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How Rummikub Works

By: Kate Kershner  | 

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Author's Note: How Rummikub Works

Apparently, Rummikub is popular. Not only are there the sales to show for it, but seemingly everyone I asked had played the game and was shocked I hadn't. Someone even pointed to a nearby shelf where a box of Rummikub sat. In my own home. The point being, Rummikub is one of those games that never had the cultural moment that, say, Cranium or Apples to Apples had. But it's created a real foothold in households that desire a game that's old-fashioned — based mostly on the card games rummy or gin -- and reliable for the whole family to enjoy. And who doesn't appreciate a game that was invented to cleverly skirt oppressive communist edicts? For that reason alone, it's worth a look at your local game store. But first, check out your own shelf first.

Related Articles

  • Apple. "iTunes Rummikub App." 2011. (April 25, 2012)
  • "Rummikub is Chairman of the Board." Sept. 29, 2003. (April 25, 2012)
  • Mahler, Maya. "Spanish Stores Boycott Israeli Game." YnetNews. July 1, 2010. (April 25, 2012),7340,L-3912400,00.html
  • McLeod, John. "Rummikub." Nov. 4, 2010. (April 25, 2012)
  • "About Rummikub." 2010. (April 25, 2012)
  • "About Us." 2011. (April 25, 2012)
  • "Rummikub Strategy." 2012. (April 25, 2012)
  • "Rummikub Rules." 2011. (April 25, 2012)
  • Sedan, Gil. "Behind the Headlines: from Romania to Israel to the Rhine: Rummikub Makes Waves Among Devoted." JTA Jewish News Archive. Oct. 11, 1994. (April 25, 2012)
  • The Game Aisle. "Rummikub--the rest of the world is playing it, are you?" Sept. 21, 2009. (April 25, 2012)

Rummikub FAQ

How do jokers work in Rummikub?
Play jokers as any tile. But beware: Another player can pick up the joker if he or she has the specific tile it's replacing. And you'll have to add a penalty of 30 points to your score if it's left on your rack at the end of the game.
How do you play the game Rummikub?
The object of the game is to place all your tiles on the table as part of a set. Once someone does that, that person can proclaim "Rummikub."
How do I set up Rummikub?
When you first sit down to play Rummikub, you'll dump the numbered, multi-colored tiles on the table face-down. Each player will draw one tile; the highest number goes first, and the 1 tile is always low. Each player will then draw 14 tiles from the table, placing them on their rack; whatever is left forms the pool.
Can we play Rummikub online?
From Facebook to smartphones, you can find a free Rummikub game to join. There are multiple platforms for Rummikub, including free online games (sponsored by the Rummikub brand) and a few apps to play on a smartphone or device.
Are Rummy and Rummikub the same?
No. Rummikub draws many rules from the card game rummy, but is played with cubes instead.