In this article, we will discuss basic strategies at both the beginner and intermediate levels. By learning these foundations, you will have a broad understanding of where to play and where not to play each card.
We will begin with high cards followed by low cards, then finish up with others and special cases. With practice and experience, you’ll eventually get better at discarding while playing rummy; over time, you will build your intuition, discard the cards you don’t want, and have better control of the hand.
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High cards are always great to keep in your hand because it gives you many options on how to play them especially when combined with low cards (explained later). In this article, we’ll look at different combinations of high pairs, high triples, consecutive/conjugated pairs, and contract hands.
With a pair, there are three ways to play it; either as a pair (two separate pairs), one complete straight, or one full house.
A hand like AK8 is played differently from KKJ; they are both high pairs, and you should keep them in hand (see next section), but it depends on what else you have. There is no rule for this, and it’s all about your strategy or preference.
If you’re playing against weak players, either play as a pair or straight depending on your confidence, while if you are playing with strong players, then always go for the full house.
Low cards: low cards are great to hold in the hand because they are worth much less than high cards (for example, an 8 is worth 1 point, whereas an ace is worth 13 points). Use low cards wisely because if you end up discarding low cards, the chances are that other players will get those cards, reducing your overall points.
Remember to always keep a low card in your hand if you can play it on the first or second turn (for example, 8, 9, 3) because this way, you have less chance of other players getting them.