Loba Rummy

The Beginner’s Guide to Loba

Loba is a well-known version of Rummy played in Latin America. The name Loba is a general term used for describing more than one Rummy variation. This particular writing pertains to the game negative Loba as played in Argentina. In Central America, Loba is played differently, a sort of Contract Rummy, similar to the game referred to as Carioca.

De Menos – Or negative Loba, in which points are scored for cards remaining in players’ hands at the end of the game. This game requires players to score the lowest possible points as possible.

Players and Cards

The game can house a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 5 players, using two 52-card decks, including 4 jokers, making a total of 108 cards.

If wagers are involved, each player contributes an equal stake to a pot, which will be taken by the winner.


Players take two cards to decide who begins the round: highest deals. The turn to deal passes to the left after each round. Basically, just like the 32Red Casino login, this game is one of the simplest and most enjoyable versions of the rummy game.

The deal and play follow a clockwise orientation. Each player is given nine cards, one at a time. The following card is placed face up to begin the discard pile and the remainder of the deck is placed face down beside it to start the stock.

Piernas and Escaleras

The players’ goal is to eliminate cards from their hands, by making combinations which can be put face-up on the table. The allowable combinations are:

  • Piernas – Consists of three cards of the same rank from different suits. A pierna can hold additional cards of the same rank in the same three suits, but not of the four suits.
  • Escaleras – An escaleras is composed of three or more cards of the same suit in sequence. The ace can be counted high or low, at the player’s decision. Aces cannot be both high and low at once.


The player to the dealer’s left commences and play continues clockwise. A player’s turn can involve three parts, including:

  1. Drawing a card: to start your turn you must draw either the top card from the face up discard pile or the face down draw pile;
  2. Putting down cards is an optional move:
  3. If you possess cards that form a valid Pierna or Escalera, these can be played face up on the table.
  4. If you have already put down at least one pierna or escalera, you can add a card or cards to any pierna or escalera existing on the table—your own or others’—provided that the added cards still follow the abovementioned rules for forming combinations.
  5. To end your turn you mush discard one card from your hand face up to the discard pile.

Points of Play

  • It is only possible to take a card from the discard pile if that card is immediately played to the table as part of a pierna or escalera. You cannot take the discard and keep it in your hand.
  • Piernas and escaleras on the table cannot be separated to reuse the cards to create new combinations.
  • You cannot add to another player’s piena or escalera until you have put down a pierna or escalera of your own.
  • If the stock pile is exhausted, the cards in the discard pile, are shuffled and stacked face down to create a brand new stock pile.


Jokers may only be part of escaleras, not piernas. Additionally, not more than one joker can be included in one escalera.

Typically, Jokers cannot be discarded. The only exception is when you have laid down all your other cards in combinations. When it is time to discard and you only have the Joker left, you are allowed to discard it, thus ending the game.

When adding to an escalera, you are allowed to take a Joker from one end of the escalera to the other end.