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Carioca Rummy is very popular in Argentina and Chile which makes it a regional game, similar to the features of Contract Rummy.


Even though it is considered similar to Contract Rummy, it is designed more for two players rather than the normal four. Two packs of cards are used without the jokers. Some variations include them giving the game a more exciting slant.

Te Deal Itself

The two packs of cards are shuffled together and cut by both players to determine the dealer.Lowest card deals, (ace being the lowest and king the highest) 12 cards to each player, with the balance placed in the center of the table, face down. The top card is turned over and placed next to the stack.

Aim or Objective of the Game

The aim of the game is to make contracts of three or more cards in sets (called ‘Trios’), or sequences (also known as ‘Escalas’). Sets are cards of the same value, and sequences are cards of the same suit, running sequentially. In this game, sequences can run ‘around the corner’, in other words K,A,2,3 etc. This is a big rule shift from standard gin rummy rules.

When a player has a contract in their hand they place it on the table face up, (also called melding). The idea of the game is to get rid of all your cards as soon as possible. Once the player has cards on the table they can ‘lay off’ cards on their opponents contracts as well.

Carioca Uses a Total of 8 Deals

Carioca Rummy is made up of 8 deals all requiring differing Trios and Escalas as follows:

  • Deal 1 Two Trios
  • Deal 2 One Trio and one Escalas
  • Deal 3 Two Escalas
  • Deal 4 Three Trios
  • Deal 5 Two Trios and one Escalas
  • Deal 6 One Trios and two Escalas
  • Deal 7 Four Trios
  • Deal 8 Three Escalas

As in rummy a normal turn consists of either taking a card off the stack or discard pile to enhance the cards held in the players hand, and then discarding a card not required. The player with the least amount of points after 8 deals is the winner.


Cards have the following points value.

  • Jokers 25 points
  • Aces 15 points
  • Picture cards 10 points
  • All other cards are valued as per their printed value. For example 3=3, 4=4, 5=5, etc.

At the end of each deal, cards still in the players hand are totaled up and a score sheet kept.


What we like about this variation is the “run around the corner” rule. We like the extra benefit of playing both sides of the Ace. This often allows you more choice in your hand strategy.