How to Play Umtali

Unmtali is a rummy style card game for two players, using one deck of cards.

Umtali Rules

| Players: 2 | Type: Rummy | Supplies: 1 Deck, Paper & Pen |


The object of umtali is to score more points than your opponent by the end of the fourth round.


Deal 10 cards to each player, place the remaining deck face down in the center to form the stock. Take the top card of the stock and place it face up next to the stock to form the discard pile.

Game Play

The non-dealer goes first. You start your turn by drawing a card, you meld if possible, then you discard to end your turn.

Card Rank

(Highest Rank) King to Ace (Lowest rank)


You may draw the top card of the stock, or the top card of the discard pile and add it to your hand. Cards drawn this way are not required to be played the turn they were drawn.

You may pick up any card from the discard pile. If you pick up a card from the discard pile that is not the top card, it must be melded the turn you pick it up. If you pick up a card from the discard pile that is not the top card, you must also pick up every card on top of it, these cards are not required to be played that turn.


There are three basic types of melding in this game: set, run (also known as sequence), and single-card. There are two unique types of melds in this game: marriage and jack. After drawing, a player may meld as many times as they want during their turn.

Set: A set is three or four cards of the same rank.

Run: A run is three or more cards in sequential order, in the same suit. (example 5 of hearts, 6 of hearts, and 7 of hearts is a run)

Single-card: Once a set or sequence has been laid down, either player can extend that meld. A set of three may have the fourth card added. A run may have the next highest, or next lowest card of the same suit added to that meld. When a player extends a meld, they must announce which meld it is being added to, this can not change. When single-card melds are played, they are placed in front of the player who is playing them, even if they are adding to a meld their opponent has set down. This is to keep track of score.

Marriage: A marriage is a king and queen of the same suit.

Jack: Jacks can not form part of a set or sequence. Instead, they are played individually. When a jack has been played, a ten or a queen of the same suit may be played on them.

Going Out

The round is over when either player melds or discards their last card, then their opponent takes one more turn. If a player goes out by discarding their last card, they must discard that card face down. The next player takes their last turn. If a player went out by discarding a card face down, their opponent may only draw from the stock.

On both players' last turn, they may make a meld of two cards instead of three. Meaning they can meld a pair of two ranking cards, or a run of two cards in the same suit, as long as it is their last turn. After a player goes out, and their opponent melds the rest of the cards they can from their hand, instead of the opponent discarding, all remaining cards in their hand go towards the score of the player who went out. The round is over. Tally up score and start the next round.


After each round, players earn points based on the cards they melded.

10/Jack/Queen/King: 5 points each
A - 9: 1 point each
Queens/Kings in marriage: 10 points each instead of 5

Additional Rules

If you pick up the top card of the discard pile, you may not discard it during the same turn.


The player with the highest score after 4 rounds is the winner.

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