It is common knowledge that rummy is among the world’s favourite card games and played almost everywhere in the world by people of all groups and ages. However, do you know why rummy is called rummy, or that there are hundreds of variations of the game? Let us tell you what we know.
Rummy most likely evolved from a 19th-century game called Conquian which was popular in Mexico, from where it spread to other parts of the world (Con quién in Spanish means ‘with whom’).
Alternatively, some say that Conquian was actually derived from the word Kon Khin or the Chinese game Khanhoo.
The word ‘rum’ used to be a British slang meaning ‘peculiar’, which perhaps gave rise to the word rummy.
It is also believed that the game got its name from the fact that losers had to treat winners with free rum!
Rummy has an almost never-ending list of variants. This means a lot many more rules and techniques to master for someone who is new to them, but it also means that many more ways to play and enjoy the game. Most people explore more than one variant and usually play the ones they like the most. So many variants ensure that players never get bored with the game. Some of the popular variants are Indian rummy, Rummy 500, Gin Rummy, etc.
Some people have a misconception that rummy is just gambling. They think that rummy is purely based on luck and that the winners and losers are decided based on the cards that are dealt. They also believe that there is no skill factor involved and that nobody can influence the outcome of the game. Let us clear the air; these are totally false. While it is true to some extent that luck has a part to play when it comes to the initial hand that is dealt, rummy is more about how the hand is played. A skilled player can actually turn the game around and win the game even with a poor initial hand. This makes rummy very different from gambling, where a roll of the dice decides the outcome of the bet and players are helpless at the hands of fate.
In many countries including in India, gambling is banned. However, rummy is totally legal as it has been recognised by the courts to be different from gambling due to the strong skill-based nature of the game.
In the older days, one used to play rummy with friends only for the fun. Later, people started playing rummy for cash at casinos. These days, there are a number of online platforms that let you play rummy for cash. There are many genuine stories of people who have amassed a lot of money by continuously winning at online rummy. In fact, there are even professional rummy players who only play rummy for cash for a living!
Some people think that rummy is a complicated game. This is not true. While it does have an initial learning curve and hours and hours of practice is needed to improve the game, the game is extremely logical and quite simple to play for someone who has understood all the rules.