It’s not a domino game, and it’s not a card game. You could say it’s both and at the same time neither, but one thing is certain: you’ll have fun and keep your brain very active in a mix of strategy and luck.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you a Rummikub Board Game Review. A game from 1977 that still make a lot of success anywhere you go.
Creator: Ephraim Hertzano
Publisher: Multiple Publishers
Year Published: 1977
Number of Players: 2 – 4
Age: 8 and above
Play Time: 30 minutes
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Game Rules: Click here
Best Price: Check at Amazon
Rummikub has 106 tiles with numbers from 1 to 13 and 4 different colors plus 2 jokers and 4 playing racks. The tiles are made from a high-quality plastic material, and the numbers are printed in a small concave space which makes it extremely durable and very hard to remove, even after years of use.
The racks also have a good quality, but I’d prefer that the support for the tiles were a bit thicker than it currently is as sometimes you can drop everything because someone kicked the table. 😛
As usual for classic games, you can find it in a Deluxe or Classic version. Both are very well made and have some great finishing. If you’re looking for buying Rummikub, you should definitely take a look at those.
Starting with 14 tiles, your goal is to get rid of all of them or, if someone does it first, you should have a very low sum of numbers in your hand.
Every turn you can use your tiles or take a new one from the tile pool. To use your tiles you can make either Groups or Runs. Groups are formed by at least 3 tiles with the same number, but different colors. Runs consist in at least 3 tiles of the same color and with consecutive numbers. Jokers can be used as any number of any color.
The best part of the game is that you can start using other players games to use your own tiles, which means that everything that’s on the table is of everyone’s use. You can also move tiles between games, but never leave less than 3 together.
Usually, the beginning of the game is a bit slow as there are not enough tiles on the table, but it rapidly changes as you have more and more options and every turn people move the tiles from place to place opening (and closing) new opportunities for you to play.
Having a good strategy is as good as paying attention to what is happening on the table. As the game changes all the time, sometimes you just miss a spot to put your tile and you end up losing the game.
Some of the strategies include but are not limited to hold some tiles in your hand to not have to draw a new one in the next turn. Place tiles that you know other players will not be able to use or even just change tiles from the table to make everyone confuse. Every game you’ll find yourself using a different strategy as everything will be different, so being able to adapt to changes is a skill that you’ll develop.
When the game finishes, everyone that still has tiles to play sum its values and take not of it as negative numbers. The sum of everyone tiles is the positive number for whoever has not tiles left. After a few matches, the player with the highest score wins the game.
As I said in my Health Benefits of Board Games article, most game boards improve your skills and with Rummikub it’s not different. You have to use math to calculate points, think fast to keep up with the game changes and build a strategy to be able to be the first one to use all your tiles. Rummikub is a board game to keep your mind active at all times.
Interested? Buy it or read more reviews at Amazon.
I usually set a limit of points to play and decide who’s the winner, which is usually 500. If you have some friends that are excellent at this game, you’ll end up with a low score of -497 as I once did.
Interesting! I haven’t heard about this game maybe because it’s not famous in South East Asia. But I’m curious about this and want to try this game someday. Sounds like a bit similar to a card game and I think my friends will like it. Gonna refer this site to them and have them read. Thanks for the review. Cheers 😉
You should definitely try it. Thanks for your comment.
I remember playing Rummikub a long time ago when I was in junior high. This review reminds me of how great this game is. I’m definitely interested in picking this game up again.
This game is one that from time to time we get back to it and see that it’s still a lot of fun.
Thanks for your comment.
Thanks for the review Marcelo!
My sons are getting older now and I want to play board games with them that
will actually make them think. I like this one.
This is a great one to make them think faster, use some math and think strategically. You’re doing the right thing.
Hey Marcelo, thank you for this. It reminds me of childhood when we used to gather and play this game for hours at a time. I totally forgot about it for over 20 years. I am now thinking to buy it and teach my daughter how to play. I am sure that we can have fun playing this game.
I bet she’ll love it! I always have a lot of fun playing it.
What a well organized review of this game, and comprehensive, too!
You present it just right, and I end up knowing enough about it to try out….
My friends have the game but I’ll be wanting it also, I imagine.
Please feel free to put me on your e-mail list!
My closest friends and I will be regular visitors and probably buyers as well…..
Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you liked it. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun playing Rummikub. 🙂