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Rummy» Forums » Variants

Subject: May I? - Rummy Variant rss

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Zack Stackurski
United States
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I love almost all games, play Boardgames with my wife, have three kids, generally enjoy cats and understand and like those bumper stickers with the little fishies sprouting legs.
This happy cat is excited about new board games!
My family always played a game called “May I?” which I recently found out is a Rummy variant. I have always enjoyed this game and thought I would share:

3 to 6 players – 6 Rounds of Play

Set up: For 3-4 players shuffle together two standard decks with the jokers. For 5-6 player use three decks. Aces are always high. Jokers are wild.

Deal 11 cards to each player in each round. Place one card up in the discard pile next to the draw pile and play proceeds to the dealer’s left. The player to the dealer's left will deal the next round.

Rounds: Each round there is a different collection necessary to lay down.
Round 1 – One set (3 cards with the same value) and one run (4 cards in a sequence with the same suit) [7 cards to lay down]

Round 2 – Two Runs [ 8 cards to lay down]

Round 3 – Three Sets [9 cards]

Round 4 – Two Sets and One Run [10 cards]

Round 5 – One Set and Two Runs [11 cards]

Round 6 – Three Runs [12 cards]

Play of Cards – At the beginning of each player’s turn they must either draw the top discard showing on the pile, or draw the top card from the deck. If the player has completed the appropriate runs and sets(groups) for the round they may lay down the groups in front of them. Once a player has laid down they may play additional cards from their hands on their groups and other player’s groups****. When done with their turn the player discards any one card from their hand.

* Cards played on groups will fit the set or expand the run. (in case it needed to be stated)

*You may not play on laid groups until you have laid down.

*You may not lay down additional groups beyond those required for the round (ie: collecting a forth set in round 3 does you no good)

*Jokers may be replaced in a run and will move “up” in the run unless there is already an Ace at the top, then they will move down. They will stay with the run and may not be replaced once a run is full.

May I? – Each player may successfully “May I?” twice in every round*. When a discard is laid on the discard pile any player may ask “May I?” to take the card**. The player whose turn it is can say “No” and take the discard into their hand as normal. Or they may allow the asking player to take the discard, and then the asking player also draws two additional cards from the deck. Then the player whose turn it is must also draw their one card from the deck.

*Note - The easiest way to see if you’ve expended you May I’s is to count your cards. If you are holding 17 then you may not “May I” (people who have laid down really shouldn’t be calling May I….

**Note – If multiple players “May I” for the same card, the first to speak is allowed the card. If the asking was too close to call the player whose turn it is chooses who “won”.

Going Out – A player may not discard their last card and must go out by playing out. This can either be accomplished by laying down all your cards when you lay down, or by having a hand of one card that can be added to a group on the table (a “play card”) and drawing another play card so you may play both to empty your hand. The round ends when a player Goes Out.

Scoring – The player that went out scores 0 points.
Other players count their hands with these points:
2-7: 5 points
8-K – 10 points
A – 20 points*
Joker – 50 points

*Note – I have always felt that the Ace should be able to be used high or low to justify its point cost, but have been unable to convince my family to try it that way…

The player with the least points after the final round wins.
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Håkan König
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We're usually playing a variant of this.

Minor changes compared to the above version:
* 2 decks WITHOUT jokers.
* Only 10 cards each
* Add one round at the beginning playing for 2 sets (6 cards)
* Remove the round playing for 12 cards.
* No restriction on 'May I?'. You can ask as many times as you want. You also only draw 1 penalty card from the deck when asking. This frees up the card below so that it can be picked up by either the person in turn, or someone else may 'May I?' it (including the person who just 'May I? to free it in the first place - but if someone is digging like this they are probably already losing the round and desperate).
* You can go out by putting your last card on the discard pile.
* Aces are only worth 15p AND can be used as either low or high. (So a 14 card run is possible). (But never 'around the corner': QKA2 is not a valid run)

Major change:
* In the last round (2 runs + 1 set), NOONE MAY ASK FOR A CARD UNLESS IT THE WINNING CARD! You don't draw a penalty at this point either but you go out immediately.

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anthony fata
United States
New York
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this game has been a family tradition for generations.. we use 2's as the wild card and the last hand is 3 'runs' and you cannot have an out card. We also play another round with 7 card run and 1 set.
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drew jones
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for the most part this is the version I remember, however I remember slightly different rules.

play with 2 decks with jokers, and jokers are only wild cards.

when dealing the dealer gives 11 cards to each player then flips a card face up to start the discard pile, the person to the left of the dealer has first choice even if the discard contains a joker. This is the only time a discard can contain a joker, a player may not discard a joker at any other point.

since you start with 11 cards, you can call upto 3 may i's in a round, giving you a sum total of 17 cards.

when you call a may i, the person whos turn it is always has the first choice of the discard, and they may take it without a penalty, if multiple players call a may i on the same card, then it goes in clockwise order from the person whos turn it is.

Only the top card of the discard can be taken or called as a may i.

going out is accomplished by discarding a bad card, ie. you cannot discard a card that can be layed off and instead must wait until you have a bad card, this makes going out a little more difficult, the only exception is that on round 6 you must use every card.

also once you make your meld you may not draw from the discard for any reason. After melding you can lay off on anyone else's meld. Jokers can be replaced and must be moved up or down, for a run, once it reaches 13 cards it is closed an cannot be added to any more, not even to replace a joker, and no wrap arounds.

What we used to do is play for money, each player would put 35 cents into the pot and would get a nickel * number of players for each hand won, and whoever had the lowest total score at the end would get the remainder of the pot.

which brings us to scoring.

1 - 10 was worth face value
pictures worth 15 each
aces worth 20
jokers worth 50. You did not wanna be caught with jokers when someone else went out.
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