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Michigan Rummy Board Game Rules & How to Play?

Michigan Rummy might be a term you are already familiar with? But did you know it was a board game? This version of Rummy is a little different but still plenty of fun, and it can even make a good family game.

First, let’s take a quick look at what the game is all about.

What is the Michigan Rummy Board Game?

What is the Michigan Rummy Board Game

There is no shortage of Rummy-style games! And this game is a little unusual because it uses a board; well, it does in this version of the game anyway. One thing any experienced Rummy veteran will tell you is that Rummy is a very versatile game.

To win in Michigan Rummy, you’ll want to be the first player to play all your cards and collect the most chips. This board game is suitable for between 3 – 8 players and comes with everything you need to play, including cards and Poker chips.

Once the dealer is chosen, and the cards are dealt, each player must put one chip into each board compartment. The dealer instead places two chips into each compartment. Here, it’s highly likely that players may get a different number of cards.

You must play a card from your hand on your turn, you don’t have to follow a specific suit, but the card you play must be the lowest ranking of the suit you play. To make this easier to understand, let’s say you decide to play a heart card and have the following in hand:

  • Ace of Hearts
  • King of Hearts
  • 5 of Hearts

Then you must play the 5 of Hearts. Once one card is played, the player with the next card in the sequence must play it. This continues till an Ace is played. When a sequence has ended, the player who played the final card may discard a card of the opposite color from their hand.

However, they must discard the lowest ranking card of that specific color. The first player to play all their cards will collect the chips from the center of the board to mark their victory! This is just the basics; there is quite a bit more to learn about the Michigan Rummy board game.

We’ll discuss how you set up a game and the penalty rules below. But before, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to play, shall we?

What You’ll Need to Play?

To play, you’ll need a copy of the board game. Now, finding a copy of this game might be a little tricky. It’s not one of the famous names like Clue or Monopoly, but you should be able to find a copy of the Michigan Rummy board game online.

Michigan Rummy Board Game

The board game comes with Poker chips and cards, so you’ll have everything you need to play. But you can always use your own playing cards if you prefer! Take a look at some of our picks for the best playing cards in this blog. 

Rules and Gameplay

Rules and Gameplay

The Aim of The Game

You’ll need to be the first player to play all your cards to win the Michigan Rummy. Winning the game also means you’ll collect the Poker chips. You can end the game in a number of ways, but it’s usually played over a number of rounds.

The Set-Up

To start the game, you must first choose a dealer. To do this, have one player well shuffle the cards and then deal each player a single card. The player with the highest-ranking card will become the dealer.

The dealer should then split the Poker chips equally between all the players. The dealer can then start dealing with the cards. Like many card games, the Jokers should be removed from the deck.

Cards should be dealt one at a time, face down, and it’s highly likely that some players may end up with more cards. This is a normal part of the game, so don’t worry about it. When dealing, the dealer should also deal an extra hand.

This extra hand is the dummy hand, and once all the cards are dealt, the dealer can opt to switch their hand if they want to. If the dealer doesn’t swap, they can offer it to the other players. However, only players who have no bonus cards may bid, which nicely brings us to the next point.

The Bonus Cards

Now, you might be wondering why this game is even played on a board. Well, it’s not just because it’s a handy place to store the Poker chips. The board also dictates the bonus cards. You can see these around the center of the board with an image above each compartment.

For example, there is the Ace of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds, and 10 of Hearts. If a player has one of these bonus cards, they can collect the chips from the corresponding compartment once they’ve played the card.

Playing Michigan Rummy

The player to the left of the dealer will go first. You don’t have to follow any specific suit, but you must play the lowest value card of the suit you do play. In Michigan, Rummy cards follow the standard ranking, with Aces always being high.

When a card is played, the player with the following card in the sequence must put it down. This continues till the sequence is halted. But how does this work? A sequence can be halted in two ways; the first is if it reaches its natural end because the ace is played.

However, a sequence can also end if the card needed is in the dummy hand. If this happens, the player who played the last card must put down the lowest ranking card in their hand. The game then continues.

To finish this game, you need to be the first player to play all their cards. When you do this, you’ll also collect all the Poker chips in the center. Traditionally Michigan Rummy games consist of several rounds, but you can play just one if you prefer.


While you might be tempted to focus solely on what cards you’re playing, don’t forget to keep an eye on your opponents during the game. Because if they break the rules, they will incur a penalty.

For example, if a player leads with a card that is not the lowest in a suit, they have broken a very important rule. If this happens, they must pay every other player a chip and won’t be able to collect chips if they play a bonus card for the game’s duration.

These same penalties apply if a player doesn’t play a card when they should. This can cause sequences to end early; some more serious rule sets say any player who does this will be automatically eliminated from the game.

Michigan Rummy – A Magnificent Rummy Board Game! 

It is a great game to play, especially with larger groups. If you enjoy games like Shanghai Rummy or Knock, then we recommend adding a game of Michigan to your next game night!

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