The Turkish Rummy
Okey is a Turkish tile-based game. It is typically played with four players. It is believed to have evolved from a game called Rummikub. The game is popular all over Turkey and is played at homes and coffeehouses.
Objective of the game
The aim is to be the first player to eliminate all the tiles. The game comes to an end when a player puts down all his tiles forming sets, runs or 7 pairs. The player must also have one tile to be placed on the discard pile.
- Sets: A set has three or more tiles that hold the same rank, for instance three sevens or four fours.
- Run: A run consists of a minimum of three consecutive tiles in identical suit. For example, black three, four and five or seven, eight, nine and ten in red.
- 7 Pairs: A player can win the game even if his hand is not melded into runs and sets. This happens when the player has 7 identical pairs. These 7 pairs can be in the form of two blue sevens, two red fours and so on.
- Players: There are usually two or four players in a game of Okey. Tournaments comprise of several tables with an appropriate number of players on each.
- The deck: The game needs 106 tiles. This includes two jokers and two regular decks. There are thirteen tiles in four different colors in each deck.
- Dealing: A stock pile is placed in the center of the table. At the beginning of the round, every player takes out one tile from this pile. Whoever has the highest ranking tile plays first, and the player with the second highest tile plays next and this continues for all the players. The first player, who has the highest ranking tile, gets 15 tiles at the beginning of the game and all the others get 14. The player who begins also skips the requirement to draw a tile on their first turn. Apart from these tiles, the rest make up the stock pile, one card is placed facing up on top of the pile, which serves as an up-card.
Playing the game
- Wild cards: Wild cards are the ones that have a "j" on the right hand corner at the bottom. Wild cards can be used as substitutes for any of the tiles to complete a meld. These cards rank just above the up-card and are determined at the beginning of a round. For example, the Wild cards for a particular round can be red fives, if the up-card for that round is a red four.
- Starred tiles: Tiles that have stars on them can substitute the original Wild Cards to complete melding and pairs. All tiles that have stars on them are numbered at the bottom on the right hand corner. This indicates the tile that they replace.
Playing your turn
- Drawing tiles: All players start by drawing from the stock pile or discard pile. Every player has his own discard pile. Players can also pick up tiles from the discard pile of the player who plays before them.
- Discarding: Every player must discard a tile at the end of their turn; the discarded tile is placed right on top of the discard pile.
Ending the round
A round comes to an end when all the tiles in the stock pile run out (called a stalemate) or when a player lays down all his tiles and then discards the last tile.
Scoring in Okey
The game begins with all players at zero points. The aim of the game is to keep your scores low. Penalty points are given as the game progresses. When a player lays down his cards, opponents get 20 penalty points. If the discard card that the winner lays down at the end is a wild card, opponents get 40 more points. If a player gets a tile matching the one that was discarded at the end by the winner at the opening of the next round, all opponents are penalized by 10 points.