Okey 101

This page is based mainly on information from Erol Karataş.

Introduction

Okey 101 is a four-player Turkish game played with rummy tiles. It is a rummy game, closely related to ordinary Okey (Düz Okey), the main differences being that players begin with hands of 21 tiles instead of 15, that that tiles can be melded during the game and laid off on other players' melds. A player's first meld must have a value of at least 101, hence the name of the game.

A game consists of a fixed number of deals as agreed in advance between the players. In each deal penalty points are scored according to the unplayed tiles in the players' hands and the aim is to have as few penalty points as possible at the end of the game.

Players and Equipment

A set of 106 tiles is used. The faces of the tiles are numbered from 1 to 13, with the numbers printed in four colours. The colours vary from set to set: for example they may be red/yellow/blue/black, red/green/blue/black or red/green/blue/black. For each number, there are two tiles of each colour, so eight tiles of each number in all. In addition there are two special tiles without numbers - these are known in this game as "false jokers" (in Turkish "sahte okey"). The design of the joker tiles varies from set to set. The backs of the all tiles are plain, so tiles that are face down on the table or held by another player all look the same.

There are normally four players, though it is possible for two or three to play. The direction of play is anticlockwise.

Distributing the Tiles and Determining the Joker

The first dealer is chosen at random. After the hands have been played and scored, the turn to deal passes to the right.

The 106 tiles are placed face down on the table and thoroughly mixed. Then the players set them up into 15 stacks of seven tiles, the tiles in each pile being face down. One tile is left over - this is temporarily kept by the dealer. The stacks are lined up in front of the players, something like this:

preparation of stacks

The dealer now throws the die twice. The result of the first throw selects one of the tile stacks starting from the left-hand stack in front of the dealer and counting to the right, continuing anticlockwise to player 2 if necessary. The selected stack now has eight tiles. The second throw of the die selects one of the tiles in the selected stack, counting upwards from the bottom of the stack. The selected tile is extracted from the stack and placed face up on top of it. If the selected tile is a false joker, it is returned to the selected stack and the second throw of the die is repeated until a numbered tile is selected.

This face up tile determines the "joker" (okey) for the game - a wild tile that can be used to represent other tiles to complete a combination. The joker is the tile of the same colour and one number greater than the face up tile. For example if the face up tile is the black 5, the black 6's are jokers. The false jokers are not wild - they are used only to represent the tiles that have become jokers. So for example when the green 11s are jokers, the false jokers are played as green 11s (and cannot represent any other tile). If the face up tile is a 13, the 1's of the same colour are jokers.

Now the stacks of tiles are distributed to the players. The player to dealer's right will receive 22 tiles and the others 21 each. The player to the right of the dealer takes the next stack after (to the right of) the selected stack with the face up tile on top of it, then the player opposite the dealer takes the following stack, and so on anticlockwise around the table, until each player has three stacks (21 tiles), and the player to dealer's right takes the top tile of the next stack for a total of 22 tiles.

All the players should arrange their tiles so that they can see their faces but the other players cannot. Wooden racks are often used for this. The remaining stacks of tiles are left for the players to draw from during the game. They are moved to the middle of the table, without looking at them or disturbing their order.

Melds and Opening Requirement

During the game, players may meld combinations of tiles, placing them face up on the table, and the object is to be the first player to lay down all one's tiles. There are two ways to lay down tiles:

  1. A player can lay down sets and runs.
    • A set consists of three tiles (üçlü) or four tiles (dörtlü) of the same number and different colours. (So for example a black 7 plus two red 7's would not form a valid set.)
    • A run (el) consists of three or more consecutive tiles of the same colour. In Okey 101 (unlike ordinary Okey) the 1 can only be used as the lowest tile, below the 2. So 1-2-3 is a valid run, but 12-13-1 is not allowed.
  2. A set of three equal tiles can be expanded to four by adding a tile of the same number in the fourth colour. A run can be extended by adding more tiles of the same colour in sequence at either end.
  3. A player can lay down pairs of identical tiles (same number and same colour). - for example both black 5's. A pair cannot be extended.

These two methods cannot be mixed.

  • A player who begins laying down sets and runs must continue with sets and runs, and cannot meld identical pairs in that hand.
  • A player who begins with pairs must continue with pairs. This player cannot lay down new sets or runs, but is allowed to extend sets and runs begun by other players.

Jokers (the tiles of the same colour and one number greater than the tile turned up in the deal) can be used as substitutes for any tile needed to make a set, run or pair. Jokers that have been played remain where they are placed until the end - it is not possible in this game to move a joker or to reclaim it in exchange for the tile it represents.

Play

The player to dealer's right begins the play by optionally melding some tiles, if able to meet the requirements for a first meld (see below) and then discarding one tile face up. Play continues anticlockwise, and each player's turn consists of:

  1. Drawing the next tile from the face down stacks in the middle, or taking the face up tile discarded by the previous player. Note. The previous player's discard can only be taken if it is immediately used in a meld. It cannot be taken into the player's hand and kept for later use.
  2. Optionally melding some tiles, and/or adding to melds already put down by any player. Note the restrictions on melding explained below.
  3. Discarding one tile face up. Note that discarding a tile that could have been used to extend a set or run on the table incurs a penalty of 101 points.

