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What Is Rummy In Blackjack?

What Is Rummy In Blackjack?

You’ve probably heard about the popular card game, Rummy. 

But, what you may not know, is that Rummy is also a popular term you can hear thrown around at casino tables. If you’re a first-timer, it may be challenging to grasp exactly what people might be referring to.

Continue reading this blog post to find out what exactly Rummy is, and how it can be applied to a blackjack game.

What Is Rummy?

It’s true, Rummy, sometimes called Rum, is a popular card game. 

However, ‘Rummy’ is a word that can also be used when playing 21 or blackjack. For example, people could be referring to the Costa Rican blackjack variant, or the Rummy side bet that can be used in some blackjack table games.

At its core, the popular card game Rummy can come in many different variants, just like online casino games!

Generally, the aim of the game is to try and collect melds (a group of cards) of the same rank, suits, or sequences. Melds in Rummy can consist of 3 to 4 cards involving the following;

  • Cards of matching rank, e.g., 3 jacks, 3 queens, or 3 aces could be a potential meld.
  • Cards of matching suits, e.g., they’re all hearts, diamonds, or spades.
  • Cards in sequences, e.g., the cards appear in successive order, i.e., 3, 4, and 5.
  • Drawing and discarding cards are also common practices in Rummy.

What Is Rummy In A Blackjack Game?

Rummy blackjack is a term used for the Costa Rican variant of blackjack. Costa Rica gambling laws forbid playing blackjack, so establishments found a loophole. They opted to give the game another name; Rummy blackjack.

This variant is nearly identical to typical casino blackjack games. However, the most significant differences are that players cannot actually get a “blackjack” (10 value card and an Ace, or 21), which also means that there’s no potential 3:2 payout on offer either.

But, Rummy blackjack does offer other possible bonuses to try and make up for this. Some other characteristics of the game include;

  • Getting an Ace and 10 point value card simply count as 21 points, not blackjack. 
  • It uses 4 to 6 decks.
  • The blackjack dealer can stand on a soft 17, while you can potentially double any cards in pairs.
  • You can double up after a split or re-split up to a max of 4 hands.
  • Players who hit a 3 of a kind, or a Straight Flush with their first hand without any side bets can receive a payout if they bust. A 3-of-a-kind card suit can pay more, while the bonuses can be bigger if you hit 21.

The creation of Rummy blackjack means that players can still enjoy one of the best casino table games, without breaking any laws. In addition, this Costa Rican blackjack version doesn’t match any Rummy card games.

Blackjack Rummy Side Bet

If you’re not in Costa Rica, you might encounter the Rummy side bet, depending on the blackjack variation you’re playing. This works like most side bets in blackjack in that you will need to put down a separate stake, or side bet. The Rummy side bet is somewhat similar to the 21+3 side bet.

If staked, the Rummy side bet combines your first two-card hand with the dealer’s face-up card to create “Rummy hands”. To win, you need to create a ‘meld’ from your initial two cards and the dealer’s upcard.

For example, it could potentially create a flush, a straight or 3-of-a-kind. In addition, the side bet has the potential to pay out 9:1, which puts the house edge around 4.14%, respectively.

Blackjack Rummy Payouts

Blackjack Rummy can offer the following 21+3 payouts, however; these may differ depending on the online casino you’re playing at;

  • 3 of a kind suit 100:1
  • Straight flush 40:1
  • 3 of a kind 30:1
  • Straight 10:1
  • Flush 5:1

Note that you can still potentially hit a blackjack if you made a Rummy side bet, even if you lost on your main hand. However, most experts don’t recommend betting on blackjack side bets because they have a higher house edge.


Understanding blackjack terms can be crucial because it may affect the way you play the game. In addition, Rummy blackjack may also help you remember that blackjack is illegal in Costa Rica, so you know to use the Rummy version instead.

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.