Gin Rummy Rules for Dummies

(Last Updated On: June 15, 2020)
Gin Rummy For Dummies

Gin Rummy Rules for Dummies

This particular post helps in below way:

  1. About Gin Rummy
  2. How to play Gin Rummy & Rules
  3. Where to play Gin rummy & how to download on mobile.

About Gin Rummy & Origin

We know about four 2-player rummy card game to have been recorded in history – Gin rummy, Pinochle (Bezique), Cribbage and Piquet.

However, Gin, the newest among all, managed to gain popularity across the globe.

Believed to have been invented by Elwood T. Baker in 1909, this is one of the popular 2-player card games to be played today.

The beauty of the game is that although the gin rummy game rules can be understood in a matter of minutes, mastering it can take you forever.

This game is a gambler’s delight because it’s simple yet utterly unpredictable –

you could be winning one moment and even before you realize someone else emerges a winner the next moment.

According to a popular belief, Gin rummy had originated from a 2-player game called Conquian or Coon-can.

It consists of following 10 cards in each of the 4 suits: A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, J, Q, K.

Gin Rummy Rules & How to Play

Gin rummy is a simple rummy card game played between 2 players in which the goal is to meld all the cards into runs or sets before the other player.

Gin and Gin rummy are different in that you lay your cards open in gin whereas they must be hidden in Gin rummy.

Let’s, now, see how to play the game itself broadly under these 3 steps:

Step 1. Deal the Cards

  • It usually is best played between 2 players. However, if there are more players,
  • you can divide into two teams with each player from one team contesting a player from the opposite team.
  • And, at the end, the scores of all the players from each team can be summed up to check which team gets to win.
  • A regular deck of 52 cards is used but without any Joker cards.
  • Also, the Ace card holds 1 point unlike in other rummy games while the face cards J, Q and K hold 10 points each.
  • To decide who deals the card, place the pile of cards face down and each player needs to pick one card.
  • The one with the lower value becomes the dealer. Subsequently, the losing player in each game becomes the dealer in the next.
  • 10 cards each are dealt to both the players and the remaining cards are put aside face-down (except the first card) forming the stock pile.
  • Players pick a card from this pile and discard one from the cards in hand – the stock pile and discarded cards should be placed apart.
Gin Rummy Hand

image source: wikipedia

Step 2. Get Playing

  • Firstly, start with taking a good look at all the 10 cards in your hand and arrange them into possible sets or runs, if any.
  • What is a Set? – 3 or 4 cards of the same rank (can be any suit)
    Ex. 8/8/8 of any suit (OR) K/K/K of any suit
  • What is a Run? – 3 or more cards of the same suit in a sequential order.
    Ex. 7/8/9 clubs (OR) 10/J/Q of hearts
    Note that Ace is a low value card in gin rummy. Hence, you can meld it as A/2/3 but not as Q/K/A.
  • Next, the non-dealer can either pick or discard the face-up card at the start of the game and the draw-and-discard continues.
  • Once you pick a card, see how you can fit it in to form runs or sets. If it doesn’t go well or seems useless,
  • you are better off discarding it than accumulating deadwood points.
  • Be sure to hide your card(s) well from your opponent or it might send them a hint that would help in strategizing their next move.
  • When there are only 2 cards left in the stock pile and the game has still not ended,
  • the game is ended with zero points to each player. A fresh game is begun.

Step 3. Knock the Cards

  • Once you’ve finished melding all your cards and have no more unmatched cards,
  • you are said to have reached gin. Draw the 11th card from the stock pile and place it face-down to declare win, also known as knocking.
  • Knocking will award you 25 points in addition to the total deadwood points of losing player.
  • You can also knock your cards if you feel your opponent is nearing gin, but your total deadwood points must be below 10 to do so.
  • Deadwood cards of the losing player can be added to the winner’s melded cards only, if applicable.
  • This is allowed only when none of the players have reached gin.
  • So, it means one player gets a lot of deadwood cards and the winner can meld them to score more points.
  • To calculate scores, sum up the deadwood points of each player and subtract them with each other to come up with final score.
  • This is not required if a knock is done. In such a case, the knocker gets opponent’s deadwood points + 25 bonus score.
  • In case you’ve knocked but the opponent has fewer deadwood points than you,
  • then they get an undercut which is your deadwood points+25 bonus.
  • Continue the game until any one of the two reaches 100 points. If a player hasn’t won a single game,
  • it calls for a shutout and 100 points go straight to the winner.
  • Finally, the player with the higher points becomes the winner!

Playing Gin Rummy on Mobile

What’s more? You can also enjoy gin rummy game on the move. Download a gin rummy app on your android or iOS phones and play.

Over time, as you keep getting better at the game, you could also come up with your own gin rummy strategy and become an invincible winner!

If interested, you can check out Indian rummy game rules for dummies, which is a one variant of card games.

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