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Contributed by Basudeo Agarwal

This is a ‘draw and discard’ game and has some resemblance to ‘Rummy’. Monetary stakes can be added to the game to make it more charming and thrilling.

PLAYERS:- The "full board" is of nine players, though the game can be played by only two players. Therefore, any number of players from two to nine can play this game. Before start of the play, it is necessary to ‘cut for seat’. That is, every player picks a single card from the deck. The player pulling the highest card chooses his seat at the table and the rest follow him clockwise in descending order. The puller of the highest card deals first. If the board is full, that is nine players are playing, there should be a new cut for seat after every round of nine deals. Otherwise, the house should determine in advance the minimum number of rounds necessary before ‘cut for seat’ must be repeated.

DECK:- Three simple playing card decks are necessary for this game. A deck must have usual 52 cards and two printed JOKERS. So a deck will have, 52+2 = 54 cards. So three decks will have 54x3 = 162 cards in total.

DEAL:- After shuffling the cards thoroughly, the dealer offers the deck to the player to his left to cut. After the ‘cut’ the dealer puts the cut cards below the uncut cards and offers the deck, face down, half spread on the table, to the player to his right for the drawing of the ‘Open Card’. The player takes a single card from the middle of the deck and puts that card face up in the centre of the table.

After the successful drawing of the open card, the dealer distributes the cards face down one at a time in a clockwise direction. The first card is dealt to the player to his left and the last card to himself. 16 such rounds are dealt, that is 16 cards to every player. After distribution of the cards, the dealer stacks the remaining cards face down on top of the ‘open card’ not concealing the ‘open card’ fully. This face down stack is known as the ‘stock’. No ‘Chance Card’ is exposed in this game to start the discard pile. as in some other variations of rummy type games. The discard pile begins empty. The turn to deal passes clockwise.

DEFINITIONS:- First let me give definitions of the terms used in this game. These definitions are in context of this game "JEWEL" only.

RULES:- This is a draw and discard type game: a turn consists of drawing one card and discarding one card face up on the discard pile. The objective of every player is to arrange their hand of 16 cards in a set pattern. As soon as the deal is over, the player sitting left to the dealer gets first opportunity to play. The discard pile is empty at this point, so he does not get any chance to take a known face up card. If he thinks that he will be able to collect a hand that can be sufficiently well arranged into sets and sequences to score points, he can play by drawing a single card from the ‘stock’. Alternatively he can go ‘pack’ (retire from the play). If the first player plays then from that poiint onwards everybody will have the option either to draw an unknown card from the ‘stock’ or pick the known card discarded by the previous player from the discard pile. If the first player packs, then the second player's only option, if he wishes to play, is to draw from the stock, and so on.

If a joker or jewel is discarded (knowingly or unknowingly) it cannot be picked up by the next player.

POINTS:- This is a point-based game so utmost care should be taken on various points.

[Editor's note - the 'difference based' scoring system used in this game is rather complex. I found it easiest to understand by thinking of all the scores as payments between players. Sometimes an amount is paid to one opponent, sometimes to several and sometimes to all. My comments in italics and square brackets are an attempt to clarify the explanation of the scoring in these terms. JMM]

EXAMPLE HAND:- 9 payers A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I are playing JEWEL. In the ‘cut for seat’, A picked the highest card and chose his seat at the table. B picked next highest and so on. ‘A’ had the right to deal so he offered deck to ‘B’ for cut. After ‘cut’, he offered deck to ‘I’ for pulling the ‘open card’. Let us pull the highest card, the ‘ace of spades’ as the open card. The deal is completed by ‘A’ distributing 16 cards to each player.

‘B’ had the first turn to play. He drew a card from the stock and discarded a card. ‘C’ also drew a card from stock and discarded one. ‘D’ picked the card discarded by ‘C’. ‘E’ and ‘F’ went pack, only ‘F’ exposing 1 heart ace in front of him. ‘G’, ‘H’, ‘I’ and ‘A’ played. In his third turn ‘G’ went mid pack and in 4th turn ‘H’ went mid pack, exposing 1 diamond ace in front of him. Then play continued until ‘A’ made a declaration by putting his discarded card face down. Everyone checked and his declaration was all right.


