Compete and Win: Pipe Band Rummy

Plane rides to a far-flung games can be long. Sometimes your pipe band’s performance time is hours from first massed bands. Sometimes it is hours after your performance time until last massed bands. What do you do with yourself durning all that time? One can only eat so many meat pies after all. What you can be doing is engaging in some good clean fun playing Pipe Band Rummy with your band mates to pass the time!

Pipe Band Rummy is a game that pits players in an all out championship battle to compete in a virtual pipe band contest. Players endeavor to build a high scoring pipe band and win the day. All you need is a regular deck of playing cards (including the Jokers) and the handy guide to the faces and scores below or downloaded here. Have fun!

Game Setup
For the purposes of the game, each card is given a new value and face as components of the roster of potential pipe band.

King = Pipe Major (25 points)
Queen = Championship Band (20 points)
Jack = Drum Sergeant (25 points)
Ace = Best Band Award (15 points)

2 through 10 of Hearts and Diamonds = Beginner to Experienced Pipers (point value equal to face value)
2 through 10 of Spades and Clubs = Beginner to Experienced Drummers (point value equal to face value)

Joker = Bad Run (minus 30 points; cannot be discarded)

Object of the Game
The object of the game is to build a high-scoring roster of pipers and drummers and become Champion of Champions. Players match up pipers and drummers and set their roster in three or four card runs in an effort to build a high scoring band. Player continues to build a roster of pipers and drummers until he or she runs out of cards.

How to Play
The game is played best with two to three players. The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt ten cards. The draw pile is placed face down and a single card is placed face up for the discard pile. Play starts to the left of the dealer. In turn, each player then draws a card from the draw pile or discard pile then discards one of their own. That player then places their roster of piper and drummer matches or leadership rank matches face up on the table. Piper matches consist of any three or four piper cards in sequence (e.g., 4, 5, 6, 7 of hearts and/or diamonds; 8, 9, 10 of hearts and/or diamonds). The same matches are made for drummers in clubs and/or spades. Leadership rank matches are a sequenced combination of three or four of the major face cards in any suit. Play continues this way until someone places their last match on the table and is out of cards. Each player’s roster is then scored and another round of play continues. Play as few as two or as many as seven rounds. Scores accumulate and the grand total decides the Champion of Champions.

Once a card is picked up from the draw pile or discard pile, it cannot be put back.

Once a card is discarded, it cannot be taken back.

Once your roster is set (i.e., when your matched cards are placed on the table), it cannot be changed or taken back.

Cards can only be put down once when setting a roster of pipers or drummers. For example, if a three piper run of 5, 6, 7 is placed down a 4 or 7 card cannot be added to it. Those cards must be part of a different run before they can be used in your roster.

The two Bad Run cards cannot be discarded. If a player is dealt or draws a Bad Run card, it must be kept in hand until it is the last remaining card, at which point it can be placed down and the hand finished.

Scoring and Winning
Scores are tabulated from the set rosters of each player. Players with cards still in their hand subtract 3 points per card from their total. The hand is over when someone runs out of cards. Tabulate three or more rounds and add all scores to determine Champion of Champions. Bonus roster scores can be gained with the following combinations:

Perfect ensemble: A run of Pipe Major, Championship Band, Drum Sergeant, and Best Band Award all of the same suit. (Add 50 points)

Awesome unison: A full run of pipers or drummers in the same suit. In other words, three runs of three (2, 3, 4; 5, 6, 7; 8, 9, 10). (Add 30 points)

Solid corps.: Seven or more drummers or seven or more pipers in mixed suits. (Add 20 points)

Great tone: Four card sequence in the same suit (Add 5 points)

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