rummy history

The History Of Rummy Games

by Brandi Marcene

Card game lovers around the world are familiar with the rummy games. The popularity of card games is due to the entertainment and refreshment they bring to your mind. Card games can help improve your thinking, ability to pay attention, and better observational abilities.

It is also a great way to connect with family and friends close to you and pass the time. Playing rummy online gives the players a chance to earn money legally.

However, many card game lovers are not familiar with the history of rummy games. Therefore, in this post, we discuss the history behind the development of this loved card game. Continue reading as this will surely be entertaining.

The Origins

Many theories revolve around the history of rummy games. Some say the game came from the Spanish, whereas others believe it originated and developed by the influence of the Asians. Let's take a look at both the theories.


Many people believe that the rummy games originally come from another Spanish game known as Conquian. This game was widely popular in Spain, or some say Mexico, and believe that the Spanish people were the ones who introduced the game to Americans when they migrated. The game spread around America in the 19th century.


Another popular belief about the origin of the rummy game relates it to Asia. A card game known as Mahjong, which was popular in China about a thousand years ago, had the same style as Rummy. The pick and drop technique of both the games are quite similar.

Other than the Chinese game, Hanafuda, a Japanese game, developed by the Portuguese speculates rummy evolved from this game as well, hence, the link between Rummy and Asia.

What Is The Reason Behind Its Popularity?

Well, Rummy is a game everyone can learn and play. Besides, the game is very interesting, and all you need is a deck of cards and someone to play with. Some might consider it as a simple game; however, each game comes up with new challenges each time you play.

The game requires the players to be mentally alert and use critical thinking to play the game. The main reason for this game's popularity is there were limited to no other entertainment options in those days.

Therefore, people would play cards, and among those games played, Rummy was always on top. The game's popularity drastically increased in the 1930s as the Hollywood stars began playing the game as well.

Another reason for the game's popularity is that it has always been an inexpensive way of entertainment while staying indoors.

Why Is It Called Rummy?

Ever wondered where the name Rummy came from? Well, people believe the word rummy derives from the word rum. The word rum, on the other hand, is a British slang, which means odd, strange, or queer. Perhaps it was the way the British saw the game, therefore, giving it that name.

However, another theory is that the word Rummy comes from the game Rum Poker instead. There is an assumption that rum poker is the ancestor of every rummy game played in different parts of the world.

Some gamers also think the name of the card game came from the alcoholic drink known as rum. The link between rum and Rummy has an interesting story. The loser of the game had to buy the winning players the next round of drinks.

What Exactly Is Rummy?

We all know it is a card game, but some might not be familiar with how to play the game. Well, here is a list of the rules and ways to play this game.

  • The first rule of the game is to deal each player several cards from the deck. If the number of players is less than five players, they won’t need a second deck. However, with players over five, you will need an extra deck.
  • Determine a dealer who will deal with the cards and a scorer who will keep track of the points before the game starts.
  • The dealer will present the cards and put the undealt cards face down at the center of the table.
  • The player on the left side of the dealer has to play first. The player has the choice to pick up a card from the discard pile or the card on top of the stock.
  • The player can put a few or an entire hand into combinations. Otherwise, the player has to discard one of the cards from their hand, facing up on the discarded pile.
  • Once the first player completes the turn, each player gets a chance one by one.
  • The next player has another choice, i.e., picking up the last card thrown by the last player.
  • The game continues clockwise around the table.
  • Once the stock runs out, the cards are given a shuffle and set up again.

If you feel like you need to further understand and go over the game rules, you can revise all the rules on and experience a fun fledged rummy game.


The truth is that we can't really be sure about the origin and history of this highly popular and exciting game. However, without a doubt, we can say that rummy has a universal appeal, and it has transcended boundaries.

About the writerBrandi Marcene has over a decade of experience in content. Having seen the constant evolution of the field, she undertakes efforts to keep pace with the continuous changes to offer first-rate, ready-to-publish copy. Her interests lie mainly in literature with the occasional Netflix series. She has extensive experience of writing about most topics under the sun, but has a particular passion for finance and fitness.

Brandi Marcene
Last update date: 02/14/23

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