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Rummibug Instructions

Rummibug is a tile-based game designed to be played by 2-4 players.

Creating Sets

Rummibug is a game about making sets using the number tiles. Sets include runs and groups. Each set must be at least 3 tiles in length to be valid.

Runs are sequences of tiles of the same colour, in an increasing number order. Note that wrapping over is not allowed, so a 1 cannot follow a 13. An example of a valid run made using red tiles is shown below.


Groups are combinations of the same number with different colors. Note that since there are only 4 colors in the game, each group must consist of at least 3 tiles, and 4 tiles at the maximum. An example of a full group of four is shown below.


Invalid combinations are shown below.

34567 (Invalid because the 6 is not of the same color)

554-5 (Invalid because the 4 is not the same number as the group)

555-5-5 (Invalid because there are two Yellow 5 tiles used)

The First Move

Players are not allowed to do any tile manipulations until after making their first move. The first move is to place one or more valid sets of tiles that have a combined value of at least 30 points onto the board. Before playing out this move, players cannot use the tiles already on the board

Examples of valid first moves is shown below:

  • 111213 (11+12+13=36 points > 30 points)
  • 8-888 (8+8+8+8=32 points > 30 points)
  • 4-5-6-7 and 3-33 ((4+5+6+7) + (3+3+3) =31 points > 30 points)

Note that you can play multiple sets in one turn if they are available. If players are unable to play their first move, they draw tiles from the draw pile and pass their turn. This repeats until the player is able to play out their first move.

Playing the Game

The main game-play of Rummibug begins once players make their first move. The basics are to make sets, as described above. Once the first move is made, the rest of the sets are not subject to the minimum of 30 points. For example, a set of 333 (9 points) is valid after the first move.

Apart from making sets, players can make manipulations on the existing sets.


The goal of the game is to win rounds by clearing all tiles from your hand. If the round ends with all tiles being drawn from the draw pile, the player having the least amount of remaining tiles will be considered the winner.

Joker Rules

Jokers that are played can be used as a substitute for any tile in any set. Once a Joker is played, it cannot be taken back into hand. Players can, however, substitute the Joker tiles to use them in other sets.

For example, if there is a group of 777J, a player that has the green 7 tile can substitute the Joker in the run, and use it in any valid sets .

Jokers that are substituted must be used on that turn, and cannot stay in the players hand.


scoring is based around the hands of the losing players. Each tile is worth a point value identical to its face value. For example, the 2, 2, 2 and 2 tiles are all worth 2 points each.

Joker tiles in hand are worth 30 points each.

For example, if there are 3 players in a round of Rummibug, and Player 1 wins the round. Assuming the hands of each player are as follows:


Tiles in Hand


No tiles remaining.


4, 10, 2


Joker, 7

In this case, Player 2 has a sum of 16 points, and Player 3 has a sum of 37 points (Jokers are worth 30 points). When Player 1 ends the round as the winner, they are awarded the sum of all points, In this case, 53 points. Players 2 and 3 get 0 points.

At the end, the player who has the highest score after the preselected number of rounds wins the game.

Altering Sets

Making alterations to sets already on the board is an important part of the game. Note that there is no limit to the number of tiles and alterations you can make each turn.


The most basic alteration is adding tiles to existing sets. For example, you can add a tile (or tiles) to existing sets. For example, if a run of 345678 exists on the board, and a player has the 2 and 9 tiles. They can add the tiles to the run, making a run of 23456789.

The same principle can be used in groups. If a group of a certain color exists with a length of 3, such as 888, a player can add a green 8 tile to make a group of 8-888.

Note that wrapping around is not allowed, so a 1 cannot follow a 13. For example, the following sequence is invalid: 89101112131

Splitting Runs

Long runs can be split into 2 or more runs, provided each of the runs are at least 3 tiles in length at the end of your turn.

For example, given the run 234567, and given a player has a blue 4 tile, the run can be split into the runs 234 and 4567. Note that players can also extend the split runs on their same turn.


Players can replace tiles in groups by any valid replacements. For example, if there is a group of fives, 5-55, and a run of 234, if a player has a red 5 tile, they can substitute the yellow 5 tile in the group, and use it in the run. This results in the following sets: 5-55, 2345.

Game Controls

Drawing Tiles
To draw tiles , click on Draw Tiles

Creating new set
Select the tiles in your hand that you wish to add as part of a new set, then click Add New Set

Adding to existing set
Select the tiles you wish to add, then click on any of the tiles in the set you wish to add to.

Removing Tiles
If you wish to remove a tile from a set, so you can use the tile in a different set, click on the tile you wish to remove from the board. The tile will be placed in your rack, remember that you must use the tile during the turn, you cannot store the tile for use in a different turn.

Replacing a Joker
To replace a joker you must have the tile in rack that the joker is currently representing. select the tile in your rack , then click on the joker you wish to replace it with. You wil be asked if you want to replace the joker or add the card to the set, in most cases, replacing the joker is what you will want to do.

Splitting a set
To split a set, click on the Split button , then click on the card where you wish to split the set.

Special Rules

  • Players will start each round with 21 tiles .
  • Players must meld tiles if they have 35 or more tiles in their hand.

Relaxed Game Mode

Relaxed Rummibug is a "house rules" version of Rummibug. It was built for those who enjoy playing their games in a manner that requires regularly adding sets to the table.

If you prefer other tactics when playing, choose Standard Game style, Standard is less restrictive and allows for more variety of tactics.

Rules of Relaxed Mode
In a 2 player game, players start with 25 tiles each, and can have up to 30 tiles in their hand. After reaching 30 tiles, you are required to start adding sets to the table.

Points needed for your initial meld is 20.

As the game progresses, the maximum number of tiles allowed in hand slowly reduces, which makes for an interesting game where the table is constantly changing, with new sets being added, tiles being shifted around, etc. While you can hold more than the maximum tiles in your hand, you will have 5 points deducted from your score for doing so. If you are in this situation, you will be informed before ending your turn that this will happen, giving you a chance to change your turn before being penalized.These are the only differences between Relaxed and Standard modes. All other rules apply.

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