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  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.



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