To win at Kalooki, you need to play as well as you possibly can, and luck aside, studying the fundamentals of Kalooki strategy will help you do just that.
In Kalooki, a player should always remember that you can gain in two ways – with the points you get for winning, and with the penalty points you get because your opponents have lost.
Understand when to play in a defensive manner- there are certain situations where defensive tactics can be used to good effect. For instance, when more than half the cards in the pack are gone, and you are having little luck with forming your sequences, playing defensively can save the loss of many points. And even if your opponent wins, not many points will be gained.
Although making Kalooki is an important goal in this game, don’t be so focused on this that you lose melding chances and end up paying a lot of penalty points. It is better to try for Kalooki only when your hand is nearly complete – and your decision to do so should be taken within the first couple of rounds.
When it comes to joker or wild card use, make sure this is done judiciously. You do not want your rival to be substituting the joker with an important card.
Pay attention to the building aspect in a Kalooki game. Try to build on the melds to gain points, and don’t give your opponent a chance to do so, wherever possible.
The two packs used in Kalooki are relevant for two reasons – for one, there will be a significant number of cards to keep track of. Secondly, you should bear in mind that a second chance is possible when you miss a particular card - since there are two of each in the game, you could get the other one soon.
Practice is essential if you want to hone your skills at Kalooki. You will need to keep track of a large number of cards, and training your mind to do this comfortably will be invaluable when you are playing the game. It is very important for you to be aware of the cards that have been discarded as well as the cards your opponent picks up. This is useful in that it gives you essential data about your rival’s cards – what he or she needs and doesn’t need. It is also helpful when it is your turn to discard, because you will know what to avoid discarding – cards that your rival is likely to pick up immediately, for example, to your subsequent disadvantage. The saying that knowledge is power is never truer than when applied to a winning game of Kalooki.
Also, when you are discarding a card, you should remember that your objective here is two-fold – you want to get rid of a card that is superfluous in your hand, and you want to do your best to ensure that your opponent does not pick it up. So play safe, but not at the cost of your own hand.