Rummy Glossary

The following is a glossary of terms used in Rummy games, a Rummy lexicon, if you will. Like most games, Rummy has it's vocabulary, terms, phrases, and expressions that have emerged as games have evolved over time. Many of these are slang terms that are used to refer to specific plays, hands, or situations in particular games. See also: Canasta Glossary, Conquian Glossary, Gin Rummy Glossary, Panguingue Glossary.

To discard a card in order to induce an opponent to discard another card of the same rank or in suit and sequence with it. Also known as "baiting", "chumming", "fishing".
Discarding a card to induce your opponent to discard a card one rank away. Also known as "sideways fishing" or "side baiting".
See "Advertising".
Four natural cards of the same rank, essential to making a canasta. (Canasta)
Base, or Basic, Count
The total of one’s bonus scores, as distinguished from the point values of cards melded. (Canasta)
Blind Discard
A discard made without a clue as to whether an opponent can use it, especially the first discard of a deal.

See "Shutout".
To withhold a card that would extend a meld for an opponent.
Taking extra cards from one’s previous melds to form new sets. (Panguingue)
Each entry on the score sheet is known as a box. (Gin Rummy)
Box Score
The score for winning a deal. (Gin Rummy)
See draw.
Calling (a card)
Needing it to fill a combination.
A meld of seven cards of tbe same rank. A "mixed canasta" is a meld containing one to three wild cards. A "natural canasta" (also called a "pure canasta") is a meld containing no wild card. (Canasta)
Two cards that will become a matched set by addition of a suitable third card.
Concealed Hand
One that goes out in one turn having made no previous melds. (Canasta, Oklahoma)
Certain melds for which the player collects payment immediately. (Panguingue)
The pre-fixed number and type of sets that a player must meld on the first occasion in a deal when be melds. (Contract Rummy)
To discard a card wanted by an opponent; meld when there is possible advantage in keeping the cards in the hand; unload.

Dead Cards
Those no longer available, because buried in the discard pile or melded.
Unmatched cards in hand.
To distribute the cards to the players; or the set of all four hands that have been dealt.
The player who deals the cards.
The set of cards used to play a game.
A two of any suit.
To put a card from the hand on the discard pile, ending one’s turn; a card so discarded.
Discard Pile
The heap or overlapping row of all cards discarded and not taken up.
To take a card into the hand from the stock or the discard pile; a card so taken.
Exposed Card
In any partnership game, any that is dropped or so held that partner sees its face illegally.
Draw a card that turns a combination into a matched set.
The bottom portion of the stock, when it is divided in two parts for easier handling.
Discarding a card that the next player, under the rules, must take up.
Condition of the discard pile when, under the rules, it may be taken only by matching the top card with a natural pair. (Canasta)

Gin Hand
One with no unmatched cards. (Gin Rummy)
Go Down
End the play by placing the remainder of one’s cards face up on the table; meld; knock.
Go Gin
Lay down a gin hand; go rummy. (Gin Rummy)
Go Out
Get rid of the last card in the hand.
Go Rummy
Lay down a hand with no unmatched, cards, not previously having melded.
A matched set comprising three or more cards of the same rank.
The cards dealt to a player; or the entire deal (e.g. "a hand of Rummy").
The upper portion of the stock, when it is divided in two parts for easier handling.
Initial Meld
The first meld made in a deal by a player or a side, when this meld must conform to certain specifications. (Canasta, Contract Rummy)
To observe (and likely comment on) a game without participating.
Any jack.
End the play by placing the remainder of one’s cards face up on the table; go down.
Lay Down
Go down; meld.
Lay Off
Add suitable cards to sets previously melded.
Line Score
Same as box score. (Gin Rummy)
Matched Card
One that is part of a matched set.
Matched Set
Three or more cards which, under the rules, may be melded together.
Place matched sets on the table; lay off; a matched set.
Natural Card
One that is not wild.
Aces and kings so-called because they may be in groups regardless of suits. (Panguingue)
Off Card
one that is neither matched nor part of a combination.
The discard pile (In other games it usually means the stock.) (Oklahoma, Canasta)
A card which, if retained or taken up, could be laid off (possibly on a set known to be in an opponent's hand).
To take the top card off the deck.
Prize Pile
A discard pile that is frozen. (Canasta)
A card's name and hierarchy (ace, ten, king, queen, or jack), as distinguished from its suit.
A sequence.
The rule that the ace is in sequence With both the king and the deuce; any variant of Rummy in which this rule is adopted.
Go rummy; a hand with no unmatched cards.
A sequence.
Safe Discard
One that surely or probably cannot be taken up.
Same as shutout.
A matched set comprising three or more cards of the same suit and consecutive rank.
Three or more cards of the same rank.
Winning of a game in which the opponent has scored not a single point.
Shutout; defeat by a shutout.
A melded set.
The remainder of the pack after the original hands are dealt, usually placed face-down.
Stop Card
A black three or any wild card when discarded, since the next player may not then take the discard pile. (Canasta)
A sequence.
One of the four kinds of cards in a deck, denoted by symbols and known as spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
Take Up
Draw from the discard pile.
Top, Going on
Paying a forfeit on dropping out of a deal. (Panguingue)
A three of any suit.
Same as upcard.
Trade (for the Joker)
Take the Joker from a meld into one’s hand, supplying in the meld the card that the joker represented therein.
A group of three.
Reduce one’s deadwood to the same or lesser count than the knocker’s. (Gin Rummy)
Discard high cards, or meld, to reduce the possible loss in case another player wins.
Unmatched Cards
Those in a hand not included in matched sets.
The first card turned face up from the stock, to start the discard pile.
Valle Cards
Threes, fives and sevens, so called because there is a special bonus for groups of these cards. (Panguingue)
Wild Card
One that may be designated to be of any suit and rank by the owner.
Wild Discard
One that, so far as the discarder knows, can be taken up; one that is completely unsafe.