Rummy: A Game of Skill or Chance?

Published September 1, 2011

Rummy: A Game of Skill or Chance?

Indian courts recognize rummy as game of skill, rather than merely gambling.

At one stage or another, most forms of gaming have been asked to prove whether they are games of skill or luck, and rummy is no different. But now it seems that the law is accepting that rummy does indeed require skill.

Court decision sets precedent

The big breakthrough for rummy came recently when the Gujarat high court threw out charges of gambling against a local social club, which offered rummy to its members. The court noted in its verdict that rummy is primarily a skill game, similar to bridge.

This followed two similar court decisions made in other parts of India in the past couple of years. In one case, Patan's Rajvi Sports Club was acquitted of illegal gambling because it proved that its members were only paying rummy, and in a similar case, a club in Ahmedabad was also acquitted.

Rummy vs Teen Patti

One of the reasons rummy is often caught up in legal battles is because of its similarity to teen patti, a card game which - unlike rummy - is a game of chance, and therefore considered illegal under gambling prohibition laws.

This three-card game, native to India, is more similar to poker, although requires some luck. Rummy, on the other hand, requires skilled use of memory, and is suitable for all ages, including children, although obviously money should only change hands when played by adults, and responsible betting is required.

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