Gin Rummy Rules - How To Play Gin Rummy Card Game

Gin Rummy is a very popular variant of Rummy. It is enjoyed across the globe in card clubs, social gatherings and gaming establishments alike.

The creation of Gin Rummy is credited to Elwood T. Baker and C. Graham Baker. The father and son duo created the card game in the year 1909.

Gin Rummy is one of the many variants of Rummy, but is said to be the fastest variant. The game is also quite simple in terms of its gameplay.

There have been theories of Gin Rummy evolving form a type of Poker called Whiskey Poker, but this theory hasn’t gained general acceptance in the card game community worldwide.

There have been off shoots to the game namely, Hollywood Gin and Oklahoma Gin.

Gin Rummy is a 2 Player card game as opposed to other Rummy variants like 13 Cards Rummy, 10 Cards Rummy, that can be played with a minimum 2 players to a maximum of 6 players on a game table.

Since Gin Rummy involves only 2 players, it is widely regarded as the fastest variant of rummy in terms of gameplay.

A Game of Gin Rummy is played with a single deck of cards, i.e. 52 cards.

The game does not allow a joker, making Gin Rummy quite unique among other rummy variants.

Gin Rummy is a game of draw and discard and it also follows the other basic principles of Rummy.

To begin a game of Gin Rummy one of the 2 players deals 10 cards to both themselves and the opponent. This player is known as the dealer for that particular partial round. The designated dealer changes with each partial game.

After the 10 cards are dealt, a single card is turned face up from face down pile of cards. This face up card is the first card for the face up pile. The player who isn’t the dealer can then pick up the face up card or the first card from the face down pile. Subsequently the player also has to discard a card, which cannot be the one they just picked from the face up pile. Then the game continues with each player drawing a card and discarding one, to form sets and sequences.

The objective of the game is to form sets and sequences based on the cards a player draws. But unlike other variants of rummy, gin Rummy has one more way of ending a partial game other than declaring a show.

Gin Rummy is a point based game and thus requires for player to win maximum number of points as opposed to their opponents. To accumulate these points, there are 2 ways for a player to win a partial game.

  • Going Gin:
    When a player is able to meld all the 10 cards dealt to them, in sets and sequences, then it is called as going Gin. In such a condition, when a player declares a valid Gin, they automatically become the winner of that partial game. Thus a player must aim at melding all their cards if they wish to win the game in this manner.
  • Knocking:
    The second and simpler way of ending a partial game is to declare a ‘Knock’. For a player to declare a Knock, almost all cards need to be in melds, and a few cards can be left unmelded, as long as the deadwood score is equal to or below 10. In case of a player Knocking, the other player also has the opportunity to Win, by arranging their cards with their opponents and discarding. After this, points for both the players is calculated as the sum of their deadwood cards, where the player with a lower score win, points equal to the difference of points in both the players. The player that declares a Knock has lower chances of winning the partial game, as there are more than one ways for the opponent to reduce their total deadwood card value.

Each card is valued according to their pip value i.e. The Ace hold 1 point, 2 hold 2 points, and so on. Face cards i.e. Jack, Queen, King are valued at 10 points.

Knock Points
When a Knock is made, and the knocking player has cards valued lesser than the opponent then, the knocking player receives a score equal to the difference of the players. In case the total of points of the opponent is lesser, the opponent wins the partial game.

Gin Bonus
When a player Wins a partial game by going Gin a bonus of 25 points plus the entire count of deadwood in the opponent's hand is awarded to the score of the player.

When the player not knocking has a sum of card values lower than that of the opponent, then it is known as an Undercut. In such a case, the player not knocking receives an Undercut bonus of 25 points plus the difference in sum of the value of cards.

Game Bonus
Once the player gets to 100 points the game is over, and a predicated upon bonus awarded to the winning player.

Big Gin
In a case where all of the cards in a player’s hand are part of a meld, they can retain the last card, and include it in a meld to be declared a Big Gin. 31 points are awarded to players that declare a valid Big Gin.

Scroll To Top