Seven Rummy is a rummy game played in Japan. It’s also known as Seven Bridge, despite the fact that it has no trick taking, bidding, or any other characteristic of Bridge. It can be played by two to five players. What makes Seven Rummy unique among rummy games is the unusual role 7s play in the game. Any meld containing a 7 doesn’t have to contain three cards; it can have two, or even just one!
Object of Seven Rummy
The object of Seven Rummy is to be the first player to form their entire hand into melds.
Seven Rummy uses the standard 52-card deck. You can play with any 52-card deck, but to give your players the best that they deserve, insist on Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. You also need pencil and paper or some other way of keeping score.
Shuffle and deal seven cards to each player. Place the stub face down in the center of the table, forming the stock. Turn over the first card of the stock. This card, the upcard, is the first card of the discard pile.
The player to the dealer’s left goes first. A Seven Rummy player’s turn follows the usual Rummy pattern of draw, then meld, then discard. A player normally draws from the stock—unlike in other rummy games, in Seven Rummy, there are some restrictions on when a card can be drawn from the discard pile, described below. After drawing, a player may lay any melds they can form face up on the table in front of them. Then, they discard a card face up onto the discard pile, and their turn ends. The turn then passes to the left.
Organizing their hands into melds is the goal of every player. There are two types of melds. The first is three or four of a kind. The other meld type is the sequence, which is three or more consecutive cards of the same suit, such as 4-5-6♣. For the purposes of sequences, cards rank in their usual order, with aces always low.
A player may lay down as many melds as they are able to on their turn. (However, if a player is able to meld all seven cards at once, they score double for the hand.) If a player can extend another player’s meld on the table using cards from their own hand, they may also lay off cards onto those melds.
Including a 7 in a meld waives the normal minimum-card requirements for that meld. A 7 may be melded by itself. It can also be part of a two-card sequence (like 6-7♦) or part of a pair (like 7♥-7♠).
Drawing from the discard pile
Normally, a player is only allowed to draw from the stock, not the discard pile. However, there are two situations in which a player can draw the top card of the discard pile instead. Both of them require a player to be able to immediately form a new meld with cards from their hand. Also, in both cases, a player must have already had at least one turn where they drew a card from the stock.
If a player can use the previous player’s card along with one or more cards from their hand to form a new sequence, they can do so. They must meld it immediately. They may then lay down any other melds they have in their hand and discard. The turn then passes to the left, as normal.
If a player discards a card that another player can use to form a new three or four of a kind, that player may draw the card immediately, even if it’s not their turn. As with a sequence formed with a discard, the meld must be laid on the table immediately. The player can then lay down any other melds, as desired, and discards to end their turn. The next player to the left still plays next, not the player whose turn would have been next had the active player not interrupted—this often results in players getting skipped.
If two players can draw and meld the same discard, the player melding the three or four of a kind has priority.
Ending the hand
The hand ends when a player has no cards left in their hand after melding and discarding. (A final discard is always required.) This player wins the hand. All of the other players total up the value of the deadwood left in their hands, as follows:
- 7s—20 points each
- Face cards—10 points each
- All other cards—their pip value
The winner of the hand scores the total of all of the other players’ deadwood scores. If a player goes out without having previously melded any cards at all (i.e. they melded all seven cards at once, then discarded), they score double for that hand.
The player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer for the next hand. Game play continues until a predetermined stopping point, either a certain number of hands or a target score. Whoever has the highest score at that point wins the game.
Kabu is a Japanese banking game for two to six players. Kabu is quite similar to the game of Baccarat, where players do their best to reach a score of nine, and scores above nine have their first digit dropped.
Traditional Kabu is played with a deck of Japanese hanafuda, or “flower cards”. This adaptation of the game for the Western deck was created by the American game collector, inventor, and author Sid Sackson, who published it in his 1981 book Card Games Around the World.
Object of Kabu
The object of Kabu is, through selective drawing of cards, to obtain a score of nine or as close as possible to it.
Japanese Kabu is normally played with hanafuda, a traditional Japanese deck featuring four cards each of twelve “suits”, one for each month, January to December. In Kabu, the November and December cards are set aside. Each card uses the numerical value of the month it represents (1 for January, 2 for February, etc.) in adding up the player’s score.
To play Kabu with the typical English-style deck, simply remove all of the face cards from a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. You’ll be left with a 40-card deck: ace through 10 in each of the four suits. You’ll also need some chips for betting. Distribute the chips evenly to each player. (Sackson recommends a starting stack of ten credits, plus fifteen for each player in the game. This would yield 40 credits for the two-player game, 55 for the three player game, etc.)
