third round, three sets for the fourth round, and two sets and a run for the fifth round.

Aces can count at either the start of a sequence of a run or the end of a sequence of a run, but never the middle. For example, A-2-3-4 is a valid run, and J-Q-K-A is a valid run, but not Q-K-A-2. All 2’s are wild, or they can replace any other required card of any suit in a set or run. However, a set cannot be comprised of more than one 2, and a run cannot be comprised of more than two 2’s.

After the cards are dealt to each player, the deck is placed in between each player or in a readily accessible spot. The first player picks up a card from this pile. If this player wants to keep the card, he or she has to discard a different card into the discard pile. The next player can choose to take a card from the draw pile or to pick up the card that the first player discarded. Once a decision is made, the player cannot change his or her mind. This player can only draw from one of the two sources, not from both.

As the game progresses and the discard pile grows, players are allowed to pick up more than one card from the discard pile. This is useful if a necessary card was discarded several turns ago. However, it is important to note that, while multiple cards can be taken from the pile, only one card can then be discarded. This leaves the player with extra cards.

If a player has extra cards but has the number of sets or runs required for that round, he or she can go down, but not out. Going down is when a player puts the required number of sets or runs down on the table face-up. When the scores are being tallied at the end of the round, these cards are not counted. Going out is when a player has already gone down and discards his or her last remaining card. The first person to go out wins that round.

Players who have gone down but not out continue to take turns with everyone else. If they draw a card which they can add onto one of their sets or runs, they can put it with that set or run and discard an additional card. However, this is more difficult, as others will be able to see what cards that player needs and will probably not discard them. Players with additional cards cannot form additional sets or runs on top of the requirements for that round.

If someone who has gone down has any 2s in their sets or runs, other players can, on their turns, exchange a card that they possess that fits for the two. For example, if a player’s run going down is 6-7-2-9 of spades, and another player possesses the 8 of spades, he or she can exchange that 8 for the 2 in the run, thereby gaining a wildcard.

Once someone has won a round, the losers must tally up the point values of the cards in their hands. Cards 3-9 are 5 points each; cards 10, J, and Q are 10 points each; cards K and A are 15 points each; and 2’s are twenty points each. At the end of the five rounds, the total score of every player is calculated, and the person with the lowest overall score wins the game.

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