Rummikub Players

Rummikub Rules of Engagement

Individuals from around the globe are starting to unearth the thrills and exciting moments furnished by the game Rummikub. Unlike other games, this specific activity possesses fast-paced gameplay alongside strategic planning. The game is composed of elements from established games such as Mah-Jongg, Dominoes, Rummy, and even Chess. This fusion resulted to a one-of-a-kind game that captures the attention of thrill-seekers.

Playing Rummikub the Sabra way

SABRA WAY is played by 2-4 participants. Much like cards, it inherits similar functions, but with tiles replacing the cards. All in all, there are 106 tiles in the game, including 2 Jokers.

There are 4 different tile colors: black, red, orange, and blue, which are also numbered from 1-13.

The objective is to be the first to eliminate all the tiles from your rack by grouping them into sets of runs, and then melding them onto the table. Hence, your goal is to keep as few points in your hand as possible.

Setting Up

Place all the tiles with their labels facing down while shuffling them thoroughly.  Each participant selects a tile to determine the first player. The player who selects the highest tile is the first to initiate, while the play goes around in a counterclockwise orientation. After determining the first player, all participants select 14 tiles.


In order to place tiles on the table, each player must make a starting meld of 50 points in at least one set. These points must be derived from tiles in the hand only and not from the tiles placed on the table. Every tile is worth the number of points as valued on the tile. Meanwhile, Jokers can be replaced with any tile and its point value is the same as the tile it represented when melding. Moreover, this is worth 30 points when held on your rack while another player wins.

  • Runs – Each run must consist of at least 3 tiles bearing the same color.
  • Groups – Groups must consist of 3-4 tiles of different colors.

Playing the Table

Each player has two minutes per turn. Once a player lay their initial 50 points on the table, they are free to play on the table, manipulate, and rearrange melds.

Otherwise, for those who cannot add onto the other runs, their groups, or opponents’, they must select a tile from the table. Afterward, the player choosing a tile must wait until his/her next turn to play. Moreover, the drawing player should continue to pick tiles until he/she can play—one can never lie down once they have pulled a tile.


Rummikub players exceeding the two-minute time limit are required to draw one tile from the pool. On the other hand, players who fail to manipulate the tiles and leaves lacking melds on the table must replace the tiles in their original order, take back the tiles he/she melded, and draw three additional tiles from the pool.


A Joker can be replaced with any tile when making a meld. Players can add a tile to a meld that houses a Joker, either the fourth tile in a group or to either end of a run. Players may not subtract a tile away from a meld that includes a Joker. However, players may take a Joker from a run or group given that they exchange it for a tile that has the same value from their hand.

Players must employ the Joker immediately with 2 more tiles from his/her hand to produce another meld onto the table. Players may not hold the Joker to use at a later time. Under tournament regulations, a Joker derived from a group of three tiles must be replaced with both missing tiles.

Scoring System

Each loser accumulates the value of the tiles left on his/her rack, counting 30 points for a Joker and face value for all other tiles, and scores this as a minus amount.

The sum of all the losers’ scores is credited to the winners as an additional amount. At the end of the round, each player’s final score is tallied for the final results. The total of the plus scores should match the minus score’s sum if all computations are performed correctly.

For rare occasions where all the tiles are used up before anyone hits Rummikub, the player holding the lowest count on his/her rack is considered the winner. Losing players add up their total remaining tile value, subtracts the winner’s total, and scores the result as a minus amount. Furthermore, the winner receives additional points by totaling the losers’ scores.