How to play Gin Rummy

Curious on how to play Gin Rummy? We've got you covered! Gin Rummy rules are easy to understand and has made this game one of the most popular rummy games out there. Unlike Rummy 500, players keep their cards in their hand until the end of the game.


Setting Up

Each Player is dealt 10 cards and the deck is placed in the middle of the table. The top card of the deck is flipped up to start the discard pile.

Before you start, it's important to know that each card is worth a specific number of points. They are broken down as follows:

Ace – 1 point

2-10 – face value

J-K – 10 points

Also, you're going to see the words "Meld/Set", "Run" and "Deadwood" mentioned below. These are just names for certain groups of cards.

Meld (or a Set) - A group of three or four cards of the same type. For example, three 8's, or four 10's.

Run - A group of cards in numerical order. For example - 4,5,6,7.

Deadwood - Any card in your hand that doesn't fall in one of the above two categories. Deadwood = bad. You want to get rid of all Deadwood cards.


How to Play Gin Rummy!

On the first turn the non-dealer can choose to pick up the card that was flipped up to start the discard pile. If they decide not to, the dealer can decide if they wants to pick it up. Whoever picks it up starts their turn. If neither player picks it up the non-dealer can start his turn.

Whoever starts, the following happens:

1. Draw 1 card

You can either draw the top card from the deck or the top card from the discard pile.

2. Knock

If all or most of your cards either form a set or a run you can knock by flipping over your cards. (More on this later)

3. Discard

If you didn’t knock you must discard a card at the end of your turn by placing it face up on the discard pile.

What is Knocking?

If you match the majority of your cards in a set (ex 4, 4, 4) or a run (ex A, 2, 3) you can choose to knock. When you do you flip your cards over and show your opponent. Any card that does not match is called deadwood and your total deadwood can be no more than 10 points.

If you knock without having any unmatched cards in your hand you automatically win the hand and get a 20 point bonus.

Important! - The opponent lays her cards down and can use the deadwood from the knockers hand to finish any sets or runs.Each player counts the total points of the deadwood in their hand. If the knocker score is lower, he banks the difference between the points.

If the opponent’s points are equal or greater than the knocker’s points the opponent scores the difference and gets a 10 point bonus as well.

Winning, Gin Rummy Rules

You keep track of the points and the first player to 100 wins.


Tips for How to Play Gin Rummy!

1. Throw away high cards fast

High cards will work against you if they are not matched by the end of the game, so unless they are already matched throw them away.

2. Knock as soon as you can

You can choose to wait until you have a better hand, but that also gives your opponent time. It is better to knock as soon as possible.

3. Draw from the discard pile only to complete a melt

Don’t pick up a Jack because you have a 10 in your hand. Only draw if it will complete a run or a set by giving you 3 or more matched cards.

Learning how to play Gin Rummy doesn't take much time and it's one of the most popular Rummy games out there. It's definitely worth the investment as there are plenty of people all over the world who play. We hope you become one of them!

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