Carioca Rummy Rules

Carioca Rummy is a fun form of Contract Rummy popular in Argentina and Chile. It is a variation of Contract Rummy. The principal differences between Carioca Rummy and Contract Rummy are:

  • Contract Rummy is for three or more players, Carioca is for two players
  • Contract Rummy uses jokers, in Carioca use of jokers is optional
  • In Contract Rummy, players are dealt different numbers of cards depending on the contract; in Carioca, players are always dealt 12 cards
  • There are 7 contracts in Contract Rummy, 8 in Carioca
  • In Carioca, sequences may go "round the corner" (K-A-2); in Contract Rummy they may not

Number of Players: 2

The Deck: Carioca Rummy uses two decks of 52 cards each, for a total of 104 cards. If desired, two Jokers may also be used (this make the game a bit easier), bringing the total to 106 cards. The cards are ranked (hi) K-Q-J-7-6-5-4-3-2-A (lo).

Starting a Game: To determine who deals first, the deck is shuffled and cut, and each player draws a card. The player drawing the lowest card deals first.

Dealing: Each player is dealt twelve cards. One card is turned as the upcard, and the remainder of the deck is turned face-down to form the stock.

Objective: Players must complete certain melds, called "contracts", which vary from deal to deal. Once the contract is met, players may lay off on the melds (both their own and their opponents), the objective being to get rid of all your cards. The first player to do so wins the hand.

Play: Each players turn consists of a draw, possible melding or laying off, and a discard. Each player, starting with the dealer's opponent, can either take the face-up card from the discard pile or draw a card from the stock. Each player's turn must end with a discard, which is placed face-up on the discard pile.

Melds: Each meld consists of either a set (called a Trio in Carioca) consisting of three or more cards of the same value, or a sequence (called an Escala in Carioca) consisting of four or more cards of the same rank and consecutive value. An Escala sequence may go "round the corner" (K-A-2). Jokers, if used, are wild, and can stand in for any card.

Contracts: Each contract consists of some combination of Trios and Escalas, and varies from deal to deal. The contract increases in difficulty as the game progresses. The eight contracts are:

  • Deal #1: 2 Trios (6 cards)
  • Deal #2: 1 Trio, 1 Escala (7 cards)
  • Deal #3: 2 Escalas (8 cards)
  • Deal #4: 3 Trios (9 cards)
  • Deal #5: 2 Trios, 1 Escala (10 cards)
  • Deal #6: 1 Trio, 2 Escalas (11 cards)
  • Deal #7: 4 Trios (12 cards)
  • Deal #8: 3 Escalas (12 cards)

When you meet the contract, lay down the melds and discard. At this point you may not lay off any additional cards until your next turn.

Laying Off: Once the contract has been met, you may lay off additional cards to both your own and your opponents melds. This is the only way to reduce your hand. The first player to lay off all their cards, and then discard, wins the hand.

A player may not lay off any cards until he himself has met the contract.

Scoring: Once the hand has been won, the cards remaining in the other player's hand are scored. For purposes of scoring, the cards remaining in the players hand have the following values:

  • Cards 2-10 face value
  • Jacks, Queens, and Kings 10 points
  • Aces 15 points
  • Jokers 25 points

The player with the fewest points at the end of the eight deals wins the game.

Carioca Rummy Games

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