Rummikub is a tile-based game for two to four players, combining elements of the card game rummy and mahjong. Players take turns putting down tiles from their racks into sets (groups or runs) of at least three. In the Sabra version (the most common and popular), the first player to go out scores a positive score based on the total of the other players' hands, while the losers get negative scores. There are 104 number tiles in the game (valued 1 to 13 in four different colors, but duplicated) and two jokers. An important feature of the game is that players can work with the tiles that have already been played.
Rummikub was invented by Ephraim Hertzano, a Romanian-born Jew, who immigrated to Mandate Palestine in the early 1930s. He hand-made the first sets with his family in the backyard of his home. Hertzano sold these sets door-to-door and on a consignment basis at small shops. Over the years, the family licensed it to other countries and it became Israel’s #1 export game. In 1977, it became a bestselling game in the United States.