Rummy, a game which is so exciting, has so many variants and different styles of playing. These variations bring with them all the more thrill to the game and also add the value to the game. There are many variants of rummy. It is an ancient card game that has traveled the length and breadth of the world. In each country where rummy arrived, people put their own spin on the game, which is why so many versions emerged.
Two of the most popular versions of rummy that are extensively played in India are 13 cards rummy and 21 cards rummy. If you are new to rummy and are not familiar with any of the versions, you might be asking, which variant I should be starting with. Let us help you understand the differences in these two versions of rummy through the following points.
13 Card Rummy
13 Card Rummy is usually played with two 53-card decks including printed Jokers. The objective of the rummy game is to make melds as soon as possible and before your opponent can. 13-Card Rummy has different variations like Points, Pool and Deals Rummy, which makes the game suitable for players with different needs and choices. While Points and Pool Rummy variants can be played in minimal time, Deals Rummy requires you to play and complete all the pre-decided deals. It tests your endurance and game skills on a larger scale.
When you play 13 Card Rummy, your top priority after cards are dealt to you should be to make a pure sequence. You also need a second sequence with or without a Joker and all your cards need to be arranged in sequences, or sequences and sets. Once you complete these objective, before your opponent does, you should declare your hand to claim a win.
21 Card Rummy
21 Cards Rummy is another format of the rummy game, which is as popular as the 13-card variant. This game is also known as Indian Marriage and has a much longer format than the other forms of rummy. In 21-Cards Rummy, three decks of cards are used. Thus, the game becomes more complex with more cards and varied strategies which make the game more interesting to play. The objective of the game is the same as that of 13-Card Rummy, to make sequences, or sequences and sets.
The game begins with 21 cards being dealt to each player. Then a Joker, called the Cut Joker, is selected from the rest of the cards. The card above the Cut Joker is known as the Upper Joker and the card below it is known as the Lower Joker. For example, if 8♣ is selected as the Cut Joker, 9♣ will be the Upper Joker and 7♣ will be the Lower Joker.
21-Card Rummy uses the concept of Tunnela and Dublee, which makes it one of the most exciting online card games. A Tunnela is a collection of 3 cards of the same rank whereas as a Dublee is the collection of 2 cards of the same rank. A Joker card cannot be used in a Tunnela or a Dublee; however you can use multiple printed Jokers grouped together to make a Tunnela or a Dublee.
13 Card Rummy vs 21 Card Rummy
The objective of both card game is the same, i.e. to arrange all the hand cards into valid sets and sequence. Yet, there are some fundamental differences that make each variant unique. Let us see the differences between both variants:
1. Rummy Rules
13 Card Rummy only need one mandatory pure sequence and you are at liberty to arrange the remaining cards into any combination of sets and sequences. So, these versions are ideal for both new players and fairly experienced players.
21 Card Rummy, however, requires you to create at least three pure sequences. So, unless you are a pro at melding cards, we would advise you to learn the ropes with 10 Card Rummy, and gather more experience with 13 Card Rummy before you even attempt to play 21 Card Rummy because it is truly very complex.
2. Number Of Cards Dealt
As the name suggests the primary difference between both the game is the number of cards dealt. In 13 cards Rummy, 13 cards are dealt, and in 21 card Rummy game, 21 card games are given to each player. Since 21 cards Rummy has eight cards more, so 13 card game Rummy ends faster.
3. Speed of Gameplay
In rummy, the goal is to arrange all the playing cards invalid units and sequences. Naturally, the variety of cards in a hand decide what number of sets or sequences want to be made. A hand with a larger variety of playing cards within the hand will want more units or sequences than a hand with a smaller quantity of playing cards. This manner that a 13-card version will be faster to complete than a 21-card version, all other factors being equal.
4. Decks Used
Since the 21-card variation requires more cards, it is performed with 3 decks. The 13-card variant is performed with two decks of playing cards. The presence of the 3 decks of cards makes the 21-card game a little greater challenging.
5. Number of Pure Sequences
According to the rules of 13 card rummy, you need to produce at least 1 pure sequence with a supported impure sequence. You have the liberty to arrange the remaining cards into any combination of sets and sequences. But in 21 cards rummy, you need to create at least 3 pure sequences to win.
6. The Value Cards
You have value cards in 21 Card Rummy which are similar to Joker cards. They can act as substitutes for missing cards while creating sets and sequences. Value cards depend on cut Jokers (the card that is chosen as the Joker as opposed to the printed Joker). For example, if the 6 of Hearts is the cut Joker, then the 4 and 7 of Hearts will become value cards and win extra points for the person who has them. If you have all three of these cards, then you have produced a pure sequence.
So, in a way, 21 Card Rummy makes it easier to arrange cards because you have both Jokers and value cards. This gives 21 Card Rummy an edge over 13 Card Rummy, but you will still have a lot of cards to arrange.
7. The Role of Jokers
Printed jokers and cut jokers (the top-most card of the closed deck and all the cards of the same rank from different suits) are used in both 21 cards rummy and 13 cards rummy. But in 21 cards rummy, you also have upper jokers and lower jokers. If 6 of Hearts is the cut joker and if you also have 5 of Hearts and 7 of Hearts, then these 2 cards will be your lower and upper jokers. Together they will form a marriage hand.
So there you have it - 21 cards rummy is more elaborate, time-consuming, and complicated than 13 cards rummy which has a simpler and faster format. Both are thrilling and competitive. The version you pick depends on your skill level and how much time is available to you.
8. Marriage Hand
Another way in which 21 card game is unlike from 13 card game variant is the marriage hand which is possible in 21 card game. It means if you have all the value cards, i.e. paplu, nichlu, and titlu, this is known as “marriage” and it is deemed to be a pure sequence. Having a value card does not only help in making sequences and sets but also snatch points from your opponents whether you declare the game or not. Therefore, making the version more competitive.
9. Online Versus Offline Gameplay
Both 13 card rummy and 21 card rummy are widely available online. However, because of the faster gameplay, 13-card rummy is played more frequently.
It’s easy to conclude that there is a huge difference between the 21 card rummy and 13 card rummy. Both these formats are different in terms of the number jokers, decks and the way of making a show. As far as popularity goes, the 13 card version is quicker and more fun to play, so obviously it is more popular in India.
Hopefully, after reading this article you might have understood the fundamental difference between 13 card and 21 card rummy variants. Do give a try to both of these amazing rummy variants and experience the thrill of the game.