April and Kevin in Kuna Yala, the northeast coast of Panamá

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Isla Rummy (game rules)

We have all at some point been asked "If you were stranded on a island what would you want with you?" Well, we are not quite stranded on our island community...but my answer to that question will now always include games and cards. Imagine, we are alone together without electricity almost every evening. (Some of you should get your minds out of the gutter!) The sun goes down around 6:30 and we head to bed around 9:00 so there are 2-3 hours to fill. We tend to have only the following options for entertainment:
  • read
  • study spanish (not really entertainment)
  • visit nieghbors (usually already used all my spanish brainpower for the day)
  • play games: cards, yahtzee, dominos, other card or dice games
  • call family and friends
  • search around on short-wave radio for interesting programs (like news in Spanish broadcast from China)
  • sleep

We do a lot of all of the above, but I must say that rummy is only amusing for just so long when played by the same two people every time. The lack of options eventually lead us to try to make up a game...and that lead to the following version of rummy for two people. It is good for at least a month's worth of evening entertainment. Introducing: Isla Rummy

Isla Rummy

(for two people)
Courtesy of April and Kevin Cropper, Group 59, Veraguas Panama

These are the changes from the normal game of Rummy to get Isla Rummy. You can play with whatever version of Rummy rules you desire; if you need Rummy directions, check these links (which are different from the house rules we were taught...feel free to use your house rules.):

Dealer deals four piles of seven (7) cards, using whatever manner they want except all seven at once. The other player picks which two piles they want first. Each person selects one pile as their “hand” and one as their “foot”. Set the “foot” aside where you won’t lose it and won’t mistake it for the draw pile or your “hand”.

Play Rummy like normal, using your “hand”.

When a player gets down to two (2) cards in their “hand”, they can pick up their “foot”. If you get to two cards during the course of your turn, you can pick up your foot and continue to play with all of your cards. If you get to two cards by a discard ending your turn, you can pick up your “foot” but must wait until your next turn to play it.

If you make it to the bottom of the draw pile without a player using all of their “hand” and “foot”, the player who draws the last card finishes their turn and the game ends; the other player is stuck with the cards they are holding. Total your points (played cards positive, cards still in your hand negative). Highest total wins.

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