Photo by Bob Bowie

When - completed

was held Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 10:00am


Walter Reed Recreation Center
2909 16th Street S
Arlington, VA 22204

Event Director

Riley Geary
Contact Riley by email.


See our volunteers page for details.

Results and Records

Results and Records for the NVSO 2023 Rummikub Event.


There are no photographs from the NVSO 2023 Rummikub Event.


General Rules
Please go here for rules covering all events.

Rummikub Rules
Competition will be in no age groups or gender divisions, except if there are more than 16 players, there will be two age groups age 50-74 and age 75+. If there are more than 32 players, there will be three age groups age 50-64, 65-79, and 80+. Standard Pressman Rules will be used, except for a revised Joker recycling rule. Player time limits have been reduced from 2 minutes to 1 minute per turn, and players must wait until the turn after their initial meld to play on or with other sets. NVSO will provide the tiles, racks and stop watches. 

A) General

  • This is a Rummy based game for 3-4 players, each trying to be the first to empty their rack of tiles by melding them into sets of runs and groups.
  • The 104 playing tiles consist of 2 each of the numbers 1 to 13 in four colors (Blue, Red, Green/Black, or Orange/Yellow) and 2 Jokers.
  • A complete game consists of 3 or more separately scored rounds within a 1 hour time limit.
  • There will be an Event Director who will resolve any questions about rules.

B) Set Up

  • After placing all tiles in an opaque pouch, each player picks a starter tile from that pouch, with the highest number going first.
  • Starter tiles are returned to the pouch and each player in turn draws 14 tiles for their rack.
  • Play proceeds in a clockwise direction around the table. 

C) Initial Melds

  1. In order to move tiles from their rack to the table, each player must first form one or more sets totaling at least 30 points exclusively from their own tiles, with tiles worth their own face value.
  2. There are two kinds of sets:
    a) A group is a set of either three or four tiles of the same number in different colors.
    b) A run is a set of three or more tiles of the same color with consecutive numbers.
  3. Players may not use any tiles already on the table to form part of their initial melds. A Joker in a player’s rack may be used as any tile, and its point value is that of the tile it represents.
  4. If a player cannot make an initial meld of at least 30 points, or chooses not to, for any reason, he/she must draw a tile from the pouch and end his/her turn. A “1” is always low number in a run. It can never follow a 13.

D) Subsequent Plays 

  • On turns after a player has made his/her initial meld, that player may use tiles from his/her rack to build on or with other sets already on the table in any or all of the following ways:
  1. Add the fourth color from his/her rack to a group of three on the table;
  2. Add one or more consecutive tiles of the same color from his/her rack to extend a run;
  3. Remove a tile from a group of four to form a new set with other tiles from his/her rack;
  4. Remove an end tile from a run of four or more to form a new set with other tiles from his/her rack;
  5. Add a fourth tile to a set and remove a different tile to form a new set with other tiles from his/her rack;
  6. Remove tiles from overlapping runs to form one longer run and a new set with tiles from his/her rack;
  7. Split a run and add other tiles from his/her rack to form two new runs and/or;
  8. Lay down an entirely new set formed only with tiles from his/her own rack.
  • Multiple sets on the table can be rearranged, split, and/or combined as desired, so long as at least one new tile from the player’s rack is added to the mix, and all tiles on the table end up in legitimate sets of three or more (i.e. no leftover tiles of any kind, either singles or pairs). Once played on the table, sets no longer belong to any player, and his/her tiles may be freely used by anyone.
  • If a player cannot (or chooses not to) add at least one new tile from his/her rack to the table during his/her turn, he/she must draw a tile from the pouch and end his/her turn. A drawn tile can never be played in the same turn it was drawn, since the act of drawing it immediately ends that player’s turn.

E) Jokers

  • There are two Jokers that can be used as any other tile in a set, even if both those tiles have already been played. A Joker can be retrieved from a set by a player who replaces it during his/her turn with a tile of the same number and color from his/her own rack, but only if he/she has already laid down his/her initial meld, and only if he/she can immediately combine it with two or more tiles from his/her own rack to form a new set, in which case it can represent any other tile again.
  • A Joker can never be replaced by a tile already on the table, but if it is part of a group of three, it can be replaced by either of the missing colors. A set containing a Joker can be added to, split up, combined, or rearranged freely, as long as the Joker retains its original value/color designation, although a Joker in a group of four can become either of two colors if it ends up in a group of three instead. Within the above constraints, there is no limit to the number of times a Joker can be replaced.

F) Time Limits

  • Players have 1 minute to complete all of their plays each turn, and players should “knock” the table to indicate when they are finished, so the next player may proceed.
  • Each player’s 1-minute time limit should be kept track of with a stopwatch by the previous player, who should provide a single warning when 10 seconds are left.

G) Penalties

  • A player going over the 1 minute limit may complete the set they are working on, but must then draw one tile from the pouch and end his/her turn.
  • A player who unsuccessfully attempts to build on or rearrange other sets on the table must take back onto their rack any tiles he/she was unable to play or incorporate and restore a legal position (though not necessarily the starting position), and draw three tiles from the pouch.
  • Unintentional errors are not penalized if corrected within the 1-minute limit; and if a player discovers at the start of their turn that not all the tiles on the table are actually in legal sets, any “orphans” so noted should be returned to the pouch without penalty.

H) Scoring

  • Play continues until one player empties his/her rack of all tiles, at which point the losers total up the value of all the tiles remaining on their racks, with Jokers counting 30. These are all entered as negative numbers for the round, while the winner receives the grand total as a positive score.
  • If all tiles are drawn and no one is able to empty his/her rack, the player who has the least points left is the winner of the round, with losers subtracting their totals from the winner’s total for their net negative scores, and the winner receiving the summed total as a positive score.
  • After scoring the round, players place all tiles back in the pouch and start the next round anew as above.

I) Winning

  • After all rounds are completed in a qualifying game, each player with the highest overall score advances automatically to the championship game, along with those in second place who finished with the fewest points behind their respective winners and who may be needed to bring the number of players in the championship game up to 4.
  • Medals will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the championship game.