Michigan Rummy Rules

Michigan rummy rules and how to play

Are you a fan of card games? Looking for a new and exciting game to add to your collection? If so, then Michigan Rummy might just be the game for you! Also known as Tripoley or Three in One, Michigan Rummy is a variation of the classic rummy card game that offers a unique and captivating gameplay experience. Whether you’re a seasoned rummy player or new to the world of card games, this article will guide you through the rules and strategies to master this thrilling game. So grab your deck of cards and get ready to learn how to play Michigan Rummy!

Game objective

The goal of the game is to win chips from each of the nine rounds and accumulate the most chips by the end.

Sounds simple right, well there’s a little bit more going on than just that. Michigan Rummy is an old game that has been played for many years. With its age it also has been known by other names as well, like Tripoley. Why was it or sometimes called Tripoley. Well, the easiest way to describe it is that Michigan Rummy is three games in one.

Each time you are dealt your hand you must keep in mind all three games. Don’t worry though, it’s not as stressful as it might sound. Simply put there are three ways to win chips each round, poker hand, rummy, and bonus cards.

Michigan Rummy is best played with 3 to 9 players using a standard 52-card deck, with the jokers removed. Each player starts with an equal number of chips (coins, pennies, or poker chips). What you use is completely up to you and the other players. You will need a high amount of chips though since each round requires an ante of one chip in each of the nine sections. I suggest starting with at least 50 chips as a minimum.

What you need to play.

What you need to set up Michigan Rummy. Unlike other card games you need a place to put all the ante tokens. This Michigan Rummy game mat has all the zones already labelled for players to put their chips in each round and collect when they win. This is a crucial piece to playing this game. Also, this is a good reason to have a travel friendly rollup mat as well, just so you don’t damage a rigid plastic board.

Michigan rummy and cards

Round setup

Now that you have everything together to play you must select a dealer to start. At the end of each round the person to the left of the previous dealer is not the dealer. Being the dealer does have a big advantage in this game, so you want to make sure that privilege gets moved around.

At the start of each round every player must put a chip into each section on the Michigan Rummy board. This will take some time for each player to add their ante. Especially since there will be left over chips from previous rounds that are growing, waiting to be won.

The dealer will shuffle all the cards together and evenly distribute them in decks for each player. An additional deck is also being made and set aside. For example, if there are four players then five decks are made and with 52 cards there will be three players with 10 cards and two players with 11 cards in their deck.

Extra hand phase

After each player’s hand has been dealt then all players need to look at their cards. The dealer also must look at their hand as well. The dealer has the option to swap their hand with that extra hand that dealt at the beginning of the round. If you were wondering, no they can’t look at that extra hand ahead of time to see if it’s worth the switch. There is a rule that all players must abide by though, and that is if they have at least one of the bonus cards listed on the board then they cannot swap out their hand.

If the dealer decides not to take up the extra hand, then it goes up for auction. It’s up to the dealer to auction off the hand in any way they want. This can be the first one to bid gets it, or the true auction style of asking for more in hopes of creating a bidding war. If there is a successful bidder from the auction only the buying can see their new hand. Not even the dealer is allowed to look at the hand that was swapped.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t have any of the bonus cards you still might have a good poker hand. Even better if you have a hand that has a chance to control the rummy sequence and get rid of all your cards before anyone else.

Believe me it does sound like a long process to set up, but it flows well once you and your group start going through rounds. Now with all that setup we can now start to play.

Round gameplay

Starting off is the best poker hand. Unlike playing any other type of poker game there is no additional betting or bluffing involved. Simply state the best 5 card poker hand you can make out of the cards in your hand. Depending on the group that you are playing with they might want to see the cards as proof. Typically, I play on the honor system, so if someone says that they have a full house of three queens and two nines then I will believe them. The winner of the poker hand wins the poker pool, which is worth the number of players chips, four players then it is four chips. This is always won by someone and doesn’t build up.

The player to the left of the dealer starts off the sequence with their lowest card. For starting a sequence, it doesn’t matter which suit it is, only that it is your lowest card. If that player has both the 2 of hearts and the 2 of spades, then they can pick which one works best for them. Now if they have a 3 of diamonds which works better for their hand they cannot play it now, as this is a penalty. If caught doing this they will have to pay a chip into the Kitty, which is the general collection that everyone is trying to win. There will be sequences that cannot be completed since there is an extra hand that is not being played.

Quick reminder that in Michigan Rummy the 2 card is the lowest and the Ace is the highest in each suit.

Once the sequence has been started whoever has the next highest card in that suit can lay it down in front of them. It’s a good idea to say out loud what card you just played, especially for bigger groups that might be far enough away that they can’t make out the card or cards you put down. That’s right, you can put down a run of cards if you have them. Even the person starting the sequence can lay down multiple cards if they aren’t missing any cards.

The main goal is to get rid of all your cards before anyone else. If you have one or more of the bonus cards, then you want to make sure you can play that in a sequence or get a chance to start one with that. It’s common to get stuck with a bonus card when someone else goes out first.

Before the winner collects their winnings from the Kitty, all other players must put in a chip for each card they have left in their hand. This can add up quickly if you happen to have the right cards and the sequences go your way. This is where it makes Michigan Rummy interesting as the Kitty payout can be much larger and causing the next rounds bonus cards to be worth more until someone is able to play that card or set of cards.

After each round the new dealer collects all the cards, shuffles and redistributes the hands. This allows everyone to ante their chips into each section again.

The game can be kept playing until either you decide an end time, or someone runs out of chips.

In conclusion, Michigan Rummy is a fun and exciting card game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. By following these simple steps, you can easily learn how to play and start enjoying this classic game. Remember to carefully read the rules before starting, gather a group of friends or family members, and don’t forget to have fun! Whether you’re looking for a new game to add to your repertoire or just want to spend quality time with loved ones, Michigan Rummy is a great choice. So, gather your cards and get ready for hours of entertainment – give Michigan Rummy a try today!

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