Rummikub takes many of the elements of the classic Rummy card game and uses tiles to make it even more interactive and fun.
Each players starts with fourteen tiles, and the first person to use them all is the winner. If we are keeping score, each person totals the numbers left in their hand. The lowest score at the end of the night cleans up the game. (see our Winner Cleans Up! rule)
Tiles can be placed on the board as sets (at least three of the same number, all different colors) or runs (at least three consecutive numbers all of the same color).
The real fun comes when you start breaking up the groups on the table and rearranging everything so that you can play a tile or two from your own hand. For instance, the sets of 9s, 10s, and 11s in the picture above could be rearranged to make three four runs if I had a red 10 and a black 8 that I wanted to get rid of.
We played Rummikub several times over our Christmas break, and it was a hit with all three of my kids -- ages 15, 13, and nearly 8. Each round takes about 30 minutes to play, depending on how much thinking and planning each player wants to do on their turn.
My friend Erica at "Be the One" is hosting a Family Game Night link-up, and I'm adding Rummikub to the list as one of our favorite games.