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Mystery Rummy Case No. 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
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Store:  Card Games, Family Games
Series:  Mystery Rummy
Theme:  Crime
Genre:  Set Collection
Format:  Card Games

Mystery Rummy Case No. 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld

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Ages Players
10+ 2-4

Designer(s): Mike Fitzgerald

Manufacturer(s): US Games Systems

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Product Description

This is the fourth game in the series of Mystery Rummy Card Games. Experience the mystery of Al Capone and his gang in a time when they ruled the streets of Chicago. The goal is to bust Al Capone and the members of his loyal gang. This 91-card deck is complete with Agent Meetings, Search Warrants, Raids and even Elliot Ness.

Product Information


  • 68 evidence cards
  • 18 gavel cards
  • instructions

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews

Rummy -- with a family friendly theme that works excellently
January 06, 2004

Mystery Rummy 4 : Al Capone

There are now something like 7 different variations of Mystery Rummy (not all with that title) and more on the way. Having only played Wyatt Earp, and the various public domain versions of rummy, I cant do too much comparing, but what I did get with this game is a solid, addictive variation on rummy that has been requested a lot by family and friends.

The basic principles of rummy are intact: melds (sets of 3 or more cards), lay-offs (cards that match your opponents melds that you may lay down) and picking up discards. But there is so much more to this game, mostly due to the very cleverly applied theme. Each player is an agent trying to bust Capone and his cronies by collecting evidence on the various mobsters. The draw deck is the Case File since that is where evidence comes from; the discard pile is the Underworld since you can go into it to dig up evidence on the bad guys; the melds are made up of Evidence cards. Even the special action cards are well themed: Elliot Ness lets players acquire more evidence than normal; Agent Meeting allows player to request evidence cards from fellow Agents; Search Warrant allows players to go into the Underworld (discard deck) and get evidence that had been previously been passed up.

Like standard rummy, players pick up, lay down, and discard cards, with players trying primarily to get large completed sets of evidence cards. The round ends when a player goes out (discards his last card) or when the Case File (draw deck) is empty. The different mobsters have different amounts of cards and different point values for both individual cards and complete sets. The more cards for the mobster (Ralph Capone has 7 cards) the more the complete set is worth, but smaller sets (Mike Heitler has only 4 cards) are worth more individually. Also, Al Capone, if completed, and the player is able to go out results in the other player(s) getting zero points! (After all, hes the big fish we are all trying to catch!)

Watching the discard deck, and clever timing of both melds and action card usage results in a tense game with a lot of tug-of-war, bluffing, clever card acquisition and the like. If you despise rummy, you will see right through all this, but everyone else should try this game. I know it suffers from being just another game in the Mystery Rummy series, but if youve played none of those, I can recommend this one highly. Since rummy is not too complicated, and the actions cards are well written, almost anyone can pick up this game make it a good game for families to play, and I could see old ladies who like rummy thinking this is the greatest thing since sliced bread! The game has a very high addiction factor since it combines the classic elements of rummy with a good theme and all kinds of cunning cardplay that take rummy to a whole other level.

I recognize that it is one more in a long line of these games, so that hurts it overall, but I suspect that of all of them, it is the one I will enjoy most. Avoiding the rather macabre theming of some of the others, Mystery Rummy 4 Al Capone succeeds in doing just about everything right and makes a pitch as a durable family, and rummy-fan, game.

Nothing you haven't seen before
June 17, 2003

As the name of the game implies, this is the fourth in a series of rummy-style games. As in basic rummy, the object to empty your hand of cards by playing them in matched sets. What sets this game, as well as the other games in the series, apart from basic rummy is the addition of action cards (referred to as 'gavel' cards) that do various things, such as drawing additional cards, searching the discard pile for a card, etc.

The gameplay here is almost exactly the same as all three of the previous games in the series--collect three matching cards and you can play them in front of you as a meld, additional cards that match it can be played by any player. The main thrust of this game is collecting entire sets of cards. Each of the eleven sets of cards in the game, which represent Al Capone and ten members of his 'organization' are worth lots of points if you have the entire set in play when the hand ends. The four different gavel cards (all of which are in the deck multiple times) basically allow you to mine four different resources -- the 'Eliot Ness' cards allow either drawing additional cards or revealing the top seven cards of the draw pile and taking any that match melds you have in play, 'Agent Meeting' can get cards from opponents' hands, 'Search Warrant' allows searching of the discard pile, and 'Raid' can swipe cards laid off on your melds by opponents and add them to your pre-existing melds.

One facet of the Mystery Rummy games that is used again here is the 'shutout' rule, which allows only one person to score points at the end of the hand if he meets a certain condition--in this case, have the entire set of Al Capone cards in play. At eight cards, this is the single largest set in the game (others have anywhere from as few as four to as many as seven) so collecting all eight of them is very difficult without liberal use of the gavel cards.

As to what else separates this game from the others in the series--the game is played to 200 points as opposed to 100, the deck (at 88 cards) is larger by about a third compared to each of the other games, and if you draw from the deck at the start of your turn, you draw two cards as opposed to one. These last two are largely reminiscent of the Mystery Rummy 'spin-off' game, Wyatt Earp.

The cards themselves are of pretty good quality with an extremely glossy finish on them that make them nice and slippery, though, and this, I hope, was only the case in my copy of the game--the cards are packed in two shrink wrapped packs, and one pack's cards were a little bit taller than the other. That probably won't make much difference when it comes to game play unless you stack the cards extremely neatly. The artwork on the cards themselves is rather nice, though.

In summation, Mystery Rummy fans will find themselves on familiar ground with this game, but if you were never a fan of rummy or these games, absolutely nothing here will change your mind.

Other Resources for Mystery Rummy Case No. 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld:

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