Turkish Rummy, also known as Okey, is a popular Rummy variation played with tiles. As the name implies, the game is especially common in Turkey though it enjoys widespread popularity elsewhere both live and online.
Turkish Rummy is designed for at least two players and online providers such as RummyRoyal allow up to four players to be active in a single game.
The most obvious difference players will notice in regards to other Rummy variations when they begin a game of Turkish Rummy is that the game is played with tiles instead of cards. In all, 106 tiles are used in a game, the equivalent of two decks of cards with two jokers.
To start the game, each player receives a single tile, which is used only to determine which player begins. Afterwards, fourteen tiles are dealt to each player, except for the player who plays first, who receives 15 and skips drawing a tile at the beginning of their first turn.
Once each player has been dealt their tiles, the remaining tiles are used to form the stock pile. The top tile of the stock pile is laid face up and may not be picked up by any player. It is only used to determine the wildcards of the round.
Unlike in Kalooki and Rummy 500, where jokers are always wild, in Turkish Rummy, the wildcards change every round based on the top tile of the stock pile. The wildcard for any given round is always one face value higher than the top tile of the stock pile (so for example, if the top tile of the stock pile is a 4, wildcards for the round would be 5’s). In online Rummy games such as those at RummyRoyal, wildcard tiles are marked with a J.
The “1” tile may be counted as high (after “13) or low (before “2”).
The objective in Turkish Rummy is to be the first player to discard of all of your tiles.
Just as in all Rummy variations, a player’s turn consists of drawing and discarding. A player draws a tile from either the stock or discard pile to begin their turn and lays one down in the discard pile to end it. However, in Turkish Rummy, players each have their own individual discard pile.
Each player begins a round with zero points, though penalty points are awarded as follows:
- If a player succeeds in laying down or discarding all of their tiles, all other players receive 20 penalty points.
- If the stockpile runs out of tiles all players receive 10 penalty points. This is referred to as Stalemate.
- If a player manages to lay down all of their tiles in seven pairs, all other players receive 40 penalty points.
- If a winning player’s last tile is a wildcard, all other players receive 40 penalty points.
- If a player is dealt the “upcard” at the beginning of a round, all other players receive 10 penalty points when the round is over, regardless of who wins.
The player with the fewest penalty points after a predetermined number of rounds is the winner.
Online Turkish Rummy games require a buy-in to play, which forms the prize pool. This money is then awarded to players at the end of a game according to a set payout structure. The winner receives the largest payout, with the remaining prize pool being distributed among the other players, depending on each player’s penalty points.