12-Step Rummy

[A picture of two decks of cards both
spread like fans] Yet another contract rummy game. I learned this from a friend who learned it from friends from Windsor, Nova Scotia. Check also John McLeod's card game site for other versions.

Objective of the game

To be the first player to complete all twelve combinations or contracts.

In the case of two players completing the 12th contract in the same hand, the one with the least points wins.


For a game with 2 to 5 players, assemble 2 decks of cards + jokers (108 cards in total). Add one more deck + jokers for 2 more players etc. Shuffle them well!

Another player must cut the deck before the dealer begins distributing cards.

Deal 13 cards to each player & place one card face up in the discard pile.


Player to the left of the dealer commences play.

Players may draw either the top card from the stock pile or the top card from the discard pile, but 1 card must be picked up before commencing play and 1 card must be discarded at the end of her turn.

In order to make the contract, all required combinations must be laid down at the same time.

Once a player has made his contract, he may also lay down cards on another player's tableau.

Greg could add a 3 of diamonds to Isla's sequence 4-5-6-7 of diamonds.

One player may 'liberate' another's wild card by replacing it with the card it represents. Players are not allowed to liberate their own wild cards and the wild card must be played in the round that it was picked up.

Isla could liberate Greg's wild card in the set 3-4-*-6 of hearts by putting the 5 of hearts down in place of the wildcard but she could not do this on her own tableau.

The round continues until one player discards her last card. The other players count the points remaining in their hands (see scoring, below) and add them to their score.

A player may make only one contract per round. If he does not make the contract in a given round, he must continue working on it in subsequent rounds until it is made before going for the next combination.

Rather than keeping a running total, it may be easier to indicate the number of points received per round and do a grand total only if necessary.

If the stockpile runs out before play has finished, take all of the cards in the discard pile except for the top one, shuffle them and start a new stockpile.

Card combinations

2s and jokers are wildcards. In a set of n-of-a-kind, wild cards may be placed side by side, but in a run they must be separated by a 'real' card.

Greg could use 5-*-* for a set of 3-of-a-kind, or 5-*-7-* of spades in a sequence, but he could not use 5-*-*-8.

Aces may be counted as high or low (i.e., A-2-3-4 and J-Q-K-A are both legal combinations).

Sequences or runs must be in the same suit.


Level Sets Sequences
1 2 x 3 of a kind
2 1 x 3 of a kind 1 run of 4
3 2 x 4 of a kind
4 2 runs of 4
5 3 x 3 of a kind
6 1 x 4 of a kind 1 run of 4
7 1 x 3 of a kind 1 run of 7
8 2 x 3 of a kind 1 run of 4
9 2 x 5 of a kind
10 2 runs of 5
11 1 x 8 of a kind
12 1 run of 10


Card Type Point value
Wildcard 50
Ace 20
Facecard 10
3-4-5-6-7-8-9 5