Declaration with:-
  1. Spade K - A - 2 = super sequence. = 4 bonus for B,C,D, I
  2. Club Q - K - Joker = marriage = 3 bonus for B,C,D, I
( + 7 hand for playing hands BCDI and nil for EFGH)
[In other words, A is paid 7 points for his bonuese by the other players who stayed to the end, but not by those who packed. JMM]


He had acompulsory sequence and two sets of 3 spots and 6 spots and a set of 9 spots with a joker. He also had club Q - K - Jewel (diamond ace). See, all 16 cards were arranged but he could not make a declaration on his turn because he did not have an ‘auxiliary sequence’. He had a single chance to get an auxiliary sequence either by drawing either a club jack or by drawing a club ace. However, for playing hands, it made no difference but he lost 2x4 + 2x8 = 24 points of packers. His hand :- (+ 5 for ACDI and + 2 for EFGH.)
  1. Club Q - K - Jewel = marriage = 3 bonus for ACDI.
  2. Jewel (1 diamond ace) = 2 bonus for every body else.
[B wins 2 points from each other player for his jewel and an extra 3 points from those who did not pack for his bonuses. The slightly cryptic comment 'lost 24 points of packers' refers to the fact that if he had been able to declare before A, the 24 points' worth of packer penalties would have been paid to B rather than to A. JMM]


Unlucky fellow does not have a ‘compulsory sequence’. However, he does have club Q - K - A, but will not get any bonus points for the marriage as he does not have a ‘compulsory sequence’. However, this fellow is lucky to have 2 heart aces and 1 diamond ace.
  1. + 7 hand for packers, that is for EFGH.(5 + 2)
  2. - 5 hand for ABDI (12 - 7 = 5)
[7 is the total value of C's jewels. He wins this amount from everyone but also has to pay 12 - the 'full hand' penalty to those who did not pack, making a net payment of 5 to each of them. JMM]


This fellow has a ‘compulsory sequence’: spade J - Q - K - A. He also has a 'super set' of three twos of diamonds, but nothing else. However, he also has a spade 2 but he chooses to show his ‘compulsory sequence’ rather than his ‘super sequence’ He has a total 9 unarranged cards - all 9 are spot cards. His total point count is 4 and he will get 2 bonus points for a ‘super set’.
  1. Nil hand for packers EFGH.
  2. - 2 hand for ABCI (4 - 2 = 2).
[He gets 2 bonus for his compulsory sequence but has to pay 4 for unmatched cards. This payment goes only to the players who did not pack. Note that if he had shown his super sequence instead, he would have had to pay the other four surviving players 6 each instead of 2 - winning 6 in bonuses but paying a full hand penalty of 12. JMM]


‘E’ packed initially without declaring any ‘jewel’. So his hand is -4 for A and nil for every body else.
[Since A declared, E has to pay 4 points to A for packing. JMM]


‘F’ also packed initially but declared one ‘jewel’ (heart ace). So his hand is - 2 for A and + 2 for every body else.
[Everyone pays F 2 points for the jewel but F pays A 4 for packing. JMM]


‘G’ went mid pack at his first opportunity to do so. As two rounds were compulsory to play and he went pack on his 3rd turn without any ‘jewel’. So his hand is - 8 for A and nil for every body else.


‘H’ also went mid pack but declaring 1 ‘jewel, that is the diamond ace. He also took one more chance but surrendered on his 4th turn. His hand is - 6 for A and + 2 for every body else.


This fellow was dealt two ‘super sets’ of spade 5 and club 7. He hung onto them until the end but finished without a ‘compulsory sequence’.
  1. Nil hand for EFGH.
  2. - 8 hand for ABCD (12 - 4).
That is, I must pay 12 for 'full hand' to the playing hands but also claims 4 from the playing hands. So net - 8 for playing hands.

