Who Are Paplu, Nichlu & Tiplu in Indian Rummy?

Who Are Paplu, Nichlu and Tiplu in Indian Rummy

Do these names sound like the characters from a Bollywood film? Well, they are much more than that. 

Paplu, Nichlu and Tiplu are names of cards rummy terminology. Used in the game of Marriage Rummy or simple Marriage, this version of rummy is hugely popular in India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Come Dussehra and Diwali and the popularity of this card game skyrockets, with even occasional players indulging in this exciting format of the world’s most popular card game.

Rummy terminology can often be confusing. Worry not, here is a basic guide on what exactly are Paplu, Nichlu and Tiplu.

More About Paplu or Marriage Rummy

This game is called Marriage Rummy probably because it was widely played during the lull time after marriage ceremonies. Some people refer to this game as only Paplu, though Nichlu and Tiplu are also part of this game.

Played between 2 to 5 players with 3 decks of cards, the game uses wild card jokers. There are no printed jokers in this game. All players are dealt 21 cards and they are required to make combinations of 3 cards only.

Paplu, Nichlu and Tiplu

After 21 cards have been dealt to each player, one card is pulled from the deck and named Tiplu.

The card lower to Tiplu (of the same suit) is called Nichlu (or Jhiplu).

The card higher to Tiplu (of the same suit) is called Paplu.

Here is an illustration to make things clearer.

For example if the Tiplu is the K then:

  • The other two K are Tiplu;
  • The three A are Paplu;
  • The three Q are Nichlu;
  • There are 12 jokers: all the K,  K and  K.

Gameplay with Paplu, Nichlu and Tiplu

Just like any rummy game, this game also requires sets and runs to be made, but each set or run has to a three card set or run only.

The different three-card combinations possible are:

  • A tunnela (set of three identical cards). E.g. 6 6 6.
  • A pure sequence (set of three consecutive cards of the same suit). E.g. 3 4 5.
  • A dirty sequence (set of two cards of the same suit and a joker representing a third card of that suit). E.g. 6 Q8.
  • A triplet (set of three cards of the same rank, but all of different suits). E.g. KKK is a triplet. 
  • A dirty triplet (set of two cards of the same rank and different suits plus a joker). E.g. J22.

A pure sequence of Nichlu, Tiklu and Paplu is called a marriage.

The following two ways can end the game:

  1. If a player who has laid down three tunnelas or pure sequences is able to form four more three-card combinations after drawing a card. 
  2. If a player has eight dublees.

Point Cards

Paplu, Nichlu and Tiplu are all called Point Cards, there points being values that are assigned to them. Point cards are also known as Maal.

Each Tiplu carries 3 points each, each Nichlu carries 2 points each and each Paplu also carries 3 points each.

Marriage results in 10 points getting rewarded.


Points are counted at the end of the game. Points are scored for any Maal and any tunnelas laid down immediately after the deal. Of course, Marriage results in extra points.

The game of Marriage Rummy has a number of other rules and variations which we will explain in detail in future articles.

This was an introduction to Paplu, Nichlu and Tiplu in Indian rummy. As explained, these funny sounding names actually mean serious business for rummy players. Stay tuned for more.