Glossary of Rummy Terminology
The below glossary of rummy terms includes terminology used both in live play and in online play at sites such as RummyRoyal.com.
Aces high – Aces are counted as high cards of 11 points
Aces low – Aces are counted as low cards of 1 point
Buy in – the amount of money to enter the game
Canasta – In the game Canasta this refers to a meld of seven cards with the same rank.
Deadwood – unmatched cards in hand after the round or game is completed
Deadwood count – the deductive point value of the deadwood
Deck – the amount of cards used for the game. This can be 52 standard, 54 standard with jokers, 104 two standard and 106 two standard with one set of jokers.
Discard – card thrown in the discard pile to end turn
Discard pile – cards discarded, often stacked where a player can take the top card only, sometimes spread out where a player can pick up more than one card.
Draw – taking a card from either the stock or discard pile at the beginning of turn
Face card – cards with a face – Jack, Queen, King
Gin – In gin rummy games, when a player lays down all of his melds at once and discards his final card
Hand – Refers to either a game round or to the cards dealt to a player.
Hunt – In games where melds may be layed down gradually, to hold the melds until the final discard
Initial meld – the first meld made by a player, required, such as 40 in Kalooki 40, and 51 in Kalooki 51
Knock – Most common in Gin Rummy, but also used in other games, this is when a player taps the table to announce the end of a round.
Knocking count – maximum amount of deadwood in a player’s hand to be allowed to knock
Lay off – In Gin Rummy, this refers to a player expanding on melds of the knocker using his/her deadwood cards.
Meld – matched cards layed down in a set of the same value in different suits, or in a run of consecutive cards in the same suit.
Penalty points – points deducted from a losing player’s score for deadwood or as the result of the winner’s method of play
Prize pool – the amount of funds to be distributed in a rummy tournament.
Run – a set of consecutive cards in the same suit – from 3 to 13 cards
Set – a meld of cards of the same numerical value in different suits
Suit – clubs hearts spades and diamonds
Stock – the rest of the deck placed face down after the deal and after the discard has been turned up.
Target Score – the set amount of points required to win the game
Undercut – having a deadwood count of a lower value than the player who knocked
Wild card – joker may be used as any card