Offensive vs Defensive – Which Rummy Strategy is Best For You?

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Offensive vs Defensive – Which Rummy Strategy is Best For You?

Rummy is one of the most entertaining games you can play with a deck of cards. It can be played with multiple people, but it is the most fun and competitive when there are fewer than four players. If you are new to the game, this article will help you understand and master the game of Rummy. 

Before we get started, since the entire world plays Rummy, the rules about how the points are calculated and some other minor rules might be different. We’ll talk about the general rules and the strategies that you can use to win the game. 

While you can play Rummy however you like, two strategies can be implemented based on different factors such as your skills, the game, the number of players, etc. These two strategies are; Offensive and Defensive. 

Let us elaborate on these two strategies but first, understand all the Rummy game rule and how you can add these strategies to your gameplay. 

How to Play Rummy?

Rummy is a card game that can be played with a normal deck of cards. It can be played by 2 to 6 people, and the cards are dealt according to the number of players. For example, if there are just two players, then both players get 10 cards each. 

If there are 3 to 4 players, then each player gets 7 cards, while for 5 to 6 players, each player will get 6 cards each. The rest of the cards are kept in the middle and are called the draw pile. 

The dealer, after dealing the cards, shall take one card from the draw pile and keep it face up next to it. This will be the discard pile. The game begins with the player left to the dealer, starting the game and moving clockwise. 

As a player, you aim to create “melds” with your hand. Melds can be made when there are three or four sequences of cards. The cards must either be in increasing or decreasing order of the same suit (1,2,3,4 of hearts make a meld) or the same cards of different suits (three 10s). 

Players can either take from the draw pile or the discard pile for melding and then throw one card in the discard pile. The same card taken from the discard pile cannot be kept back in a pile. Once you have created a meld, you can keep it face up so that everyone can see. 

Other players can also add to someone else’s meld if they have the right card. The player who gets rid of all the cards first scores a point. These are the basic playing rules of the game. With these rules, let’s look at the two different strategies you can use to win the game. 

Offensive Strategy

Offensive strategy requires a lot of attention and the will to sabotage the other person’s melding attempts. When you have your hand ready, make sure that you notice every move of your opponents.

For example, if your opponent is taking cards from the discard pile, remember which cards they take and then try to figure out what sequence they are making. 

Here’s what you can do. If you see the discard pile has the card that your opponent might need, take a card from the draw pile and then place some other card on the draw pile. 

This will stop the other player from melding and getting rid of their cards. There is, of course, some negative side to this strategy. The first is that in an attempt to ruin their hand, you cannot properly focus on your hand and complete the game. 

You also need to be extra careful while putting your cards down if you are melding, as the other player can add to your meld and win the game. 

An offensive strategy is only recommended when you have a good experience with the game, and there are 2 to 4 players. As the number of players increases, the complexity of offensive strategy also increases. 

Defensive Strategy

A defensive strategy is a perfect strategy for beginners who are not great at keeping a tab of all the cards their opponent is picking. This is also the best strategy when there are a lot of other players in the game. 

In defensive strategy, players need to focus more on their hands and aim to finish their cards as soon as possible. Try to be discreet about showing your cards, and it is better to meld as many cards as possible before putting them down. 

It is also recommended that you take the cards from the draw pile often, as this would prevent other players from figuring out your cards. New players should always strengthen their defensive strategy first to understand the game properly. 

That was all about the different strategies you can use to win a game of Rummy. 

Remember that offensive strategy is great for seasoned players who are playing the game against one or two opponents. 

The defensive strategy is for players who are new to the game, and there are multiple players. So start playing the game and have fun!


Whether you are a seasoned player or a beginner, here’s everything you need to know about offensive and defensive strategies in Rummy to win the game.

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