Paplu, or also known as Indian Rummy, is a unique game variation of rummy that you can find only in India, and maybe online. It’s a very popular game among Indians, and it’s very interesting for tourists especially when they see how massively it’s being played all over the country at different kinds of clubs, parties and small places.

You will even see the game being played on busses and trains when people are on their daily commute. Some people even take two train roundtrips in order to play longer. Those that don’t like Paplu usually play Bridge, which is considered a more elite game compared to Paplu. Both are similar nevertheless. Paplu however is not played by high rollers, because the stakes are usually small. Although it’s considered a type of gambling game, it’s one of the most harmless there are.

Indian Rummy

Indian Rummy

How It’s Played

Paplu is a game with a big social factor. It can be played by up to 10 people seated at a table and multiple 52-card decks are used with the joker, which is counted as wild card. More specifically, 2 decks are used if the game consists of 2-6 players, and 3 decks for more.

The game begins when each player picks a random card. The person that draws the highest card can decide where to sit at the table, and the rest of the players are seated from his right to his left according to the highest card starting from his right. The person on his left has the lowest card, and he has to deal and shuffle the cards.

The Deal

The game begins when the dealer (the person with the lowest card) takes out a random card from the shuffled deck. He has to put it face up on the table. From then on, the drawn card and all cards of equal value are considered “wilds” together with the joker card. But, if the dealer drew a joker, than there would be only one wild card. As mentioned, the wild card can be used to substitute any other card.

The remaining of the cards are cut by the person next to the dealer (on his left), and the dealer deals the players one card each until everyone has 13 cards in a hand. Two stacks are formed, one face up, and one face down. The dealer role changes with each round and the seating arrangement is changed again after some time just like in the beginning.


Some of the rules and some of the hand combinations are similar to those in Bridge. The players have to form a sequence of cards in their hand. Most of the sequences overlap with those Bridge, but there are some variations. The joker and the other wild cards can be used to replace a missing card in the sequence. The variations of sequences are too many to be covered in just one article, but it’s enough of an introduction to tickle your interest to learn them.

When a player has a turn, he has to pick a card from one of the two stacks on the table. He can add it to his hand or discard it. When he adds it to his hand, another card has to go out. One of the rules say that when a player has picked a card from the discarded stack, he can’t throw the same card in the same turn. Instead he has to wait a turn.
Also, just like in poker, a player can ‘pack’ (which means ‘fold’ in poker terms) in order to limit his losses if he has a weak hand. There is much more to this rule because of the different situations when you can pack so make sure to learn it.

Do You Need Skill to Play Paplu?

There is no doubt that luck is one of the most important factors in gambling, especially with games of pure chance. But is Paplu such game? Do you need skill to play it? Of course. By applying skill you get to minimize your losses and improve your winning probability.

The most important skill you need to develop when playing Paplu is to learn when it’s best to discard a card, and what card to discard. By discarding the right cards you can derail the other players from declaring a win before you do.


What makes this game so exciting are the proportionate levels of skill and luck. There is nothing better than when a player has the sense of control over the outcome. While you cannot control 100% of the outcomes, by playing smart and with a little bit of luck you can affect all outcomes into your favor. It’s also a very competitive game, which adds an additional factor of excitement for the average Indian casino player.