Have you played Rummikub before? Well I hadn’t and I don’t know why as it’s a great game. Highly addictive, easy to pick up and play, a great game for all the family.
To help promote the UK Rummikub Championship Heats which are taking place online at the moment,we were sent a big box full of lots of different Rummikub Versions, and we set about learning how to Rummikub!
Rummikub is a game which has been around for over 50 years. It’s a tile based game.
The aim of the game to use all of your tiles by placing down sets and runs of numbers. You can do this either by using your own tiles, or by manipulating the tiles already placed.
I’m going to be honest and say that initially I was apprehensive about wether we could all learn to play as it looked quite daunting. I couldn’t quite grasp what to do from the instructions, and as such was having trouble explaining the rules to the boys. So we ended up watching a few videos on Youtube and that really helped us. It’s so easy when you start playing, you just have to get it first.
We decided to try out classic Rummikub first. To play your tiles you need to have a run of 3 or 4 tiles, a run being either consecutive numbers in the same colour e.g. 1,2,3,4 or the same number in different colours e.g. 4,4,4,4 in black, blue, red and orange.
It’s a brilliant game for getting you and your youngsters brains whirring. It’s a brilliant brain teaser, and great for honing maths skills as you have to make sure your first move adds up to over 30, and from then onwards you add up your score every turn.
After that we had a game of travel Rummikub, which is exactly the same game just a handy miniature version perfect for holidays and train journeys.
In the picture the tiles don’t actually look that much smaller than the classic version, but they are. They’re Dinky.
Next up was Junior Rummikub. We probably should have done this one first to ease our way into Rummikub, but we didn’t notice it until afterwards.
As you’d expect it’s a simplified version of the main game. However it’s not simplified enough as to be boring or too easy. It’s a great introduction to the game for younger players and again a great tool for learning maths skills and mental arithmetic.
The main differences are that you get little stars when you place tiles down, and that the tiles go from 1-10 instead of 1-13.
After we’d got to grips with the classic Rummikub the junior version was a bit of a step down and we weren’t as keen on it.
However I think we’d have enjoyed it much more if we’d played it first, and it’s a better version for younger players.
The next version we picked up was Rummikub Express, which is a quick to play dice version of the game.
As you can see our cat Harry was very interested in all the dice shaking and had to be part of the action.
Rummikub Express really is fast and furious. The game only lasts 6 dice throws for both of you, and possibly less if you can’t find any number matches or manage to place all your dice down. At the end of your 6 throws whoever scored the most wins.
It’s very clever, and a really fun variation of the classic game. I would probably take both Rummikub Travel and Express if I was going on holiday or a day trip as they are both small and portable and highly enjoyable.
Lastly we played a few games of Rummikub Word. Which is the same idea as classic Rummikub, however using word tiles rather than numbers.
This was the hardest to play of the different variants for us, as my boys are very good with numbers but can sometimes struggle with spelling. For me it was a bit frustrating as I was trying to play properly but Thomas ended up just putting an S or Ing on the end of all my words. Not to say that’s not allowed, manipulation of the tiles is part of the game, however it did get a bit annoying.
I will carry on playing with him though as I know it will do his spelling good to play around with the tiles and give different words a go, however I think I would enjoy this one a lot more playing with someone older.
If you fancy the sound of Rummikub or are already a fan then why not have a go at the online UK Rummikub heats – but hurry as you only have until the 29th of August.
Signing up is easy – simply join the Rummikub Online Championships and register by visiting www.Rummikub.com, going on the Facebook page, Google Play or downloading the app.
The highest scoring eight UK finalists from the Online Championships will be invited to take part in the Rummikub UK Final taking place in September in central London. The highest scoring player will then go on to represent the UK at the World Championships in Berlin, alongside their fellow Rummikub Champions from around the world.
As part of their prize, the UK Champ will win a round trip to Berlin including a luxury three nights stay at The Ritz hotel!
Disclosure: We were sent the bundle of Rummikub games to review as part of our participation in the John Adams games group. All opinions however are our own.