Conquian Rules: Learn How to Play this Rummy Variation

Conquian is one of the most popular variations of Rummy. If you’re not familiar with the Conquian rules, learn how to play the game by reading this guide.

Conquian is a Spanish phrase from Latin America, meaning ‘with whom.’ The game is, however, also known as ‘Cooncan,’ ‘Conkin’, ‘Coon-King’, or ‘Coon Can’.

Like Rummy 500 (see Rummy 500 rules) or Contract Rummy (see Contract Rummy rules), Conquian requires its players to form melds of cards in prescribed combinations.

Key highlights of this Conquian rules guide:

  • What is Conquian?
  • Conquian rules
  • Conquian rules in pictures 
  • Conquian scoring 
  • Playing Conquian (Video tutorial)

Continue reading to learn how to play this version of Rummy.

What is Conquian?

Conquian Card Game info Image

In Conquian, you aim to form a meld of 11 cards in a sequence. The game is best when played in a pair, and previous experience with other Rummy games is a great advantage.

Number of Players: 2 to 6

Age: 12+

Difficulty: Medium

Length of Play: 20 to 40 minutes

Type of Game: Rummy-type card game

Similar to: Rummy 500Contract RummyWizard

Main Objective: Form a ‘meld’ of 11 cards in a certain sequence by drawing cards.

Our Take: Conquian is a tricky and tense game that allows experienced players to show off all their skills while remaining relatively accessible to beginners.

What You’ll Need to Play Conquian?

 To play Conquian, you’ll need the following:

  • Decks: 1
  • Number of Cards: 40
  • Cards Omitted: 10s, 9s, 8s, Jokers

Tip: If you want to play the game immediately without sorting out the unnecessary cards, get yourself a Spanish card deck that already contains the exact setup you need.

Conquian Rules

First, appoint the dealer by drawing random cards from the deck. The player with the highest value card will be the dealer in the first round (the role passes to other players later).

Next, prepare your cards. Typically, this is done by removing all the 8s, 9s, and 10s to get a deck of 40 cards. King will be your highest card, and Ace is the lowest card in the game.

Tip: Some people prefer getting rid of the face cards instead (‘K,’ ‘Q,’ and ‘J’) – the choice is up to you as it doesn’t change gameplay in any way.

Now you’re ready to start playing.

Dealing the cards

  • The dealer hands out 9 cards to each player, one card at a time.
  • Place the rest of the cards in the middle faced down. This is the ‘draw pile.’
  • Place the top card of the ‘draw pile’ face up on the side. This forms the ‘discard pile.’

Next, learn how to form melds, as this is the most important part of Conquian.

Card melds

The game’s goal is to form a ‘meld’ of 11 cards, including 10 cards in the player’s hand and the last drawn card.

The ‘meld’ can contain two types of card combinations – the set and the sequence:

  • The set consists of 3+ cards that are in the same rank.

Example: 5♣ 5♦ 5♠.

  • The sequence consists of 3+ cards from the same suit in numerical order.

Example: 4♦ 5♦ 6♦. 

How to play Conquian

  • The non-dealer starts by drawing one card from the ‘draw pile.’ If it doesn’t form a meld with the cards in the player’s hand, add that card to the ‘discard pile’ face up.
  • If a player forms a meld with the card picked up, they will discard another card.
  • Alternatively, a player can draw a card from the discard pile if the discarded card forms a meld in the player’s hand.
  • When a player reveals the meld to the opponents, this meld is ‘locked’ for the player. Players cannot discard or use these cards for a different set or sequence of melds.
  • You can form more than one meld in the same turn if possible.
  • If a player discards a card and the other player can add it to an existing meld, then they must do so.

The first player to meld 11 cards becomes the winner.

If all the players draw all cards without either player forming the required melds, the game ends in a tie.

Conquian Variations & Alternative Rules

You can come across many different Conquian variations. Here are a few of them:

  • Players receive 10 cards each at the beginning of the game instead of 9. 
  • Players aim to form melds of 10 cards instead of 11.
  • Players need to always have 9 cards at the end of each turn, including any already formed melds (so-called nine-card rule).

Conquian Rules in Pictures

Step 1

Conquian rules 1 image

Remove all the 8s, 9s, and 10s to get a deck of 40 cards. Kings are the highest, and Aces are the lowest cards.

Step 2

Conquian rules 2 image

The dealer hands out 9 cards to each player. Place the rest of the cards in the middle faced down. This is your ‘draw pile. Place its top card face-up on the side as a ‘discard pile.’

Step 3

Conquian rules 3 image

Players aim to form a ‘meld’ of 11 cards. It can contain sequences of 3+ cards in numerical order and sets of 3+ cards of the same rank.

Step 4

Conquian rules 4 image

On each turn, players draw one card and either add it to their melds or discard it straight away. 

Step 5

Conquian rules 5 image

When a meld is revealed, it’s ‘locked’ for the player, so it cannot be replaced or removed. The player can, however, add to their melds at any time.

Step 6

Conquian rules 6 image

The first player to meld 11 cards wins the game.

Conquian Scoring 

There are numerous ways to determine the absolute winner of Conquian:

  • Play until one of the players wins 3/5/10… rounds, becoming the total winner.
  • Play for 5/10… rounds. Whoever wins the most rounds becomes the absolute winner.
  • Assign a value to each unmelded card that remains and count the scores.

In the case of the latter, you can use the following scoring chart:

  • 2 – 7: face value 
  • J, Q, and K: 10 points
  • Ace: 15 points.

At the end of the game, unmelded cards are counted. Give that score to the opposing player.

Example: If a player manages to meld all their cards, then the opponent gets 0 points. If a player has a 4♠ and a 2♥ the opponent receives 6 points.

How to Play Conquian – Video Tutorial

Other Conquian Online Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any good strategies used in Conquian?

One good Conquian strategy is ‘forcing melds’: The players get rid of a card that is forced into the opponent’s existing melds.

For example, if a player has 2♣ 2♦ 2♠ 10♦ J♦ Q♦ K♦ as a meld and 6♠ 7♠ as their unmelded cards, they can win by drawing a 5♠ or an 8♠.

To prevent it, the opponent discards a 2♥. The player must pick it up, add to the 2s meld, and discard a card to end the turn. Hence, they won’t create melds of all the cards.

How old is Conquian?

Conquian is considered the oldest Rummy-type game played in the Western world. According to historical sources, the game has been played at least since the 1880s.

Can you discard one meld from the card deck in Conquian?

No, melds cannot be discarded. You can only discard one card at a time. Also, once you have revealed a meld, none of its cards can be replaced or removed.

Other Similar Games to Conquian

If you enjoy playing Conquian, here are our guides to a few similar games: 

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