This continues until a player finishes the game. There are three ways that the play can end:

  1. One of the players melds all their remaining tiles except one, and discards the last tile, leaving none. The player who played all his or her tiles is the winner and the other three players receive penalty points - see scoring.
  2. There are no face down tiles left in the drawing stacks: only the exposed tile that determines the joker is left in the middle. If the next player to play does not want to take the previous player's discard, the play ends because there are no tiles left to draw. In this case there is no score, except that any player holding a joker in hand scores 101 penalty points. The same player deals again.
  3. If all four players meld pairs, it is impossible for anyone to win. From a hand of 21 tiles you can make at most 10 pairs, so in order to win you have to get rid of at least one tile by extending sets or runs made by other players. If everyone puts down pairs this is not possible, so the play stops and there is no score, except that any player holding a joker in hand scores 101 penalty points. The same dealer deals again.

Initial Meld Requirements

A player's first meld must meet certain minimum requirements.

  1. If laying down sets and runs, a player must begin by putting down sets and runs from hand with a total value of at least 101 in a single turn. For this purpose, tiles have their face value - for example a red seven is worth 7 points and a green three is worth 3 points. A joker has the value of the tile it represents.
  2. For ease of calculation, it is worth noting that a 3-tile combination is worth three times the value of the middle tile. So for example a player wishing to put down 7-8-9, 11-11-11, 4-5-6, 11-12-13 would add the middle numbers 8+11+5+12 making 36. The total value is therefore 108 (=3×36) and this is a valid initial meld. As a shortcut, one can just check that the middle numbers add up to at least 34. For melds of four, the value of the end tile must be added to the total. For example 5-6-7-8, 13-13-13, 9-10-11, 2-2-2 gives 6+13+10+2 which is only 31 points for a total of 93, but adding the fourth tile (8) of the first run brings the total to 101 which is just sufficient. After a player has melded sets or runs to the value of 101 or more, that player can, in the same and future turns, lay down additional sets and runs irrespective of value, and add tiles to sets and runs laid down by other players.
  3. If laying down pairs, a player must begin by putting down at least five pairs from hand in a single turn. In this case the values of the tiles do not matter. After a player has melded five pairs, that player can, in the same and future turns, lay down additional pairs, and add tiles to sets and runs laid down by other players.

Note that a player is not allowed to add tiles to sets or runs on the table before putting down his or her own initial meld. Having made an initial meld, tiles can be added to other melds in the same turn, but the value of those tiles does not count towards the 101 required for the initial meld of sets and runs.

If a player who has not yet laid down any tiles wishes to take the previous player's discard, that discard must be used as part of the player's initial meld of at least 101 points or five pairs, and its value counts towards the initial meld.

Note every turn, even the last of the game, must end with a discard. Therefore it is not legal to meld all the tiles in your hand, leaving yourself with nothing to discard. For example if you have only two tiles in hand: 7-8 and you draw a 9, you cannot put these three down as a run. You will have to discard one of them and find another way to dispose of the other two.

If a player is able to put down 21 tiles at once in sets and runs, all created from hand, without adding to any other players' sets or runs, then the player is allowed to put down these tiles, discard the last tile and finish the game, even if the total value of the tiles is less than 101 points.

Scoring

In each deal, the winner gets a negative score and the other three players score penalty points based on the tiles remaining in their hands. Ordinary tiles have their face value, and unplayed jokers have a value of 101 penalty points each.

In a normal game in which the winner melded sets and runs and finished by discarding a tile that was not a joker:

  • The winner scores minus 101 points.
  • Other players who have melded sets and/or runs score the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points.
  • Players who have melded pairs score twice the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points.
  • Players who have not opened, and still have 21 tiles in their hands, score 202 penalty points.

If the winner melded sets and runs, and finished by discarding a joker:

  • The winner scores minus 202 points.
  • Other layers who have melded sets and/or runs score twice the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points (unplayed jokers .
  • Players who have melded pairs score four times the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points.
  • Players who have not opened, and still have 21 tiles in their hands, score 404 penalty points.

If the winner melded pairs and finished by discarding a tile that was not a joker:

  • The winner scores minus 202 points.
  • Players who have melded sets and/or runs score twice the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points.
  • Other players who have melded pairs score four times the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points.
  • Players who have not opened, and still have 21 tiles in their hands, score 404 penalty points.

If the winner melded pairs and finished by discarding a joker:

  • The winner scores minus 404 points.
  • Players who have melded sets and/or runs score four times the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points.
  • Other players who have melded pairs score eight times the total value of the tiles remaining in their hands as penalty points.
  • Players who have not opened, and still have 21 tiles in their hands, score 404 penalty points.

If a player puts down all 21 tiles in one turn, before any other player has put down any tiles at all, and discards a tile that is not a joker:

  • The winner scores minus 202 points.
  • The other players each score 404 penalty points.

If a player puts down all 21 tiles in one turn, before any other player has put down any tiles at all, and discards a joker:

  • The winner scores minus 404 points.
  • The other players each score 808 penalty points.

When the agreed number of deals has been played, the scores for all the deals are added together and the player with the lowest score is the winner.

Penalties

Players receive an additional penalty of 101 for the following actions. These penalties are added to the total points for that deal.

  • A player who discards a joker receives 101 penalty points.
  • If a player throws away a tile that can be added to a set or run that is already on the table they receive a 101 penalty. This happens even if the player hasn't opened yet. However, the player does not receive a penalty if it is the last tile they discard when finishing their hand.
  • If a player tries to open, but does not have the required 101 points or five pairs and they have to take back their tiles, they receive 101 penalty points.
  • If a player adds multiple tiles on the table and takes them back they receive a 101 penalty. The player is only allowed to take back the last tile they put down without a penalty.

Note that the firat two of these penalties may be unavoidable in certain cases. It may be that all your tiles could be used to extend sets or runs on the table, yet you do not have sufficient value of melds in your hand to be able to put down any tiles.

Other Okey 101 websites

Okey 101 can be played online at allinstar.com.