Seven Bridge Rummy

Seven Bridge is a rummy game popularized and played in Japan, in which sevens play a special function. It is also known as Ma Jan Bridge or Seven Rummy.

Players and Cards

Seven Bridge can accommodate two to five participants, and is best for three players. A standard international 52-card pack of cards is used, the order of cards in each suit being Ace as the lowest and King being the highest. Deal and play observed are clockwise.

Melds

As in all rummy games feature the forming of melds as its objective, these may include sets of equal cards or sequences of consecutive cards in a suit. Sets and sequences must comprise of three cards as a minimum unless they contain a seven.

The sevens are special cards. A single seven alone is enough to make a valid meld. Two or more sevens form a valid set, and two or more cards of the same suit in sequence form a valid sequence.

  • Take note that a card cannot be used in more than one meld at the same time, and Aces always hold the lowest value, next to 2, so K-Q-A is not a valid meld.

Deal

Any player may begin dealing, and the turn to deal passes to the left after each hand.

Each player is given seven cards at the beginning of the round. After the deal, the dealer turns up the next card and puts it on the table to form the discard pile, and the remainder of the deck is placed face down beside it to form the stock.

Play

The player to the left of the dealer starts the play, and a clockwise play is followed. In each turn, a player draws a card from the stock, meld or lay off (optional), and discards.

Draw

Typically, a turn starts by taking the top card from the face down stock pile and adding it to your existing hand. In certain conditions, you can instead begin a turn by taking the top card from the discard pile.

Meld

Having drawn a card, if you have any valid melds in your hand, you may place these three cards face up in front of you. When laying down more than one seven, you must specify whether they are being employed as a set or as single sevens.

Lay Off

If you already have at least one meld face up card in front of you, you may lay off cards from your hand by placing them on your own or others’ melds. You may lay off in the same turn that you have started your first meld. You can add a fourth card to a set of three equal cards, or lengthen a suit sequence by placing adjacent cards of the same suit. If a player has put down a single seven meld, the same or another player can later add to the meld given that they are of the same suit, making it a sequence, or another 7, making it a set. Once a second 7 has been supplied, only further 7’s can be added to it—players can no longer add cards of other value. When laying down a seven, the player must specify whether it is being melded as a single card or laid off on an existing meld.

Discard

You must discard one card at the end of your turn, placing it face up on top of the discard pile. Each turn requires every player to discard one card.

Chi and Pon

In certain instances, you can start a turn by getting the top card of the discard pile, instead of drawing from the stock. The following conditions apply:

  1. You must immediately use the card from the discard pile with at least two cards from your hand to form a new meld. You cannot retain the card from the discard pile in your hand or lay it off on an existing meld.
  2. You must previously have played at least one normal turn, taking from the stock pile and discarding. You cannot get a card from the discard pile as your first move.

If you want to use the previous player’s discard to form a new sequence meld you say ‘Chi’ and take the discard instead of taking from the stock pile. You then put down this meld and any others you wish to play, and discard in an ordinary way.

Meanwhile, if you wish to take a discard to form a set of three or four cards you say ‘Pon’ and take the discard. You may do this even at any point of the game, but if you are taking the discard out of turn, you must claim ‘Pon’ before the player whose normal turn it would be to draw a card.

Scoring System

When a player goes out, the other players get a sum of the value of all cards remaining in their hands, as follows:

  • Kings, Queens, and Jacks = 10 points each
  • Aces = 1 point
  • Sevens = 20 points
  • Other number cards = face value

The winner scores the sum of the other players’ total number of points.

If a player wins by melding seven cards all at once, the winner’s total score is multiplied by two. To achieve this, the players must have no melds present on the table prior to the winning turn.