Pay Me Rules


This is another rummy style game I learned from my Indiana cousins. Enjoy.

 NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Two to six.(Use two straight decks--including jokers--for more than 4 players)

 OBJECT OF THE GAME: To have the lowest point count after 11 hands.

 THE DEAL: There are 11 deals. The first hand dealt is one of three cards. When the play of that hand is over, the second hand dealt will be four cards. When that hand is over, the third hand dealt will five cards. And so on.

 THE PLAY: The player to the left of the dealer starts the play. When it's a player's turn, he or she has the option of taking a card from the draw pile OR taking a card from the discard pile. If the player can not then declare "Pay Me!" (see below), he or she discards a card onto the discard pile, and play passes to the next player on the left. Play continues until one player can declare "Pay Me!" (see below).  At that time, each of the other player--in turn--gets to draw one more card from the draw pile (not from the discard pile, that's "Frozen" ) and then discards to the discard pile. When all players have completed this last draw, the player who declared "Pay Me!" shows his or her meld, and all other players then lay down their melds and play off on the melds of the "Pay Me!" declarer.  When all cards are melded or played off that can be, penalties are assessed for all unmelded cards. The score tallied for each player is the point value (penalty) of each unmelded card.

 MELDS: Valid melds consist of  Sets--three or more cards of the same denomination- -and/or Runs--three or more cards in sequence in the same suit. Wild cards can be used in forming a meld so long as the number of wild cards never exceeds the number of non-wild cards in the meld, and as long as two wild cards are not melded abutting one another in a Run.

 WILD CARDS:  Wild cards are determined by the number of cards dealt. So which denomination is wild changes with each hand dealt. For instance, iIf three cards are dealt, the wild card is a three. If ten cards are dealt, the wild card is a ten.  If thirteen cards are dealt, the wild card is a King.

 DECLARING "PAY ME!": A player can declare "Pay Me!" when he or she can meld out, with or without a discard.

 PENALTIES: When a player melds out, all other players tally up the point values for all cards remaining in their hands. The point values for each player's unmelded cards are added to their respective scores. The point values for the cards are:


 10 Points 


 5 Points 



  • If A Pay Me declarer as a Run of a 2-3-4 of a kind and a second player has a meld of 5-6-7 of the same kind ,can a third player plays off the 8 of the same kind?
  • No. You can only play off of the declarer's run--so only the 5 or the Ace are playable.

  • When there's a "Pay me", the declaring player shows his or her cards, and all other players lay down their melds and play off the melds of the pay me declarer. How many times can a person play off the melds of the pay me declarer with the same card? For example: If the declarer has 1,2,3 of hearts, and I have two 4's of hearts, can I play them both off or can I only play one off?
  • You can only play off the 4 of hearts once.

  • We just learned the game from friends the other night. They told us that we cannot use aces in runs...only in groups of threes. Is this true? 
  • Not in this version of the game as I learned it; however, there's nothing to prevent you from enjoying your variation.

  • My aunt. . . insisted that when you meld a set of 3, they have to be of different suits, i.e. you could NOT meld 10-spades, 10-clubs and 10-spades - and here's the tricky part - UNLESS you had a 4th card or a wild card. i.e. for the above example this would be ok: 10-spades, 10-clubs, 10-diamonds and 10-spades, basically 3 had to be different, the fourth did not matter. Is this correct?
  • Interesting variation; but not in the rules of the game as I learned it. Rather than fighting ove who's right and who's wrong on this, try each of the variations and see which is more fun for everyone . . . or just agree to alternate the way you play in consecutive games.

    Remember this fundamental rule of card playing: make sure everyone agrees on the rules before playing any game. Arguments over The Rules never end well.


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Last Updated:

Sunday, January 20, 2008