American Rummikub was first mentioned in 1978 in a book written by Ephraim Hertzano but the game is not that similar in terms of rules that were used then. Read about the rummikub history to understand the origins of this game. Players changed the game and it is now different. We thus have American Rummikub, which is a great game for a beginner player or for family game nights.
American Rummikub rules state that up to 4 people can play but 2 player games are also common. There is the possibility of playing an opened American Rummikub game, in which people decide what player is to open the game. You just pick four tiles and the player that will draw the highest tile will be first. After seeing who will start the game every player receives 14 tiles and one tile, called a trump, will be placed face up on the last stack of the pool.
In American Rummikub the rules state that there are 2 set types. The first type is called group and is made out of 3 or 4 tiles that have the same exact numeric value but the colors are different. The second one is a run and is made out of a minimum of 3 tiles that form a numerical sequence with all tiles having the exact same color. Tile number 1 can be low or high but will never be both. As an example, 1,2,3 and 12,13,1 are valid runs but 13,1,2 is not.
The main object of this game is to get rid of the tiles that you have on your rack. This is done by forming melds and sets. As soon as you have one you can meld it on the table. Melding basically means that you place one set on a table instead of keeping it on your rack. You can also add tiles to sets that have already been melded by other players or yourself.
The winner of the game is the first person that calls Rummikub, which can be done after clearing his rack. In American Rummikub you can also implement a scoring system and agree to play a number of hands before a winner is declared. The truth is that this game is highly popular because you can change the rules if all players agree, thus making for a perfect family night game.