Kalooki (also known as Kaluki or Kalookie) is a two-deck version of Rummy played with jokers as wildcards. Kalooki is particularly popular in Britain, played as a club game. It is also a popular online Rummy game.
Kalooki is a classic skill-based Rummy game that incorporates the use of wild cards and is best played with 2-4 players. Players are always dealt 13 cards, no matter how many players participate. The goal in Kaluki, just like in all Rummy games, is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand, by melding them into sets and runs and laying them down.
A "set" contains 3-4 cards of the same value, while a "run" consists of 3 or more consecutive cards of the same suit.
The players must begin a turn by drawing a card either from the stick or discard piles, and adding it to their hand. To complete their turn, players must discard a single card from their hand onto the discard pile.
Building is an important element of Kalooki. During the their turn, players may add matching cards to melds already laid down on the table during previous rounds - either by them or by other players - this move is called Building.
Players who build onto melded sets and runs on the table, may do so in the following way: either adding the corresponding card of the fourth suit to a 3 card set (in case it contains a Joker, no repeated suits are allowed), or by adding matching consecutive cards to either end of a run.
In builds, as in original melds, a Joker can be used as a substitute for any card and acquires the value of the card it represents. The reuse of Joker in Kalooki must be carried out the following ways:
- In a 3-card set that contains a Joker, the Joker may be released for equal ranking cards of both missing only. By adding just one card of one missing suit, a closed 4 card set is formed, from which the Joker may never be released. In case a 3 card set contains two Jokers, players can add either one of the missing suits, releasing one of the Jokers and forming a closed 4 card set.
- If a run contains a Joker, the players to hold the card the Joker represents in their hand may use it to release the Joker and reuse it elsewhere.
In case players release a Joker, they must use it to melds cards and laying them on table at the same turn. The Joker cannot be added to the cards in their hand.
There are two ways to win a round of Kalooki: Hunt and Going Out.
Hunt is when players meld all the cards in their hand, laying them down on the table at once and discarding their last card onto the discard pile all at once and in the same turn, while having no umatching cards left.
Going Out is when players meld all the cards in their hand, laying them down on the table gradually last card onto the discard pile.
In Kalooki, unlike other Rummy games, players cannot "lay off" any cards after a player wins. When the winner calls, the round is immediately over and the defeated opponents cannot dispose of any of the cards they are holding, even if they match any of melds on the table.
Players who Hunt are rewarded with 40 points, while their defeated opponents receive penalty points on the amount of the value of the cards in their hand times two.
Players who Go Out receive 20 points, while their defeated opponents receive penalty points on the amount of the value of the cards in their hand.