Russian Rummy

Source: Notes added and adjusted by Wes Jones as he saw fit, December, 2018.

Yet another contract rummy game. I learned this from a friend who learned it from friends from Windsor, Nova Scotia. Check also John McLeod's card game site for other versions.

Objective & Setup

To be the first player to complete all twelve combinations or contracts. In the case of two players completing the 12th contract in the same hand, the one with the least points wins.

For a game with 2 to 5 players, assemble 2 decks of cards + jokers (108 cards in total). Add one more deck + jokers for 2 more players etc. Shuffle them well!


Player to the left (←) of the dealer commences play.

Players may draw either the top card from the stock pile or the top card from the discard pile, but 1 card must be picked up before commencing play and 1 card must be discarded at the end of her turn.

In order to make the contract, all required combinations must be laid down at the same time.

Once a player has made his contract, he may also lay down cards on another player's tableau.

Greg could add a 3◆ to Isla's sequence 4-5-6-7◆.

One player may 'liberate' another's wild card by replacing it with the card it represents. Players are not allowed to liberate their own wild cards and the wild card must be played in the round that it was picked up.

Isla could liberate Greg's wild card in the set 3-4-*-6♥ by putting the 5♥ down in place of the wildcard but she could not do this on her own tableau.

The round continues until one player discards her last card. The other players count the points remaining in their hands (see scoring, below) and add them to their score.

A player may make only one contract per round. If he does not make the contract in a given round, he must continue working on it in subsequent rounds until it is made before going for the next combination. Rather than keeping a running total, it may be easier to indicate the number of points received per round and do a grand total only if necessary.

If the stockpile runs out before play has finished, take all of the cards in the discard pile except for the top one, shuffle them and start a new stockpile.

Card combinations

2s and jokers are wildcards. In a set of n-of-a-kind, wild cards may be placed side by side, but in a run they must be separated by a 'real' card.

Greg could use 5 -*-* for a set of 3-of-a-kind, or 5 -*- 7 -* ♠ in a sequence, but he could not use 5 -*-*- 8.

Aces may be counted as high or low A-2-3 or Q-K-A. Sequences or runs must be in the same suit.


12 sets of 3 of a kind 
21 set of 3 of a kind1 run of 4
32 sets of 4 of a kind 
4 2 runs of 4
53 sets of 3 of a kind 
61 set of 4 of a kind1 run of 4
71 set of 3 of a kind1 run of 7
82 sets of 3 of a kind 1 run of 4
92 sets of 5 of a kind 
10 2 runs of 5
111 set 8 of a kind 
12 1 run of 10


Card TypePoint Value
Wildcard (Joker)50