Table of Contents

The Set-up
Game Play
Entering the Game
Subsequent Turns
The Joker
Winning the Game
The Score
House Rules: Rounds & Time Limit

Rummikub is a tile game for 2-4 players.  The objective is to be the first to empty the tiles from your rack by forming groups and runs

Rummikub Tiles and Accessories

The following items are necessary to play Rummikub:

Rummikub Tiles

The Mahjong Line Rummikub sets come with 112 tiles:

  • 104 colored numbered tiles
    • Numbered tiles range from 1 to 13 and appear in four colors.  
    • Each color-number combination appears twice in the set. 
  • 4 jokers 
    • Game play includes 2 jokers.
    • The Mahjong Line includes 2 extra jokers.  
  • 4 blank tiles
    • Blank tiles that can be used as replacement tiles.
    • These tiles should be excluded from game play unless being used as a replacement tile.

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Rummikub Mat

A playing mat adds life to any game, and players often use it on glass tables, card tables, and outdoor play. 

Rummikub Rummy Tiles on game playing mat

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The Set-up

  • To set up the game, players:
  • Place the mat on the table.
  • Position a rack in front of each player. 
  • Place Rummikub tiles in the middle of the mat, face down, and shuffle.  
  • Select who goes first:
    • Each player turns over a single tile, revealing the value.  
    • The player with the highest valued tile goes first.  Joker is the highest value.
    • Return all tiles to the mat, face down, and shuffle.
  • Each player draws fourteen tiles and places them on the player’s rack.
  • The remaining tiles form the pool.

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    Game Play

    Starting with the player who goes first and proceeding clockwise, players lay down groups and runs.

    •  A group is 3-4 tiles of the same number but in different colors. 
    •  A run is 3 or more consecutive tiles of the same color. 
      • The 1 tile is the lowest tile and cannot be used in a run to follow a 13 tile.

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    Entering the Game

    To enter the game, a player must lay down a group(s) and/or run(s) that add up to at least 30 points.  To determine points, add the value noted on each tile.  A Joker’s value is equal to the tile it represents. 

    See tiles below, the joker below represents an 11 (image below is out of order). 9+11+10 equals 30 points. You can enter the game with these tiles. 

    See tiles below, the tiles below equal more than 30. You can enter the game with these tiles. 

    If a player cannot lay down at least 30 points, the player draws a tile from the pool.  This completes the player’s turn.

    One important rule of Rummikub is that a player cannot add to another group or run during the player’s first turn.

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    Subsequent Turns 

    Once a player enters the game, the player can:  

    • Add a tile to an existing run or group. 
    • Take a tile from a run or group consisting of at least four tiles to complete a new run or group.  

    • Add a tile to a run or group and then take a tile from that run or group to create a new run or group. 

    • Split a run. 

    • Create a combined split. 

      Once a player finishes placing and manipulating tiles on the mat, their turn is over.   

      If a player unsuccessfully builds upon or manipulates group(s) and/or run(s) on the mat, the player must replace the tiles in the original position and draw three tiles from the pool.  

      If a player cannot lay down any tiles or does not wish to lay down a tile during a turn, the player draws a tile from the pool.  This completes the player’s turn. 

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      The Joker

      There are 2 Jokers in each game of Rummikub.  Each Joker can represent any color and any number.  

      Jokers can be used in groups and runs, and both jokers can be used in a single group or run. 

      Once a Joker is on the mat, players can replace it with a suitable tile from the mat or from their rack.  This frees the Joker for the player to use during the same turn.  

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      Winning the Game

      When a player places their last tile and their rack is empty, the player says “Rummikub!”  This player is the winner of the game.

      If there are no more tiles in the pool and a player has not yet won the game, each player takes one more turn.  The players add up the value of their remaining tiles, and the player with the lowest total wins. 

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      The Score

      The winning player receives a score equal to the sum of all tiles in the other players’ racks.

      All other players receive the negative sum of the tiles in their racks.  If a player loses with a Joker in their rack, the penalty is negative thirty points.

      If at the end of the game, a player has not entered the game, their score is:

      •  100 if the player did not have the tiles to enter the game.
      •  200 if the player did have the tiles to enter the game.

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      House Rules: Rounds & Time Limit


      There are different house rules for the Joker.  Some house rules do not all players to take tiles from a set with a joker. While players can add tiles to a joker set, they cannot remove them while the Joker is still in the set. However, players can replace the joker with the appropriate tile, and then use the Joker in another set.

      In other house rules, a player can pick up the Joker only if they can use 2 tiles from their rack to form a new set with the Joker.


      In advance of gameplay, players determine the number of rounds they will play.  The score is tallied at the end of the agreed-upon rounds to determine the winner.  The winner is the player with the lowest score.


      Tile Draw

      While it is a common rule to require a player who unsuccessfully builds upon or manipulates group(s) and/or run(s) on the mat to draw three tiles from the pool, house rules may vary on the number of tiles to draw. 


      Time Limit

      If a time limit is in place and a player does not finish the player’s move within the time limit, the player must return the tiles to their prior positions and draw a tile from the pool.

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