Probability of winning Rummy is all about your mathematical approach

By | March 10, 2017

So, what if you were a back bencher during your school days? Ah yes! You were supposed to be a mediocre student carrying an abysmal knowledge in all subjects, more so in mathematics. On the contrary, when you practise playing the 13 card game sincerely, you will be surprised to discover a mathematician in you. No, I am not kidding.

Rummy Strategies

You have not understood Rummy fully if you tell me that the game is often won or secured keeping in mind only the analytical skills and strategies which you mastered. When you adopt a calculative approach courtesy mathematical ability, you can chalk out better ways of winning the game.

Now comes the next question. Mathematics being an ocean, which part of it is used by Rummy players to have an edge over their opponents? As you are aware, the game of Rummy is all about forming sequences (one of which must be a pure sequence) with the set of random cards which comes to your possession post shuffling.

Just like how a student, appearing for an examination, is kept in dark unaware of the questions which he will be receiving, so will be the status of an online Rummy player who will stay clueless as to what sort of cards will be discarded and found in the opened and closed decks respectively. It is this uncertainty which the mathematics of “probability” helps to overcome through rational and reasonable thinking. Let us now look in detail as to how it works.

The concept of Probability:

Probability is nothing but guessing logically happening of an event. It needs to be understood that this concept is closely connected with the game of Rummy. The probability that a favorable event happens is much lesser than the happening of an unfavorable event. In a pack of 52 cards, the probability of picking a favorable card is 1/52 whereas on the contrary, picking an unfavorable card is 1-1/52. So, in all likelihood, the happening of a favorable event is very much lower than that of an unfavorable event. So, how to see to that the favorable sequences are formed despite the remote chance of getting it. Here are a few ideas:

Tracking your opponent’s card:

There are as many red coloured as there are black colour cards in a pack of 106 cards. If you are in possession of more black coloured cards like clubs and spades, the probability is that your opponent has more of red coloured cards – Dices and Hearts.

So, you are not supposed to drop red coloured cards during initial moves. Failing to comply with these  rummy rules will only help your opponent to make the sequences easily. Likewise, if you have more of odd numbered cards at your disposal, it implies your opponent has more of even numbered cards. This is one way of calculating probable pieces at the hands of your opponents.

Concept of connecting cards:

Connecting cards is yet another concept, conceived by the arithmetic of probability. If you are in possession of cards like 3 and 6 clubs, you have better chances of forming sequence with 4 and 5 clubs. But you stand impossible to form sequences if you have a group of 3 and 9 of clubs. So, by such reasoning, try to unburden yourself of unwanted cards.

Detecting jokers:

Probability can also be used to find out the whereabouts of the jokers in the game. If you are faced with only one opponent and get at least five jokers, then probably your opponent is left with none or a very few jokers. Otherwise, the jokers are remaining in the closed deck. In this way, you can track out jokers via probability concept.


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