One of the popular variants of rummy is Gin Rummy, simply known as Gin. It is a two-player card game that originated from the 19th century game Whiskey Poker. The purpose of creating Gin Rummy was to have a rummy game that was faster than regular rummy.
In the U.S., Gin Rummy is the most popular variant with rummy lovers. Let’s understand the rules of the game and learn how to play rummy.
Number of Players
Gin Rummy is typically a two-player card game. In case of more than two players, one of the players becomes the dealer, who does not deal any cards to himself/herself. This role changes with each subsequent hand.
Deck of Cards
A standard 52- card deck is used in the game. However, if the deck of cards comes with printed Jokers, then they are kept aside as Gin Rummy is played without any Jokers.
Values of Cards
In Gin Rummy, Aces are valued at one point each, and numbered cards, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, have their face values. For example, the value of the 3 of Spades is 3. Face cards, such as the Jack, Queen, and King, have 10 points each.
Objective of the Game
In Gin Rummy, each player is dealt 10 cards. The objective of the game is to meld one’s hand into valid sets and runs.
A set is formed with 3 or 4 cards of the same rank. For example, 3 of Spades, 3 of Diamonds and 3 of Hearts together form a set. A set cannot have more than one card of a suite.
A run is formed by arranging 3 or more cards of the consecutive ranks but of the same suit. For example 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Clubs form a valid run.
Cards that are not part of any run or set in a player’s hand are known as deadwood.
At the start of a game, the dealer deals 10 cards to each player one by one. The remaining cards form the stockpile and are placed face down on the table. The top card from the stockpile is placed face up next to the stockpile to form the discard pile.
The non-dealing player gets to pick the first card, from the discard pile. If the player refuses to use it, then it’s the turn of the dealer, who can use the card or refuse it.
On each of their turns, each player draws a card either from the stockpile or from the discard pile and then discards one card to the discard pile. The game continues until one of the players knocks.
Ending the game in Gin Rummy is known as knocking. A player may knock a game in two ways:
- If a player’s deadwood points add up to 10 or less, they can knock, which is known as going down.
- If a player’s deadwood points add up to zero or if all the cards are part of valid sets and runs, knocking in that situation is known as going gin.
In Gin Rummy, going gin gets you 25 points in addition to the deadwood points of your opponents.
In case of knock points, the player who knocks receives points equal to the difference between their and the opponent’s hand. For example, if a player knocks with 6 and his opponent has 10 deadwood points, then the knocking player’s score will be 4 points.
Gin Rummy retains the core essence of original rummy. However, certain features of the game indeed make it very challenging. That is what makes Gin Rummy the most popular card game after Indian Rummy.