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Tummy Rummy

Tummy Rummy is ideal with two to four players, but more can play if you're willing. All you need to play is a standard deck of 52 cards and a full supply of Thanksgiving Day grub.

The player who deals first is the one who can hold the most deviled eggs in their mouth; from that point on, the role of dealer goes in a clockwise pattern. If two people are playing, deal out ten cards. Seven cards each are dealt if there are three or four players, and if there are five or six players, deal out six cards. Once all the cards are dealt, the next card is placed face up on the table to start the discard pile, and the remainder of the deck is placed face down beside it to form the "broth."

The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards. There are several ways to get rid of your cards:

  1. Taking three or more of the same-numbered card (like 7 or Jack) and placing them face-up on the table.
  2. Taking three or more cards of the same suit in a row (e.g., 8-9-10-Jack of Hearts) and placing them face-up on the table.
  3. Adding a card to a group already on the table (for instance, you have three 4's on the table and you get the fourth 4).
  4. You can't do any of the above, so in anger you take your crappiest card and throw it in disgust into the discard pile.
Now let's get on to the action. The person to the left of the dealer starts by drawing a card. The player can draw the top card from the "broth" or select to top card from the discard pile. If the player can perform one of the top three actions from above, they do so now. When they can do nothing else, they discard a card into the discard pile, and the play continues in a (let's say it together, shall we?) clockwise pattern.

If the "broth" has run out and the next player does not want to take the discard, the discard pile is flipped over and becomes the new "broth."

The hand is over when one person has successfully gotten rid of all their cards. At this point, the true fun of Tummy Rummy begins.

The person out of cards, or "The Chef," has total immunity until the end of the next hand. The Chef cannot be made to eat. The players who are not the Chef hold on to their cards, and commences to the "Feeding."

The Feeding

First, use the following chart to show what food corresponds with each card:

King Turkey
Queen Stuffing
Jack Pumpkin Pie
Ten Sweet Potatoes
Nine Mashed Potatoes
Eight Cranberry Sauce
Seven Corn
Six Gravy
Five Rolls
Four Spinach Casserole
Three Rhubarb Pie
Two Whipped Cream
Ace Butter

(Note: feel free to replace items on this list with what is available)

During the Feeding, each player takes their remaining cards and gives them, one at a time, to any player they like (except the Chef). The person who receives the card has to eat one unit of food that corresponds to the card's rank. Then the card is placed in the "broth" and the next player hands out a card, until no one has any more cards.

There are some immunities in the Feeding:

  • A player cannot be given a card if he or she has three of the same number on the table. Example: if Joanie has placed three 6's in front of her during the game, then Chachi cannot give her a 6 at the Feeding and force her to eat gravy.

  • If a player has a straight in front of them, they cannot be made to eat by a number on either end of the sequence (regardless of suit) unless it is accompanied by a card on the other end of the sequence in that same suit. Example: if Antony has 4-5-6-7 of Spades in front of him, Cleopatra cannot play any 3 on him and make him eat rhubarb pie. However, and this is important, if Cleopatra plays both a 3 and an 8 of Diamonds on Antony, he can be made to eat the ENTIRE RUN (rhubarb pie, spinach casserole, rolls, gravy, corn and cranberry sauce)!

  • If a player has a card matching the rank of the card played on him or her, then the play is canceled. Example: if Turner plays a 10 on Hooch, and Hooch has a 10, Hooch plays the 10 and cancels Turner's 10. Both cards go to the "broth" without anyone eating sweet potatoes.

  • If a player has two or more cards matching the rank of the card played on him or her, then the play is reversed. Example: if Louise plays a King on Thelma, and Thelma has two Kings, Thelma plays the two Kings and Louise is forced to eat turkey.

When all the players have played all their cards, the Chef designated a card as the Chef's Special. In the next hand, whenever the designated card is played (either in front of a player or in the discard pile), every player except the Chef must eat a unit of food that corresponds with the card.

If a player wants to leave the game, they must declare their attentions and thus become a "Short-Order Cook" for the next round. Short-Order Cooks must eat double on all feedings and Chef's Specials in the hand. The Chef may also take any card from a Short-Order Cook's hand and replace it with one from the Chef's hand.

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