The rules of Rummikub are fairly simple to understand. The biggest issue, in fact, with the game doesn't come from complicated game play or strategies; it lies simply in remembering what you can and can't do on a turn. Much like the card games gin, rummy and even solitaire, it's not a lack of expertise that will cause a loss. More likely, you'll find yourself in trouble if you're distracted and missing opportunities right in front of you.
When you first sit down to play Rummikub (two to four players are recommended), you'll dump the numbered, multi-colored tiles on the table face-down. Each player will draw one tile; the highest number goes first, and the 1 tile is always low. (Return those tiles randomly to the table.) Each player will then draw 14 tiles from the table, placing them on their rack; whatever is left forms the pool. On the first turn, each player will attempt to make a set of one or more groups or runs that adds up to at least 30 points.