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How to play Gin Rummy

How to play Gin Rummy

Well, hello! The name’s Archibald J. Rockefeller, but you can call me Archie or Jay or Rockie, just don’t call me late for dinner! Hohohoho! So, you want to learn how to play Gin Rummy, eh? Well, you’ve come to the right place for that! Have a seat.

Now, the object of the game is to form groups of cards called “Melds” in sets of the same number or runs of consecutive numbers in the same suit. 

For example, 3-3-3, 8-8-8-8, or Ace-2-3 of Hearts, 9-10-J-Q of Spades. 

Aces are low in Gin Rummy, so they always equal 1. Any cards in your hand that are unmatched are called Deadwood. You want to have as few points of Deadwood as possible. You can’t buy a hamburger with wooden nickels, am I right? Of course I am! Hahahaha!

Each player is dealt 10 cards at the beginning. The remaining cards are placed face-down and become the Stock Pile. One card is placed face-up to form the Discard Pile. On your first turn, the Player has to either pick up the face-up card or Pass. If the Player passes, then the Dealer can pick it up or Pass as well. If the Dealer passes, then the Player can draw from the Stock Pile. After the first turn, you can draw from either the Stock Pile or the Discard Pile. At the end of each turn, you must discard one card. That’s easy enough!

In Gin Rummy, Jacks, Queens, and Kings equal 10 points. The rest of the cards equal the number on the card. For example, Aces are worth 1 point, 2s two points, 3s three points and so on. Once you have 10 points or less of Deadwood, then you can Knock. That’s right, just knock on the table! I suppose you could also just say “knock”, but where’s the fun in that?! Hohoho! Knocking lets the other player know that you have 10 points or less of Deadwood and you’re done playing this hand.

Now it’s time to tally up your score. Each player lays their cards face-up on the table. Add up your points of Deadwood and subtract it from your opponent’s Deadwood. Whatever number you get is your score for that round. So say you have 8 points of Deadwood and your opponent has 26 points of Deadwood. 26-8=18. You get 18 points! Your opponent can Lay Off cards that match with your melds though. For instance, say you have a meld of three Jacks and your opponent has one Jack as Deadwood. Your opponent can Lay Off that Jack onto your meld and reduce his Deadwood count by 10 points! Instead of 18, now you only get 8 points. However, what if you have more points of Deadwood than your opponent after you knock? Well, then you get Undercut and your opponent gets the points plus a 25-point bonus! In Grand Gin Rummy, you also get a 15-point bonus just for winning a hand! That makes the game move a little quicker.

What’s that? Where does “Gin” come in? I was just getting to that! If all 10 of your cards are in melds and you have no Deadwood, then you can go “Gin”. Just shout it out! Gin! If you go Gin, then you get a 25-point bonus plus your opponent’s Deadwood count.

If no one knocks or goes Gin by the time there are only two cards left in the stockpile, then the hand ends in a tie, and the dealer re-deals. Once you reach 100 points, Congratulations, you win!

Care for a game? No, no, I don’t use real cards anymore. I play Grand Gin Rummy on my tablet! Download it from Google Play or the App Store, and add me as a friend on Facebook!