Kalooki 51 is a very fast paced variant of Rummy. As it is a card game, there is definitely an element of luck required to win it. However, a proper strategy will go a long way in helping you win this game. If you are already familiar with Rummy, then you will not have much trouble understanding Kalooki. The main difference, in the strategy of an ordinary Rummy game and that of Kalooki, is 'building'.
Building is the process of adding cards to melds that have already been laid on the table. Melds are groups of three or more cards that are either of the same suit and are consecutive in nature, or have the same values but are from different suits. Once a meld is complete, you put it on the table. A player can add to a meld that is placed down, or to one that is in his hand. This is called building and is a central part of the game.
Here are some basic strategies that can help you win a game of Kalooki 51.
The first thing to do, before you get started, is to understand the rules of the game completely. Since two decks of cards are used in the game, remember that that it is possible for you to have two exact same cards in hand. The basic strategy of Kalooki 51 involves in creating melds, and it is very important to have your first meld as soon as possible. This meld should have a value equivalent to or greater than 51.
Creating the first meld is crucial because without it, you cannot progress further. Look for face cards as they have a higher value and will help in forming your initial meld faster. Also, realize the importance of a joker. Jokers can assume the value of any card, so they play an important role in making melds. However, when the game ends, the joker has a value of 25 which can harm your score if you lose.
Drawing and discarding
Getting the right card when you draw plays a very important role in deciding the result of the game. In the initial phases of the game, you should pick a card from the discard pile, only if you can complete a meld with it. Otherwise, it is better to opt for a card from the stock pile. This also helps in hiding the card which you just got. Since the discard pile has cards which are not needed by the players, picking a card from the stock pile will help you prevent other players from forming their melds.
The main aim of discarding is to get rid of the cards that do not help you in any way. But while doing so, you do not want to give your opponents any cards that might help them. So, always keep a sharp eye for the cards that are being discarded by your opponents. This will help you understand which cards to discard and which to hold.
Tips on melding
While drawing and discarding, you should lay stress on cards that will create opportunities for completing pairs into melds. Suppose you have a 7 of spades, 7 of clubs, 8 of clubs, and 4 of hearts. If you discard the 4 of hearts, it will provide you with a better chance of creating a meld. If you have a joker in hand, it is better if you use it for a run, which is three or more consecutive cards of same suit. This will make it difficult for the opponents to use a relevant card in its place. Remember that in the end you can win only by 'Going Kalooki' or 'Going down'. If other players have already made their first meld, it is wiser to go down. This is because if you try going Kalooki, then someone else might go down before you get your chance to win.