When I reminisce about my grandmother, one thing that pops up in my mind is Rummikub. I played this game with her almost every single day during summer break. Alongside crosswords and City-Country-River, Rummikub entertained our long and hot summer days.

Rummikub was created by Mr. Hertzano, a Romanian-born Jew who immigrated to Israel in the 1940’s. He replaced the traditional Rummy cards with colorful tiles, made of wood from his back garden, as the Communist party outlawed all cards and card games.

There is more than one way to play this game. The one that I used to play with my grandmother had these rules: The tiles facing down were stacked in piles with 7 tiles each. Every player (game for two to four players) receives 14 tiles (2 piles) and has to place them on his rack forming groups or runs. A group consists in three or four tiles of the same number, but different colors. A run is formed by three or more tiles of the same color in ascending order (e.g 4,5,6). On their first turn each player has to lay down their tiles (groups or runs) that add at least 45 points. Tiles 2-9 value 5 points each, tiles 10-13 value 10 points each. Tile 1 has 25 points. The two jokers can replace any tile. The aim is to place all your tiles on the table and hit the highest score.


  • Creator: Ephraim Hertzano
  • Place of creation: Romania
  • Date of creation: 1940
  • Type of game: Tiles board game
  • Players: 2 to 4
  • Age: As soon as one learns addition
Rummikub set