Gin Rummy


Gin Rummy rules

Gin Rummy or simply Gin (also known as Gin Poker, Knock Poker) is considered the most popular variation of rummy, by far being the most popular variation in the USA. It was created in 1900 by Elwood T. Baker in New York.


Playing cards

Gin Rummy is played with one deck of 52 cards. Cards are ranked: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K. In Gin Rummy Ace can not be played as high card after King. One or two Jokers can be used as wild cards, that can represent any card in a Meld.



Game is played usually between 2 players, but can be played up to 4.


Goal of the game

Goal of the game is to dispose of all the cards in hand by grouping them in the allowed Melds thus eliminating Deadwood (cards not in any meld) and putting them face up on the table (Knock or Gin).

Players dispose of cards by forming melds (sets or runs), placing them on the table face up. 

Melds can be formed by grouping 3 or 4 cards of the same rank and different suite (this is called a Set)
Rummy Melds - Set Rummy Melds
or Runs, grouping 3 or more cards of the same suite in sequence
Rummy Melds - RunRemi niz



Dealer is selected randomly, usually by players drawing a card from the deck, with player drawing lowest card becoming a dealer. After each game dealers are changed in clockwise direction.

For the game of two players each player is dealt 10 cards, for the 3 or 4 player games each player is dealt 7 cards.

After the deal the dealer places last card face up on the table, this cards forms the discard pile. Remaining cards in the deck are placed face down next to the discard pile to form a stock pile.

On the first turn first player has the option to take a face up card from the discard pile or Pass. If he passes the dealer has the opportunity to take the card, if the dealer also passes, then the first player draws from the stock pile. Consequently players can freely decide from which pile to draw cards.

Players alternate clockwise and on each turn player is required to draw a card from the stock or discard pile, optionally Knock or Gin or end his turn by discarding a card on the discard pile.

The round is over once one of the players wins (Knocks, Goes Gin) or there are only two cards left in the stock pile which ends the round in a draw with no points awarded.

Player can Knock or Go Down i.e. dispose of his cards, only if his deadwood count is 10 points or less.

To Knock player has to announce he is knocking usually done by knocking on the table or by placing discard card face down and lay his hand on the table face up with clearly separated melds and deadwood cards. The other players then have the option to lay down their own melds and if possible lay off their remaining compatible deadwood cards in knocking players melds. For example: if a knocking player has a meld on the table consisting of a run 7-8-9 Hearts, other players can add 6, or 10, J Hearts to the meld.

If the knocking player deadwood sum is higher that the other players than the Undercut occurs. The player that has lower deadwood wins and receives an award as Undercut bonus (usually 25 points) and difference in deadwood. If the players have the same points of deadwood the round ends in tie and no points are awarded.

Knocking with 0 points of deadwood is called Going Gin or having a Gin Hand. Player receives a Gin Bonus (usually 25 points) and other players can not lay off their cards on melds of the player that goes Gin, they only can lay down their melds.
Big Gin can be achieved if the player goes Gin with 11 cards in his hand. Then the winning player receives a Big Gin Bonus (usually 31 or 50 points).



The Deadwood points are counted following bellow rules:

  • Ace – 1 points
  • 10 and face cards (K, Q, J) – 10 points
  • other cards – their face value
Knock points – after player Knocks he is awarded the points in difference between his deadwood and other players deadwood. For example a knocking player has 7 deadwood and other player has 1o points the winner receives 3 points.
During the game players can win the following bonuses:
  • Gin bonus – after going Gin players receives a Gin bonus (usually 25 points) plus all the deadwood points of other players. In case of Gin other players can not lay off their deadwood
  • Undercut bonus – if undercut occurs, player that has lower deadwood count than the knocking player, is the winner and gets the bonus (usually 25 points) plus the difference in deadwood points
  • Big Gin bonus – usually is (31 or 50 points) plus all the deadwood points of other players
Game is finished when one of the players reaches agreed number of points (usually 100 or 250). After that following bonus points are usually awarded to total score of players to make game more interesting:
  • Game bonus – the winner gets additional 100 points. If the winner has won every hand in the match instead 100, receives 200 points bonus
  • Line bonus (Box bonus) – for each hand won players get 25 points
If playing for the money the player with the lower score pays to the winner an amount proportional to the difference in points.


Variations of Gin Rummy


Gin Rummy strategy

If you are the first player, don’t pass a free card; take it, even if it has no relevance to your hand because the option reverts to your opponent if you don’t take advantage of it. If nothing else, taking the card misleads your opponent about the combinations in your hand.General Rummy strategy link.

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  1. ted barkow Kaže:

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