Rummy is a family of games that share a similar structure. All these games include a similar game play pattern that consists of drawing and discarding a card during each turn. This is done in order to help players meld the cards in their hands into sets and runs. A set is a three or four card meld of the same rank. A Run is three or more consecutive cards of the same suit.
The origins of the Rummy games go back a couple of centuries. There are several versions that outline the development and beginning of the Rummy games. Some of them trace the origins of the Rummy phenomena back to the late 19th century, at New York. Other versions trace the origins of the game to the Orient. The Chinese Mahjong game is based on the same element of drawing and discarding cards as well as many other Chinese card games that go back to the 18th century.
Another version attributes the origins of Rummy games to Spanish communities who immigrated west. The Spanish card game bearing the name of Conquian strikes a great resemblance to the Gin Rummy game and is considered to be the ancestor of all the modern Rummy games. Gin Rummy itself is said to be invented in New York during the first decade of the 20th century. The common assumption regarding the origin of the name for Gin Rummy is concerned with the alcoholic drink. The Gin Rummy game was quickly adopted by the Hollywood elite during the 30s and has become more popular ever since.
Among Rummy games one can find the following:
kalooki (Kaluki, Kalookie), Gin Rummy, Rummy 500, Oklahoma Gin, Hollywood Gin, Shanghai Rummy, Michigan rummy, Liverpool Rummy, Carioca Rummy, Crazy Rummy, Progressive Rummy, Contract Rummy, Rummicube, Ultimate Rummy, Russian Rummy. Krazy Bee 15 Rummy, Hungarian Rummy, Rummy O, Continental Rummy, Conquian, Frustration rummy, 12-Step Rummy, Tripoley Rummy, Okey, Construction Rummy, Bonanza Rummy, Robbers’ Rummy, Rumino, Canasta, Rummy Omar, Dummy Rummy and many more.