Rummy History: Where Did The Rummy Game Come From?
When you ask around for the true Rummy history, you can expect to be
bombarded with many different stories about how Rummy games really came
about. It is ironic how, given the popularity of Rummy games, the history of
the games remain obscure even until now, when almost everything seems
possible. Game experts still find it difficult to trace back the real road
that led to Rummy, perhaps because the game has combined the great parts of
several different games, linking it to more than one ancient game. Rummy is
indeed linked to Conquian, Poker, and Mah-Jong, three internationally
popular entertainment games that come from different corners of the world.
The main reason why the truth about where Rummy came from is that game
experts disagree on the issue and have their own arguments to support the
theories they believe in. And the theories all seem to be quite relevant.
Here are the three different theories of where Rummy sprung from so you can
judge for yourself.
The Spanish Rummy History
The Spanish theory links Rummy to the game of Conquian, an ancient card
game that originated in Spain and was eventually brought to Mexico. Some
theories, however, claim that the game was originally created in Mexico. The
game has roots that date back all the way to the 1800s. Some of the basic
concepts of the game are very similar to the general concepts on how a game
of Rummy goes, which is why the Spanish theory is believed by most to be the
true Rummy history. Despite the confusion of whether Conquian originated
from Spain or Mexico, it is certain that the game picked up popularity when
it finally wound its way to Southwest America, where it made waves,
particularly in Texas. This happened in the latter part of the 19th century,
but during that time, the game was still called by many other names, such as
Cooncan, Coon-Can, Coon-King, and Conkin. The game was eventually brought to
England, where it became known as Rum, and the rest was history. Rummy was
finally born, or so this version of the Rummy history claims.
The Poker Rummy History
Rummy is also closely associated to Poker, one of the most popular card
games in history. There is no surprise that Rummy is also one of the top
card games around. Poker can be traced all the way back to the time of the
French settlers, which means that, according to this theory, Rummy has
certainly gone a long way. Poker and Rummy are very similar in certain
aspects, especially in the concept of grouping similar cards together into
sets and runs, which are called straights and three-of-a-kinds in Poker.
Poker has several different versions, one of which is Whiskey Poker, which
eventually became called Rum Poker. According to this version of the history
of Rummy, Rum Poker was the true origin of the Rummy game.
The Mah-Jong Rummy History
Another pretty strong theory about the Rummy history is the Chinese
theory. This theory centers on Mah-Jong, a very popular game among the
Chinese and the rest of Asia. The game may not be a card game, but the way
it is played bears some similarities to the way Rummy is played, except for
the fact that it is played with the use of tiles instead of cards. Mah-Jong
can be traced back to an ancient Chinese card game called Khankoo or Kon
Khin, which was created in the 1800s. The game also has the characteristic
concept of creating card combinations such as sequences and groups. The game
is also similar to a lot of domino games. Rummy is simply like the
card-based version of Mah-Jong.
What’s the Real Deal on the Rummy History?
With all these theories, the question of how Rummy came about seems
impossible to answer. However, a lot of game rule books and game experts
support the Conquian or the Spanish theory the most. There are, however,
some notable game experts who also back the two other theories. In fact, two
well-known names in the card game industry, Scarne and Parlett, support the
Poker and the Mah-Jong theory respectively. In general, however, the
Conquian theory still seems to be the strongest theory around. Despite this,
though, game experts are still hesitant to name a final theory about the
true origins of the Rummy games, so in discussing the history of Rummy, it
is still best to take a look into the three different theories available.