General Rules of Rummy Games
The following basic rules are common, to one degree or another, to all rummy games and variations. Each individual game has it's own specific rules, of course, but once these general rules are understood, players will find it easy to learn any variant of the basic game.
You may also want to check out our Rummy Glossary to bone up on Rummy lingo and slang.
Rummy is the best-known of all card games played in the United States. Its popularity is due partly to the fact that it is so simple. Any person with a knowledge of the basic game can easily learn any form of it.
Albert H. Morehead
Rotation - Both the deal and the gameplay pass clockwise (to the left) from player to player. The first turn of play is given to the player at the dealer's left, followed by the player at his left, and so on.
Shuffling and Cutting the Deck - Any player may shuffle the deck, but it is the dealer's obligation to shuffle last. The shuffled deck is then presented to the player at the dealer's right for cutting. If that player chooses to cut the deck, he must cut at least four cards from the top of the deck, and place them on the table, leaving at least four cards remaining in the original stack. The dealer then closes the cut by adding the remnants of the original stack to the cut portion.
Dealing - The dealer distributes the cards, one at a time, face down, beginning with the player on his left, and ending with himself, clockwise around the table.
The Stock - After the deal is complete, the remainder of the deck is placed face down in the center of the table, within reach of all players. This forms the stock.
The Upcard - Before play begins, the dealer turns over the top card of the stock and places it face up on the table next to the stock. This is the upcard.
Play - The player on the dealer's left has the first turn. Each player's turn must begin with a draw and end with a discard. A player may draw a single card from either the top fo the discard pile, or from the top of the stock.
See Also: Play Rummy Online