Indonesian Remi

This page is based on information from Riza Purwo Nugroho.

Introduction

Remi is an Indonesian version of Rummy. It differs from Western rummy games in several ways. For example the first combination made by each player must be a sequence, not a set. A sequence is made up of numeral cards or picture cards but not both, and aces cannot be used in sequences at all. There is no laying off - melds placed on the table cannot be extended.

Players, cards and combinations

Remi is normally played by two, three or four people, using a standard 52-card pack without jokers.

As in most types of rummy players try to make combinations of cards: sequences and sets.

A sequence consists of three or more consectutive numeral cards (2-10) of the same suit, or three picture cards K-Q-J of the same suit. 10 is not adjacent to jack for the purpose of sequences and aces cannot be included, so 10-J-Q, A-2-3 and Q-K-A are all invalid sequences.

A set consists of three or more cards of the same rank, such as A-A-A or 8-8-8-8. Sets are not valid until the player has made a valid sequence.

Deal

The cards are shuffled and seven cards are dealt to each player. The remaining cards are stacked face down to form a stock pile.

Any player may deal first; subsequently the cards should are dealt by the player who is currently losing, having the lowest cumulative score.

Play

The dealer plays first, and the turn to play passes clockwise.

A normal turn consists of drawing the top card of the stock, adding it to your hand, and then discarding one card from your hand into a face up on top of the discard pile which is formed beside the stock. The cards of the discard pile are overlapped so that the values of the cards below the top card can be seen.

If at your turn you have two or more cards in your hand which can be combined with one of the top three cards of the discard pile to form a valid combination, then instead of drawing a card from the stock, you may lay down those cards from your hand face up in front of you and add the appropriate discard to it to make a valid combination. If the discard you used was the second or third card from the top, you then take the one or two acrds that were on top of it and add them to your hand. Finally you end your turn in the usual way by discarding one card from your hand face up on top of the discard pile.

The following restrictions apply when taking cards from the discard pile:

  1. The very first player must of course draw from the stock, since the discard pile is empty at the start of the game.
  2. You cannot take a discard to form a set of equal cards unless you already have a sequence, either in your hand or on the table, since sets are not valid until the player has formed a sequence.
  3. You must always have a card to discard to complete your turn. If you have only two cards: diamond7, diamond8 in your hand and the top card of the discard pile is diamond9 you cannot take this card to make 7-8-9, beacuse you would then have no card to discard.
  4. You cannot take more than one card from the discard pile to use in your combination. For example if in your hand you have club3 and club6 and the top of the discard pile is club5-heartQ-club4, you cannot take the discard pile since you would need two cards from it to make a combination. With the same discard pile, if you had club6 and club7 in your hand, you could use the club5 from the pile to make 5-6-7 and you would have to add the club4 and heartQ to your hand.

Please note that in this game there is no way to add cards to a combination that you have on the table. In the last example above, the club4 can never be added to the 5-6-7 sequence. It could only be used in a set of 4-4-4, or in a club sequence of 2-3-4.

The play continues until a player, after drawing from the stock or discard pile, can form all but one of the cards remaining in his hand into valid combinations. The player exposes the combinations and discards this final "closing card" and this ends the play. You must have a "closing card" to discard in order to end the play - it is not legal to end the play by drawing a card and then forming all your cards into combinations, leaving yourself with no discard.

The play also can end because the stock pile runs out. If there are no cards left in the stock pile and the player whose turn it is needs to draw from the stock pile (being unable or unwilling to draw from the discard pile), the play ends immediately and all players score their hands as described below.

Scoring

When the play ends, all players score positive points for cards in valid combinations and negative points for any remaining cards in their hands. The cards values are as follows:

    2 - 10 . . . . 5 points each
    J, Q, K . . . . 10 points each
    Aces0 . . . . 15 points each

The player who ends the play gets a bonus of 10 times the value of the closing card (50 points for closing with a number 2-10, 100 points for closing with J, Q or K or 150 points for closing with an Ace).

Examples:

A player who has club3-club4-club5-club6-clubJ-diamondJ-clubQ when the play ends scores minus 10, made up of plus 20 for the club sequence minus 30 for the pictures.

A player who has heart3-spade3-spade4-heart5-heartQ-spadeQ-diamondQ scores minus 70 - the whole hand negative - since the set of queens is not valid when no sequence is present.

Variations

In some regions the winner of the previous deal rather than the dealer begins the play of the new hand.