Gin rummy is a popular variant of Rummy. In this guide on How to Play Gin Rummy, we have covered the game from the basics. So, let’s start the guide.
Important Information about Gin Rummy
The requirements to play Gin Rummy
A 52 cards standard deck is required. Wild Cards(Jokers) are not used in Gin Rummy.
Only 2 players can play this game.
The point value of each Card in Gin Rummy
What is the Main Object in Gin Rummy Game
The main objective in Gin Rummy Game is to collect 100 points before the opponent does because the player who collects 100 points first wins the game. The game is played in rounds and the winner of each round scores points based on his cards.
How to Win round?
Each player has to form “Melds” in Gin Rummy, which are sets or run. The first player to include all his cards in a meld wins the round.
What is a Set?
A set is Three or Four cards of the same rank. Example:- 5 of clubs, 5 of diamond, and 5 of spades is a set.
What is a Run?
A run is three or more cards of consecutive ranks of the same suit. Example:- 3 of spades, 4 of spades, and 5 of spades is a run.
In Gin Rummy, Ace(A) is a lower card. So, it cannot be used to form the run Ace-King-Queen. However, it can be used to form the run Ace-2-3.
How to Determine the Dealer
Both the players playing the game draw a card from the top of the deck and the one with the lower card will be the dealer. After finishing the first round, the loser will be the dealer for the next round and this process continues till the end of the game.
Dealing the Cards
The dealer deals 10 cards to each player, face-down on the table. After that, he places the remaining cards in a pile face-down on the table. This pile is called “Stock Pile”. From the stockpile, the dealer draws a card and places it face-up on the table next to the stockpile, and starts a new pile called “Discard Pile”.
How to Play Gin Rummy
The player who did not deal the cards starts the game by drawing a card. If the player finds the top card of the Discard Pile useful for forming a meld, he can draw that card and discard a not useful card, from the cards he has by placing that discarded card on the top of the Discard Pile, face-up.
If the player does not find the top card of the Discard Pile useful then, he can draw a fresh card from the Stock Pile. In case, the card drawn from the Stock Pile is useful for forming a meld, the player keeps that card and discards a not useful card.
If the drawn card is not useful, then the player can discard the same card by placing it on the top of the Discard Pile, face-up. As soon as a player discards the card, his turn is over.
After that, it’s the other player’s turn. The other player does the same process mentioned above. Both the player takes their turns in a subsequent manner and the round continues until it is ended in either of the following ways:
How a round ends in Gin Rummy
1. If only two cards remain in the Stock Pile then, the round is ended. None of the player scores any points and the cards are re-dealt.
2. If all cards of a player form part of a meld then, he has reached the Gin. The player has to knock by placing the discarded card face-down on the Discard Pile. Keep in mind that after discarding that card all the other 10 cards should form part of a meld.
Reaching Gin earns the player a bonus of 25 points in addition to the deadwood points of the other player.
3. If a player has not reached the Gin but wants to prevent the opponent from reaching the Gin to stop him from earning the Gin Bonus, He can end the round by knocking even if he hasn’t reached the Gin. The only condition is that the total of the deadwood points of the player who is knocking should be 10 or less.
Deadwood Cards and Deadwood Points
Deadwood cards are the cards that do not form part of any meld and Deadwood Points are the sum of the values of that Deadwood Cards.
How to Calculate Deadwood Points in Gin Rummy?
Here is an Example:
If Player-1 reaches the Gin and Knocks, and Player-2 has these cards:- 3-3-3-3, 4 of❤️- 5 of❤️- 6 of❤️ – 7 of❤️ and 6 of ♠️ and 9 of ♠️. Then the deadwood points of Player-2 are 14(Value of 6 of ♠️ + Value of 9 of ♠️).
These deadwood points of Player-2 are added to points of Player-1 and Player-1 gets a total of 39 points at the end of the round(14 deadwood points of Player-2 + 25 bonus points for reaching Gin).
Whenever a player knocks without reaching Gin, the opponent gets a chance to Lay Off his deadwood cards to the knocker’s melds. Example: If the knocker has 7-7-7 and the opponent has 7 as a deadwood card then he can lay off that card to the knocker and reduce his deadwood points.
But the opponent cannot lay off a deadwood card to knocker’s deadwood cards to form a new meld. Example: If the knocker has 2-2 as his deadwood cards and the opponent also has 2 then he cannot lay off his 2 to form a new meld.
Laying Off takes place only in the case where any of the player knocks without reaching Gin.
After laying off, both the players count their the deadwood points. There are 2 possibilities:
1. If the Knocker has Lower Deadwood Points then the Opponent
In this case, deadwood points of Knocker are subtracted from the deadwood points of the Opponent. After the subtraction, the remaining points are added to the total points of the Knocker.
2. If the Knocker has Higher Deadwood Points then the Opponent
This situation is called “Undercut”. In this case, deadwood points of Opponent are subtracted from the deadwood points of the Knocker. After subtraction, the remaining points are added to the total points of the Opponent with the Undercut Bonus of 25 points.
After adding the points to the score of each player, a new round starts and the gameplay repeats.
The player who scores 100 points first wins the game.