While rummy was initially played with a standard deck, the printed joker made its debut in the 19th century, altering the game’s course. Players consider jokers in rummy as game-changing cards, and rightly so. Players can use the joker card to substitute missing cards, and if used correctly, can win you the game.
However, a large chunk of the rummy player base does not know how to use the joker, putting them at a severe disadvantage. Therefore, in this article, we will let you in on some of the best tips to smartly use jokers in rummy. Read on!
Types Of Jokers In Rummy
The joker card in rummy is helpful for players and many players believe it is essential to winning a game. Using a joker card can help you replace the missing card in a set or a sequence. Even though the joker is a crucial part of the game, it carries a value of zero points, making it even better to have in your hand. In rummy, there are two types of jokers:
Printed Joker: The Printed Joker card is the default joker, which comes with the standard deck of cards.
Wild Joker: The Wild Joker is selected at the beginning of the game, by drawing a random card. The drawn card and three cards of the same face value are considered the wild jokers in the game.
For example, if the drawn card is 2♣, then 2♠, 2♥, and 2♦ will also be considered wild jokers of the game.
Getting a joker is one thing, but using jokers in rummy is a different ballgame altogether. Here’s how you can use jokers in rummy to win the game.
Using Jokers In Rummy
1. Discarding Is The key
Jokers in rummy are used as a substitute for missing cards when creating a sequence or a set. Therefore, many people don’t use the wildcard for pure sequences, as it can serve its purpose to fill a missing card in another sequence or set. To capitalise on this, you can discard the cards that are adjacent to the wild joker. Most players will not pick up those cards from the discard pile, and your strategy will also not be revealed.
For example, if the 3♠ is selected as the wild joker, you can discard 2♠, 4♠ and 5♠.
2. Joker And High Cards Go Hand In Hand
High cards in rummy are worth 10 points each. We are talking about King, Queen, Jack and Ace cards. If you leave multiple high cards unused, they will add to your overall point tally if your opponent validly declares before you. If you get a joker, avoid the looming points by grouping it with the high-value cards to create a sequence or set.
For example, if you have K♣ and A♣ cards, you can substitute a printed joker (PJ) or a wild joker (as selected) for the Q♣. The sequence can then be joker-K♣-A♣
3. Know How To Work Without A Joker
The smartest way to use jokers in rummy is knowing how to work without one. Even though the Joker card is handy, chances are, you won’t get it. Therefore, to become a better rummy player, you should know how to win without a joker. As soon as you get your cards, sort them correctly and start building a pure sequence. Since you cannot use a joker in a pure sequence, it is better to finish it and put it aside. Once you complete the pure sequence, you can work around creating other sequences or sets.
4. The Last Resort
Jokers in rummy are extremely useful and can make or break games for rummy players. If you get a joker, play smartly by not discarding or using it till the very end. Don’t use the jokers at the beginning of the game, as they should be considered your last resort.
5. Discarding The Jokers
Yes, you read it right. In Rummy, you might have to discard jokers to win. If you have multiple jokers in your hand, you might not be able to use them all. Always remember, players cannot use a joker in pure sequences. So, if you get two or three jokers in your hand, you may have to discard the joker. Don’t fret. Other players cannot pick the joker up from the discard pile, as they have to be drawn from the closed deck.
We are sure you must have learned a few tricks to smartly use jokers in rummy and win the game. And why shouldn’t you? Having jokers in rummy is extremely useful, and using the jokers smartly can keep you one step ahead of your opponents. However, you should always know how to win the game even if you don’t land a single joker. You can do so by regularly practising rummy with different opponents to sharpen your game.