Kalooki is a popular Rummy game offered in different variations, the most popular of which being Kalooki 40 and Kalooki 51. Kalooki is a version of Contract Rummy, in which players must complete a given “contract” before being able to lay down card combinations and finish the game. In online Kalooki, these contacts usually consist of accumulating a certain number of points, based on the values assigned to each card. Kalooki is especially popular in Jamaica, where it is the most common Rummy variation played. In the rest of the world, Kalooki is exceptionally popular online - tables are offered at the online Rummy provider RummyRoyal, where players can choose between fun-mode and real-money tables. '
Online Kalooki is played with between two and four players, though live versions of the game can include as many as eight players.
The number of decks used in Kalooki depends on the number of players. Online games are played with two decks of cards. An interesting twist is added in Kalooki in that two Jokers are used as well – which can then be used as “Wildcards,” meaning they can be used to take the place of any card value or rank a player holding them needs.
Kalooki is played similarly to other Rummy variations – players attempt to
form “melds” of three or more cards, either of the same rank (set) or in a sequence and of the same suit (run). A player may not begin to lay down their melds until their card values add up to at least 40 (Kalooki 40) or 51 (Kalooki 51) points. Point values are determined according to the following scale:
- Each number card's value corresponds to its number, meaning a meld of 3-4-5 is worth twelve points.
- Face cards are valued at ten points each.
- Aces can function as either a high or low card, and can therefore be worth one or eleven points.
- Jokers assume the value of the card they represent.
Penalty points are then awarded to players who still have cards in their hand after the first player completes enough melds to get rid of all of their cards. However, penalty point values are calculated differently, with Aces always being counted high (eleven points) and Jokers being assigned 25 points.
Each player pays a buy-in to participate in an online Kalooki game. The player who comes in first place receives 75% of this amount, with the remaining 25% being divided among the other players based on the amount of their penalty points.