a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Aug, 2012


Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy

I want to spend a couple of posts talking about some of the fun toys and games we’ve been playing with lately.

Until this week I had never even heard of Rummoli, but let me say, it is awesome:


Did you know that Rummoli is a Canadian game? I am suitably impressed by this fact.

“Rummoli is a family card game for 2 to 8 people. This Canadian board game, first marketed in 1940 by the Copp Clark Publishing Company of Toronto, requires a Rummoli board, a deck of playing cards (52 cards, no jokers), and chips or coins to play. The game is usually played for fun, or for small stakes (e.g. Canadian cent). Rummoli is similar to Michigan Rummy.” – Wikipedia

Apparently it is also called Tripoley.

So last night we pulled out a deck of brand new Tim Burton playing cards and a giant bag of Reece’s Pieces we bought at the Carlingwood Mall Bulk Barn a couple weeks ago just for this purpose.

Sidebar: We had bought the candy and were shopping around when suddenly we realized the CANDY WAS GONE. We backtracked, worrying the whole time, secretly scrutinizing the crowds for guilty-looking people with chocolate on their faces and orange smudges on their fingers. We figured that NO ONE IN THIS ENTIRE WORLD would turn in a large bag of candy (eight bucks worth if you must know) and it was with very heavy hearts that we went into One Last Store – a shoe store – before giving up and going home empty handed. And guess what, it was there. Uneaten! My faith in humanity was restored.

Thank you Dear People, for not eating our candy.

Anyway, back to Rummoli. It is a very easy game to play once you get the hang of it. It also seems to be a very gentle introduction to poker, which we are working up to because I think poker playing is a good skill to have. It’s counting, it’s strategy, it’s luck, it’s bluffing, it’s good sportsmanship… and I don’t think they teach card-handling skills (like shuffling, holding cards, dealing) in school anymore. Do they? ;)

You can probably buy a Rummoli board anywhere that sells games, but it’d be easy to make your own using a large piece of bristol board. (You can see what it looks like here.) The board is really just a place to lay your bets, a.k.a Reece’s Pieces.

Instructions are here, but if you’re like me your head will spin a little and you won’t quite be able to figure it out until you play it. I really suggest you do.

Our kids picked it up very quickly and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. We started with 75 pieces of candy each, but next time we will start with less because everyone gets to eat their winnings afterwards and it was a bit much. :)

What about you? Have you ever played Rummoli? If so, what do you play with? Money, chips, raisins? :)

10 Responses to "Rummoli"

1 | Carly

August 21st, 2012 at 1:53 pm


Oh this brings back memories. My cousins and I used to play for days on end during our precious summer visits. We used little plastic chips, about the size of pennies, or pennies as markers. I love the idea of using treats instead!

2 | @amwaters

August 21st, 2012 at 2:30 pm


We used to play this game a lot on winter evenings as kids. I have the game now. I should check out the crushed box to see if there is any kind of date on it. It’s super vintage.

3 | Chantal

August 21st, 2012 at 3:23 pm


my grandparents used to play penny rummoli with us all the time. All the little kids and my gran at the table. it was great fun!

4 | Jennifer

August 21st, 2012 at 7:08 pm


How did you ever make it to your 4th decade without hearing about/playing Rummoli?????

5 | Elizabeth

August 21st, 2012 at 7:09 pm


We just spent a week at the family cottage playing Rummoli every night. It’s such a great game to play with all ages, as younger children can easily manage it, and the adults have loads of fun too. We’ve been playing it as long as I can remember, at least 40 years. We always use poker chips. The only difference in our method of play compared to the official instructions is that we play the poker hand at the end, so nobody has to show their cards before the rummoli play.

6 | Lynn

August 22nd, 2012 at 6:25 am


We also played for hours as kids, and we’ve just started playing with our own kids. I had no idea it was a Canadian game! I’m so proud.

You’ll appreciate this story now – one time at the cottage, my cousin Rob and I had been playing Rummoli for hours. Of course, by then, the 7-8-9 sequence pile was enormous. A hand was dealt, and we BOTH got a 7-8-9 sequence at the same time…and he played his first! Needless to say that was THE END OF THE GAME. HUMPH.

7 | Vi

August 22nd, 2012 at 9:02 am


Oh, the memories. My grandparents used to have their friends over to play Rummoli on a Saturday night and I remember watching them for hours before I was shuffled off to bed. They would play for pennies and I got to count them afterwards! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today.

8 | Tried and true Christmas gifts for tweens and young teens >> a peek inside the fishbowl

December 1st, 2012 at 8:08 am


[…] Our kids are koo-koo krazy for board games. Some of our family favourites include Sorry, Life, Rummoli (a new one for us), Squarrels, and Uno to name a […]

9 | Happy Camper

April 9th, 2014 at 3:20 pm


We play Rummoli regularly! Used to be with friends and now with our kids! Our 14 yr old is going away on a band trip and is taking supplies for Rummoli with him! LOL Their friends love it, too! Only problem? Canada stopped making pennies, so I’ve become a penny hoarder now… LOL

10 | Liz Dick

April 19th, 2018 at 10:48 am


Just came across this forum now. Funny after all these years I’ve never seen it. Rummoli has been a family favourite of ours for four generations. I introduced the game to my in-laws in Belgium a few years ago and found that they had never heard of it even though they are avid card and board game players. In my attempt to send them a game of their own, which I thought would be an easy thing to buy, I found that they have become scarce. At least the mats that I’m familiar with. So I’ve now become a collector of certain mats and boxes. If any one of you out there in Rummoli land has any they want to sell please let me know.

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