13 Card Rummy vs 21 Card Rummy
There are many variants of rummy. It is an ancient card game that has traveled the length and breadth of the world. In each country where rummy arrived, people put their own spin on the game, which is why so many versions emerged.
Two of the most popular versions of rummy that are extensively played in India are 13 cards rummy and 21 cards rummy. If you are new to rummy and are not familiar with any of the versions, you might be asking, which variant I should be starting with. That is why we will compare the two versions so that you can decide where you want to start.
13 Cards Rummy and 21 Cards Rummy
Since they are both variants of rummy, the ground rules are the same for both. There will be 2-6 players at each rummy table and each will be dealt a specific number of cards.
These cards have to be arranged into sets and sequences. Sets are 3 or more cards of the same rank but from different suits. When you arrange 3 or more cards ranked consecutively but from the same suit, you produce a sequence.
Both 21 cards rummy and 13 cards rummy are played with decks of 51 cards. The cards are ranked from 2 to 10 and each suit has 1 Ace, 1 Jack, 1 Queen, and 1 King valued at 10 points each. In both versions, the Joker card is used and its value is 0 points.
13 Cards vs 21 Card Rummy - which one to go for?
Now that we have covered the similarities, let us see where one version differs from the other.
The number of cards
The most obvious difference is the number of cards dealt to each player. In 21 cards rummy, each player is given 21 cards. Whereas, in 13 cards rummy, each player has to arrange 13 cards into sets and sequences.
Number of Decks
A 13 card rummy is usually played with 2 decks. Since each player is dealt with more cards in 21 cards rummy, this version of rummy is played with 3 decks.
Each round of 13 cards rummy takes less time to be completed than 21 cards rummy. The reason is simple. There are more cards involved in 21 cards rummy. Each player has 8 more cards to arrange than in 13 cards rummy. So only if you have a few hours at hand should you consider playing a few 21 cards rummy matches.
Number of Pure Sequences
According to the rules of 13 card rummy, you need to produce at least 1 pure sequence with a supported impure sequence. You have the liberty to arrange the remaining cards into any combination of sets and sequences.
But in 21 cards rummy, you need to create at least 3 pure sequences to win.
21 cards rummy is much more challenging than 13 cards rummy. First of all, you will have to play with more cards and secondly, there are more game rules in 21 card rummy than 13 card rummy. If you are a beginner, you should definitely start with the 13 card rummy. But if you have already mastered the 13 card version and want to try a variant that is more difficult and complex, then 21 cards rummy will meet your requirement.
Printed jokers and cut jokers (the top-most card of the closed deck and all the cards of the same rank from different suits) are used in both 21 cards rummy and 13 cards rummy. But in 21 cards rummy, you also have upper jokers and lower jokers. If 6 of Hearts is the cut joker and if you also have 5 of Hearts and 7 of Hearts, then these 2 cards will be your lower and upper jokers. Together they will form a marriage hand.
So there you have it - 21 cards rummy is more elaborate, time-consuming, and complicated than 13 cards rummy which has a simpler and faster format. Both are thrilling and competitive. The version you pick depends on your skill level and how much time is available to you.