A Walk Through the History of Rummy Games

Today you can play online rummy at almost every gaming platform. But do you know the source from where this card game originated? The history or rummy suggests the existence of the game thousands of years ago. In the post below, we will discuss different perspectives about how the game came to see the light of the day.

Developed from Conquian

What is ‘Conquian’ and does it have links to rummy? Find it out here:

  • The popular belief says that a rummy game is an evolved version of ‘Conquian’.
  • This was a game with origins in either Mexico or Spain.
  • Many are of the proposition that Spanish migrants who settled in America came to invent the game.
  • It is also said that all the rummy variants originated from Conquian.
  • Gradually from the 19th century, people started to play the game throughout America.

The Basis of the Name – Rummy

Why is rummy called rummy? Here is what you must know:

  • The theory behind the origin of the name ‘Rummy’ is the British slang word ‘Rum’.
  • For Britishers, the word ‘rum’ means something peculiar or odd. Maybe this is how the folks in the country saw the game.
  • Also, it is said that rummy rules could have their basis from ‘Rum Poker’. It has ancestral laws that govern different types of card games.
  • Some people link the game with the ‘Rum’ – alcoholic beverage. The defeated player was believed to pay for the winner’s next round of drinks.

Asian Origins to Rummy

Did the game come from Asia? Go, read more below:

  • Another perspective is that the ultimate rummy came from North America. But other researchers say, it was developed in Europe
  • However, one cannot avoid links of this game to Asia as well. In China, people used to play ‘Mahjong’.
  • Mahjong was a royalty game played by folks of the kingdom, which later on was played by the common masses as well.
  • It contains a pick and drop style, which is the same as that in rummy.
  • This game was also known as Kon Khin and Khanhoo in China. So, the possibility of an Asian connection is probable here.
  • From China, the game spread out in India as well. And the origin of Indian Rummy happened henceforth.
  • There are also speculations that this card game came from Hanafuda – a Japanese game. This was developed by travellers from Portugal to Japan.

Connections with World War I and Poker

Was it a fallout of World War 1 or the Poker variant? Know here:

  • The introduction of how to play rummy may stem from reports seen in Hungarian newspapers. The news snippets contained details about the presence of this game after World War I.
  • It is also thought that the same was established at a time around the 1915 era. In this period, cafes and coffee shops bloomed all over in the Pest division of Budapest city.
  • Thus, visitors of these cafes passed their free time playing rummy on the table.
  • Another theory is that rummy is a variant of Whiskey Poker. It has several styles similar to the contemporary card game.
  • Finally, it is said that the game was developed from Rum Poker.

Final Thoughts

It is hard to pinpoint a single source to the origin of rummy games. By all the propositions, it is possible that somehow the game was played by travellers and royalties who went from place to place. This is how the game became popular in different parts of the world. And every country developed its version of the game. Rummy also became a household game during Great Depression and the 1930s. This is because people chose simple and inexpensive ways to stay entertained with their dear ones.

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