Game invented by Gordon Bower © 1997

Rules written by Howard Fosdick ©

Overview: Like many rummies, Iceberg is simple to learn and quick to play. Its unique feature is that it increases scores for melds as players add cards to lengthen them. Hence the name Iceberg-- an initial meld may be just the tip of the iceberg. The game also includes several “special melds” to add interest.

Alaskan Gordon Bower invented Iceberg in 1997. This is its only known description on the internet.


To win a hand by scoring the most points. For the two-person game, to win a game by being first to accumulate at least 5000 points across hands.

Deck and Deal: For two or three players, use a single 52 card deck. For four or five players, shuffle two 52-card decks together.

Deal 7 cards to each player. Place the remaining cards face-down to be used as the draw pile.

Deck and Deal: Each player follows these steps in his turn--

  1. Pick up the card lying face-down at his left
    (When starting the hand, this card may not yet exist for the player-- see Rule (5). In this case the player just skips this step.)
  2. Draw one card from the top of the draw pile
  3. Immediately place any Ace(s) in his hand face up in front of him
  4. Make any legal melds desired. Players can also lay off cards on other player's melds. Melding is voluntary and at the player’s discretion.
  5. Discard one card face-down next to his right-hand opponent (unless he has no cards remaining)

Scoring: Players score for melds completed to the table as follows:

3rd card added to a Pair20
3 of a kind or 3 in same-suit sequence30
4th card in a set or run40
5th card in a set or run50
6th card in a set or run60
7th card in a set or run70
8th card in a set or run80
9th card in a set or run90
10th card in a set or run100
11th card in a set or run110
12th card in a set or run120

Players can also score for certain "special melds" as follows:

Special Meld:Points:
K-J-9-7-5-3 in one suit700
Q-10-8-6-4-2 in one suit500
K-J-9-7-5-3 of the same color but mixed suits300
Q-10-8-6-4-2 of the same color but mixed suits200

All cards in any special meld must be laid down at one time.

Ending a Hand: A hand ends when one player goes out ("rummies"), or when all Aces have been played, whichever happens first. You can rummy with or without a final discard.

Scoring at the End of a Hand: Negative points are assessed for all players still holding cards in their hands at the end of the hand.

Any playable cards in your hand score the negative point value they would have scored for you as positive points, had you had one more turn in which to meld them.

Non-playable cards still in your hand score -10 points each.

Each Ace acts as a "score multiplier" at the end of the hand. Compute a player’s final score, then double that score if he has one Ace, triple it if he has two Aces, quadruple it if he has three Aces, and so on.

Alternate Rule (Recommended): Aces make luck predominant, as score multipliers drastically alter scores based strictly on how many Aces you draw. If you prefer to limit the luck factor, instead play that each Ace is a “bonus card” that adds 20 points to a player’s score.

Example Hand: Here is a sample hand for the 3-player game (designed by Iceberg's inventor)--

Player A is dealt 987-S, J3-H, QA-D and draws the 3-C. He lays the A-D face up on the table in front of him. He melds the 9-8-7 (S), scoring 30. He discards the J-H.

Player B was dealt KJ3-S, Q-H, J8-D, J-C and draws the 6-C. He plays the J-D and J-C, scoring 10, holding onto the J-S, which will be worth 40 if someone plays the J-H. He discards the 8-D.

Player C was dealt: 6-S, 10 9 4 2-D, KQ-C. He draws the A-C from the stock and picks up the J-H discarded by player A. He plays the A-C; his jack of hearts, which is worth 20 when added to B's pair; and the 6, worth 40 on A's run. He discards the 2-D.

Player A holds 3-H, Q-D, 3-C, picks up the 8-D, and draws the Q-S. He plays his two pairs for 10 each (the 3-H and 3-C, and the Q-D and Q-S). He then goes out by discarding the 8-D .

Scoring: Player A earned 30+10+10=50, which is doubled to 100 because he had one ace.

Player B is stuck holding KJ3-S, Q-H, 6-C. He earned 10, but loses 50 for holding 5 cards; 40 for the playable jack of spades; and 20 for the playable queen of hearts, for a total of -100.

Player C is stuck holding 10 9 4-D, KQ-C. The queen of clubs counts -20 (only two queens actually got played) and the 5 cards count -50. His net score is (20+40-20-50)x2=-20.

Click here for the homepage and many more free games.

License: Feel free to print, copy, and distribute these rules, so long as you retain this paragraph. Written by Howard Fosdick © 2023, distributed under Creative Commons License BY-ND.      HOME