The card game Rummy has entertained tabletops for decades, but it has waned in popularity due to a public fascination with multi-use electronic devices. While the classic 52 cards in a deck are certainly versatile, the single goal of shedding one’s hand does not hold interest as it once did, perhaps because those who are very good at it dominate to leave the rest of us in the dust. The new family game Random Rummy 12 brings in new elements of game-play to revive a classic and leave those electronic devices behind.
What sets Random Rummy 12 apart from the rest is its set of 12 winning conditions that must be met for a player to declare overall victory. Rather than the singular goal of emptying one’s hand by a series of melds, every player is hoping to achieve mixes such as “two 4-card sets”, “one 4-card set, one 4-card run”, and “one 7-card run all one color.” Players follow Rummy rules of picking up and discarding cards, working toward hands of their choice. Whenever a player goes out, the hands that are laid down are counted along with scores counting against players still holding extra cards. Players ultimately race to be the first to get 12 hands, but they must be mindful of scores that could prevent them from winning in a tie.
To add another layer of variables to the game, Random Rummy 12 contains ten Wild cards, six Draw 2 cards, and a Joker. The Wilds act as wilds tend to do, substituting for any card of any color, and hilariously come marked with phrases such as “thank you!”, “finally!” and “it’s about time!”, which players are sure to think as they finally can fulfill the hands they need. The Draw 2 cards can be used to one’s own advantage or to hamper someone just about to go out, hilariously hamstringing someone’s plan. The cards can also be used to gain a couple of extra cards, perhaps useful early in the game when a few extras could lead to a quicker hand. The Joker serves as a placeholder worth 50 points that could be added or subtracted, a great boon or near-destruction.
Random Rummy is a game for three to five players aged 10 to 110. Players may take up several different strategies of doing the easy hands first or tackling the hard ones while still fresh in the game. With every player working toward something different, it diminishes the issue of Rummy experts ruling the table, though a keen mind will be needed to follow each opponent’s moves.