Here is the summary of all the hands:

C7NIL- 12
DNIL2- 4
E (Pack.)NIL(4)
F (Pack.)2(4)
G (M.Pack)NIL(8)
H (M.Pack)2(8)
TOTAL:1316(24) - 28

I am giving all such details to make the understanding of the game easy. But settling of the account at the finish of a hand is very easy. People generally play with tokens. A supply of tokens worth 1 point, 2 points , 5 points and 10 points, and see how easily the account is settled.

As 'A' is the declarer, he collects (7 - 5 ) 2 points from "B', (7 + 5) = 12 from "C" etc.

Then "B" starts collecting from "C" (5 + 5) = 10 etc.

Then "C", then "D" etc.

It will take hardly 1 or 2 minutes.

Some people may like to play the game without money or tokens and want to play with paper and pen; account to be settled at the end of the session, at some latter date or never. It will require little computation. Points to remember:-

  1. Have a total count of points for jewels. In the example all 6 jewels are dealt, with one pair. So there are 13 total points for 'jewels'. So each of the 9 players must make a payment of 13 points. Wait ! Take the example of "F". He packed with a jewel so +2 to his credit. He collects 8 x 2 = 16 and pays 11 points for the jewels held by other players. So his net profit for jewels is 5 (16 - 11). But it can also be calcuted in the following manner:- He gets 9 x 2 = 18 and pays 13 points for total jewels. The result is the same. You will see, it is more logical.
  2. Have a total count of bonus points for playing hands. In the example: 1 super sequence, 2 marriages and 3 super sets giving total count of 16 points. So each of playing hands must pay 16 points.
  3. Have a total count of penalty points. In the example hand it is: C=12, D=4 and I=12. That is total 28 points. So each of playing hand will get 28 points.
  4. As the amounts in (2) and (3) are only paid to the playing hands, we calculate the 'net'. Net for playing is hands +16 (bonus) - 28 (penalty) = - 12. So each of playing hand will get these 12 points considering penalties and bonuses for playing hands.
  5. Again (1) is meant for all players. So we take the 'net' of (1) and (4). Net of 'jewels' and (4) = 13 - 12 = 1. So each playing hand has to pay 1 point.

Now the calculation:-

There are 9 players in total and 5 playing hands.

Check: (58 + 32 + 2 + 1) = 93 and (11 + 17 + 21 + 3 + 41) = 93 . Gains and losses are equal, as expected.

Here is a chart showing the account settlement in another way.

A(0 + 7)X212942861558
B2 + 3- 2X10720201332
C7 - 12-12- 10X- 3757532
D0 - 2-9- 73X0- 20- 26- 11
E0 (4)- 4- 2- 70X- 20- 20- 17
F2 (4)- 20- 522X2021
G0 (8)- 8- 2- 700- 2X- 20- 21
H2 (8)- 60- 52202X2- 3
I0 - 8- 15- 13- 3- 60- 20- 2X- 41

[The score column for the players who did not pack shows two numbers. The first represents points that they win (for jewels) from every other player; the second represents the additional amount they win from players who did not pack, for bonuses less penalties. A negative number here represents a payment to each other player. A's scores are in brackets, perhaps to indicate that he is the player who declared.
The players who packed also have two numbers in the score column. The first is the amount they win from everyone for jewels; the second, in brackets, is the amount they pay to the player who declared for packing. This bracketed number is really negative for the player in whose row it appears.
In the body of the table, the net payment between each pair of players is calculated. For example D has a score of -3 so must pay 3 to B; B has a score of +5 so collects an additional 5 from D. Therefore the number 8 appears in B's row and D's column representing the total of 8 that B gets from D, and the balancing figure of -8 in D's row and B's column represents the same payment from the point of view of D, who has to pay it.
The totals on the right show the toal amount won or lost by each player on the deal. These numbers will always balance, with a total of zero. JMM]

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Last updated 19th November 2005