Strategies and tactics
Here you'll find some strategies and tactics to improve your game. You can use these tips in Rummi, but also in other Rummy type games including Rummukib®.
The computer players in Rummi may also use these strategies in their game, especially when playing in the higher computer levels. Each computer player will use a different set of playing tactics.
1. Helping all players
This section lists some strategies that will benefit all players. They will increase both your options and those of your opponents.
Usually, you will want to use these tactics in the early phases of the game, to give the game a quick start.
Play as many as you can
If you can play something, then play it! You will get rid of your tiles quickly. And every tile you play will give the other players more possible tiles to play combinations, which in turn will give you more options later.
Play jokers quickly
When you lose the game, a joker in your hand typically will cost you 30 points. So get rid of jokers as soon as possible! And the other players may be able to replace the joker and reuse it somewhere else, which may give you more options in your next turn.
Replace a joker
When you have a card that matches a joker, use it to replace the joker. Then you can reuse the joker somewhere else, and you'll be able to get rid of a few more cards.
2. Helping you
The next playing tactics will benefit you, but will not benefit or hurt other players.
You can use these strategies throughout the game.
Play some, but not all
If you can play several moves, play one or two to help the game forward, but reserve some moves for later. Then in your next turn, you can play again and you won't have to draw an extra card from the stock.
Play to the spares
If you have played a card from the spares (in a game with spare cells), don't forget to play one of your cards to the empty spare cell.
Play a spare
Sometimes you can play a card from a spare (in a game with spare cells), without combining it with one of your own cards. It will free the spare cell, so you can play a card there (see the previous tip).
Remember, you can only play a card from a spare cell if you have played something else in your turn.
3. Limiting the options
These strategy tips will hinder the progress of the game. Although they will also limit your own options, they might be able to stop your opponent from playing their cards and win the game.
You will probably use these playing tactics near the end of the game, when another player is close to the winning point.
Don't add to a meld
If possible, play your cards in new melds of size 3, instead of adding cards to existing melds. If a meld has 4 or more cards, your opponent can take cards from it and combine these with their own cards. If all melds have a size of 3, it is a lot harder to play combinations.
Don't play when you can
Instead, draw another card from the stock. That will give you a better chance to play your cards in your next turn, and at the same time will leave fewer cards in the table for your opponent to combine with.
This playing tactic is not possible in a game with the rule you must play if you can.
Fix cards with a joker
In games with joker rule you cannot remove other cards from a meld with a joker, you can use that rule to fix cards so other players can't use them in combinations. Play more cards to a meld with a joker, or use a joker to form a meld with many cards.
Don't replace a joker
In games with joker rule pickup joker only after you replace it with a matching card, leave the joker where it is. If you would replace the joker and use it in a new meld, your opponent may have the matching card and they will be able to re-use the joker to their own benefit.
If the game has the joker rule the replacing card must come from your hand, then you can safely play the matching card somewhere else. Without that rule, be careful to play that matching card in another meld, or else your opponent might be able to use it to replace the joker after all.
Play a non-replaceable joker
This tip applies to games with both joker rules pickup joker only after you replace it with a matching card and the replacing card must come from your hand. If a certain card is already on the table twice, you can safely play a joker as the same suit (color) and value, and it will be impossible to replace it. Nobody will be able to re-use the joker to their own benefit!
4. Helping you, hindering others
The tactics in this section will limit the options for your opponents. In general they will benefit you, although they might backfire.
Many players regard the following strategies as "not fun", or even as cheating, although they are allowed by the game rules. It is safe to use these tips in a game against the computer. But don't play like this in games against other people (unless your goal is that nobody wants to play with you any more).
Keep jokers in your hand
Only play jokers from your hand when you can win. That way other players can't use the jokers for their own combinations. Note that if you still have jokers in your hand when another player wins, you will lose many points!
Keep all cards in your hand
Don't play, ever. Just keep drawing more cards from the stock every turn. Only play if you can play all your cards in one go, and win the game. But if someone else wins, you'll lose many points.
Deliberately play an invalid move (for example, play a single card as a new meld), then end your turn. You will have to draw 3 more cards as a penalty, but in fact that will quickly give you more options in your next turn.
You cannot use this tactic in games with the penalty rule skip a number of turns.