Kalooki 51 Rules

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Learn the official Kalooki 51 rules of RummyRoyal.com in a few minutes!

Objective: To be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand. The winner is the player that gets rid of all of his cards except one, which he then discards into the discard pile at the end of his turn, before his opponents does. A player can get rid of his cards by forming melds of runs or sets in the melding area.

Number of participants: two to four players can play Kalooki 51 (although up to 6 can play in some of the original versions of the Kalooki games).

About the decks: The game is played with two decks of cards including 2 jokers. Both decks of cards contain 4 suits consisting of 13 cards each.

Card values in the game: The cards’ value table is not complex but it is important to note the nuances.

In this game, players can lay down their first melds as long as their value equals or exceeds 51. Therefore, please note that the cards value towards reaching this number is as followed:

* Each number card’s value corresponds with its number. Therefore, for example, the value of the meld 3-4-5 is 12.

* Special values are given to the three royal cards which are worth 10 points each.

* The ace can function both as a low and a high card, and therefore could get the value of 1 and 11 respectively, towards meeting the sum of 51.

* The jokers take the value of the card they represent.

Cards value in penalty points:

At the end of each round the defeated opponents are awarded with penalty points per the cards left in their hand. Please note that in this case, Ace will always be worth 11 points, Jokers are worth 25 points, and any royal card is worth 10.

The four suits:

The cards and their values:

1/11 points2 points3 points4 points5 points6 points
7 points8 points9 points10 points10 points10 points
10 points25 points

Note – When using a joker in a meld it takes the numerical value of the card it represents (for example: in a set of 3 – joker – 5, the joker’s value is 4 points), however, when a player has a joker in their hand after their opponent has gone out the joker represents – 25 penalty points. Ace can be values as 1 or 11, however, in regards to penalty points, it will always be 11.

Game play

At the beginning of each hand, there’s a short high-card round in which each player receives one random card and the player with the highest card gets to have the first turn, the rest of the turns are ordered by the card values in a clockwise manner.

The rules of kalooki 51 state that each player receives 13 cards. The remaining cards make up the stock pile. The top card is placed face up and is the first card to start the discard pile. When the cards in the discard pile run out they are reshuffled and become a new stock pile.

A set consists of 3 or more cards of the same rank:


A run consists of 3 or more consecutive cards of the same suit:


The game play of Kalooki 51 can be categorized as having a beginning, middle and ending move, although the middle move is not always played.

The beginning move: at the beginning of his turn, the player draws a card. The card can be drawn from either the stock pile or from the discard pile.

The middle move: after drawing a card, the player can choose to meld cards and lay them down in the designated melding area. Laying down melds for the first time during a hand is conditioned by the total sum of the meld reaching or exceeding the sum of 51.

Once a player has laid down his initial melds, he can then build on existing melds.

Building: is done by adding cards to existing melds made by the player or his opponents. The cards used for this are called Builders.

For example: In the melding in the following meld:

Any player can build on the meld using any of these cards:

The ending move: discard a card into the designated discard pile.

Using jokers: as jokers can replace any cards in the game, it is important to note the rules for using them. When a joker is in the melding area in a run, any player can exchange the joker with a card from his hand with the value of the card that the joker is replacing. If a joker is being used in a set of 3 cards, a joker can only be replaced by building onto the set with the two remaining cards that complete it. In case a player builds a forth card to that set, this move locks the meld and the joker can never be switched.

End of the game

According to the official Kalooki 51 rules ends when one of the players has melded all of his cards in the melding area, leaving one card in his hand that is used to discard and end the game.

There are two ways of winning in Kalooki 51:

Going Out – When a player “Goes Out” he is actually the first player to get rid of all the cards in his hands, while gradually laying down melds on the table, during different turns.

In this type of win, each player excluding the winner receives penalty points corresponding to the value of the remaining cards in their hand.

Going Kalooki – When a player lays down all of his cards in one move without using any builders.

In this type of win, each player excluding the winner receives an extra 25 penalty points over and above the penalty points received for the remaining cards in their hand.

Please note, it is possible to “Go Kalooki” without reaching the initial meld requirement of 51 points. This exception is allowed only when a player melds his entire hand in one move and without using any builders.

Scoring in Kalooki 51:

At the end of the game the pool prize is divided between the players according to their penalty points. The winning player receives at least 75% of the prize. The remaining 25% is divided between the remaining players, as long as they have less than 100 penalty points.

See other Rummy games rules on different sections on our website: Gin Rummy rules, Rummy 500 rules and Traditional Rummy rules.

Click here for an example.

Scoring Example

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