Shuffle and deal two cards, face down, to each player. The rest of the deck becomes the stock.
The player to the dealer’s left goes first. They look at their cards and add up their total value. Aces are worth one point, and all others their face value. If the score exceeds nine (the best possible score), the first (tens) digit is dropped to arrive at a score under nine. If the player is satisfied with their score, they may pass. Otherwise, they may request a card from the stock. Then, the next player has the opportunity to draw, and so on around the table. Players may draw a maximum of two cards (making a four-card hand altogether). Drawing continues until all players have either passed or drawn twice.
After the drawing portion of the hand is complete, each player reveals their hand and announces the total. Each player then pays each opponent with a higher score the difference between their hands’ values. For example, if Jim holds a seven-point hand and George holds a four-point hand, George would pay Jim three credits.
The cards are collected and shuffled, then the next hand is dealt. Game play continues until one player does not have enough chips to pay the amount owed to their opponents. That player does not actually pay any of their opponents. Instead, each player counts up the number of chips they hold. Whoever has the most chips wins the game.
Daifugo (大富豪, in English, Grand Millionaire) is a Japanese card game for three or more players. Those who have played President will find its climbing-style game play and use of titles to reward winners and shame losers very familiar. Its simple mechanics, meanwhile, mean it is a good introduction to climbing-type games in general.
Object of Daifugo
The object of Daifugo is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards.
Daifugo is played with a standard 52-card pack of playing cards. Real grand millionaires would never be caught dead with anything other than Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards.
For the first round, determine the dealer randomly. Shuffle and deal the deck out as evenly as it will go. Some players may have more cards than others.
Daifugo uses the unusual card ranking common to other climbing games: (high) 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 (low). Suits are irrelevant.
Play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. They start by playing any number of cards of the same rank from their hand (as few as one card or as many as four). The player to the left must then play the same number of cards of the same rank, but higher than the previous player, or else pass. For example, if the first player began by playing three 5s, the next player must play any three of a kind of 6s or higher, or pass. Players who pass may not play again until the current round is over.
A round ends when all players but one have passed. The sole remaining player may then play any card or cards they wish to begin the next round.
As players run out of cards, they are assigned titles in order of their finish:
- Daifugo or grand millionaire (first to finish)
- Millionaire (second to finish)
- Poor (second-to-last to finish)
- Destitute (last player left with cards)
If playing with three players, use the Daifugo, Commoner, and Destitute ranks. With four, don’t use the Commoner rank. If playing with more than five players, use all the ranks, using Commoner as many times as appropriate.
The Destitute player is required to clean up the previous deal, shuffle, and deal the next hand. Many players also require the Destitute to carry out whatever task the other players require, such as fetching drinks or snacks. Before game play begins on the second and subsequent hands, the Destitute must pass their two highest-ranked cards to the Daifugo, who passes any two cards (usually low-ranked cards) back to them. The Daifugo then leads to the first round of the hand.
Game play continues until an agreed-upon stopping point, like a certain number of deals or a specified time. Whichever player was the Daifugo on the final hand is considered the winner of the overall game.
Page One is a Japanese card game for two to four players. It features an interesting combination of mechanics; part trick-taking game and part Stops game.
Object of Page One
The object of Page One is to be the first player to run out of cards.
Shuffle and deal four cards to each player. The remainder of the pack is placed in the center of the table, forming the stock.
The player to the dealer’s left leads to the first trick. They may play any card as their lead; all other players must follow suit. If they are unable to, they draw cards from the stock until they uncover a card of the suit needed. After everyone has played, the person who played the highest card wins the trick. Cards rank in their usual order, with aces high. The joker acts as a trump card; it automatically wins any trick it is played to.
After a trick has concluded, the cards are moved to a discard pile and the winner of the last trick leads to the next one. If the stock runs out, this discard pile is shuffled to form a new stock. (If the situation arises that a player must draw, but so many cards are in the players’ hands there is no discard pile for a new stock to be made out of, the game ends as a draw.)
When a player plays down to their last card, they must call out “Page One!” to notify the other players that they are almost out of cards. If this was not done before the next player takes their turn (or before the player leads their last card, if they won the penultimate trick), the player must draw five cards as a penalty as soon as it is noticed.
The first player to successfully play all of their cards is the winner.