A Brief History Of The Rummy Card Games

A Brief History of the Rummy Card Games

A Brief History Of The Rummy Card Games

Card games are a popular leisure and special occasion activity in India, and Rummy is undoubtedly the most loved among all. Rummy has been played and enjoyed by card game enthusiasts all around the world for centuries. The magnificent card game has multiple variants which can be played by people of all ages. Whatever the name of these rummy variations is, the underlying principles are the same.

Rummy, a skill-based card game, in which players must employ analytical, mathematical, observational, and decision-making abilities, as well as time management skills. Rummy card games demand players to make the best use of their skills and strategies. In both offline and online rummy card games, each participant is dealt an equal number of cards on a random basis. To win the game, players must build a combination of sequences and sets before their opponents.

Where does the word ‘Rummy’ come from?

Rummy is thought to have sprung from the term rum, which is a typical British slang. The word Rum in British English means peculiar. Those who perceived the game thought the word ‘rum’ was strange, which resulted in Rummy. According to some theories, the game was played while drinking rum, and the one who loses the game has to pay for a refill. Another popular idea holds that the Rummy game arose from the famous card game Rum Poker, which has similarities to the Rummy card game of today.

Origin of Rummy Card Game

But do you know where the Rummy card game originated? Or, how did Indian Rummy become a popular card game? As an avid rummy player you may be thinking about these questions and the answers to your queries are here. Several theories explain the origin of the Rummy card game.

The Asian Connection

The game of rummy is said to have an Asian connection. As per Chinese history, the Mah-Jong game follows the same pattern of pick and discard which is followed in the Rummy card game. In the Mah-Jong game, every player is dealt with 13 tiles from which they have to form valid combinations in order to win the game. The same pattern is followed in rummy card games as well. There is another theory which says Hanafuda, a Japanese game, is the forerunner of Indian Rummy card games.

The Spanish Connection

Rummy is thought to have evolved from the game called Conquian which was popular in the mid-nineteenth century. Conquian is a Spanish card game which can be played by two or more players. In this game, 40 cards are used except the face cards which include Jack, Queen and King and the number cards of 10, 9 and 8 of all suits. According to David Parlett, the Conquian card game is the originator of all the variations of the Rummy card game.

Origination from Poker Card Game

Poker is said to come into existence in the 17th century considerably before Rummy card games. Some historians believe that Rummy has a relation with Poker card games. It is thought that John Scarne, a well-known card game author, pointed out that the Rummy card game has evolved from Whiskey Poker, also called Rum Poker which was eventually adopted as a Rummy card game. It is also believed that the French settlers in the West region traced Rummy to a Poker card game.


All in all, there are many theories that say a lot about the history of the rummy card game. The origin of the Rummy card game is still not clear. There is one thing for sure: the game’s charm hasn’t faded away and is setting new records every day.

Players can download the 13-card rummy on India’s Best Rummy App- Rummy Passion and play online rummy cash games and free games and participate in tournaments which are hosted regularly.

See you at the table!


Pragati is a passionate author with extensive experience in the world of online gaming, mobile gaming, and card games. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of what makes these games so popular, she has become a go-to resource for gamers around the world. Her writing is insightful and informative, and she is always striving to help players improve their skills and enhance their enjoyment of their favorite games.