This page is based on a contribution from Magnus, with additional material from John McLeod.
Gin Rummy is one of the most popular forms of rummy. The game is generally played by two players, each receiving ten cards. Here is an article by David Parlett on the History of Gin Rummy, which was originally published on the Game Account site.
Note: I have been told that among some players the name Gin Rummy in fact refers to not to the game described below, but to the game which is called 500 Rum on this web site.
Gin Rummy is played with a 52 card deck, the wild cards (jokers) are not used. It is best to use two decks, so that while one player deals the. As for the value of the cards, the figure cards are worth 10 points and the other cards are worth the value indicated by their pips.
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One standard deck of 52 cards is used. Cards in each suit rank, from low to high:
How to play the popular American two-player card game Gin Rummy: rules, variations and resources including software and online servers. This page is based on a contribution from Magnus, with additional material from John McLeod. Gin rummy, or simply gin, is a two-player card game created in 1909 by Elwood T. Baker and his son C. It is a variant of rummy. It has enjoyed widespread popularity as both a social and a gambling game. What could be better than gin and rum? A card game called Gin Rummy! A game that’s as interesting as it sounds, Gin Rummy has a special place in the world of card games.
Ace 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jack Queen King.
The cards have values as follows:
|Face cards (K,Q,J)||10 points|
|Number cards are worth their spot (index) value.|
The first dealer is chosen randomly by drawing cards from the shuffled pack - the player who draws the lower card deals. Subsequently, the dealer is the loser of the previous hand (but see variations). In a serious game, both players should shuffle, the non-dealer shuffling last, and the non-dealer must then cut.
Each player is dealt ten cards, one at a time. The twenty-first card is turned face up to start the discard pile and the remainder of the deck is placed face down beside it to form the stock. The players look at and sort their cards.
Object of the Game
How Do You Count Points In Gin Rummy Online
The object of the game is to collect a hand where most or all of the cards can be combined into sets and runs and the point value of the remaining unmatched cards is low.
- a run or sequence consists of three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order, such as 4, 5, 6 or 7, 8, 9, 10, J.
- a set or group is three or four cards of the same rank, such as 7, 7, 7.
A card can belong to only one combination at a time - you cannot use the same card as part of both a set of equal cards and a sequence of consecutive cards at the same time. For example if you have 7, 7,7, 8, 9 you can use the 7either to make a set of three sevens or a heart sequence, but not both at once. To form a set and a sequence you would need a sixth card - either a 7 or a 10.
Note that in Gin Rummy the Ace is always low. A-2-3 is a valid sequence but A-K-Q is not.
A normal turn consists of two parts:
- The Draw. You must begin by taking one card from either the top of the stock pile or the top card on the discard pile, and adding it to your hand. The discard pile is face up, so you can see in advance what you are getting. The stock is face down, so if you choose to draw from the stock you do not see the card until after you have committed yourself to take it. If you draw from the stock, you add the card to your hand without showing it to the other players.
- The Discard To complete your turn, one card must be discarded from your hand and placed on top of the discard pile face up. If you took the top card from the discard pile, you must discard a different card - taking the top discard and putting the same card back in the same turn is not permitted. It is however legal to discard a card that you took from the discard pile in an earlier turn.
For the first turn of the hand, the draw is done in a special way. First, the person who did not deal chooses whether to take the turned up-card. If the non-dealer declines it, the dealer may take the card. If both players refuse the turned-up card, the non-dealer draws the top card from the stock pile. Whichever player took a card completes their turn by discarding and then it is the other player's turn to play.
You can end the play at your turn if, after drawing a card, you can form sufficient of your cards into valid combinations: sets and runs. This is done by discarding one card face down on the discard pile and exposing your whole hand, arranging it as far as possible into sets (groups of equal cards) and runs (sequences). Any remaining cards from your hand which are not part of a valid combination are called unmatched cards or deadwood. and the total value of your deadwood must be 10 points or less. Ending the play in this way is known as knocking, presumably because it used to be signalled by the player knocking on the table, though nowadays it is usual just to discard face down. Knocking with no unmatched cards at all is called going gin, and earns a special bonus. (Note. Although most hands that go gin have three combinations of 4, 3 and 3 cards, it is possible and perfectly legal to go gin with two 5-card sequences.)
A player who can meet the requirement of not more than 10 deadwood can knock on any turn, including the first. A player is never forced to knock if able to, but may choose instead to carry on playing, to try to get a better score.
The opponent of the player who knocked must spread their cards face-up, arranging them into sets and runs where possible. Provided that the knocker did not go gin, the opponent is also allowed to lay off any unmatched cards by using them to extend the sets and runs laid down by the knocker - by adding a fourth card of the same rank to a group of three, or further consecutive cards of the same suit to either end of a sequence. (Note. Cards cannot be laid off on deadwood. For example if the knocker has a pair of twos as deadwood and the opponent has a third two, this cannot be laid off on the twos to make a set.)
If a player goes gin, the opponent is not allowed to lay off any cards.
Note that the knocker is never allowed to lay off cards on the opponent's sets or runs.
The play also ends if the stock pile is reduced to two cards, and the player who took the third last card discards without knocking. In this case the hand is cancelled, there is no score, and the same dealer deals again. Some play that after the player who took the third last stock card discards, the other player can take this discard for the purpose of going gin or knocking after discarding a different card, but if the other player does neither of these the hand is cancelled.
Each player counts the total value of their unmatched cards. If the knocker's count is lower, the knocker scores the difference between the two counts.
If the knocker did not go gin, and the counts are equal, or the knocker's count is greater than that of the opponent, the knocker has been undercut. In this case the knocker's opponent scores the difference between the counts plus a 10 point bonus.
A player who goes gin scores a bonus 20 points, plus the opponent's count in unmatched cards, if any. A player who goes gin can never be undercut. Even if the other player has no unmatched cards at all, the person going gingets the 20 point bonus the other player scores nothing.
The game continues with further deals until one player's cumulative score reaches100 points or more. This player then receives an additional bonus of 100 points.If the loser failed to score anything at all during the game, then the winner's bonus is 200 points rather than 100.
In addition, each player adds a further 20 points for each hand they won. This is called the line bonus or box bonus. These additional points cannot be counted as part of the 100 needed to win the game.
After the bonuses have been added, the player with the lower score pays the player with the higher score an amount proportional to the difference between their scores.
Many books give the rule that the winner of each hand deals the next. Some play that the turn to deal alternates.
Some players begin the game differently: the non-dealer receives 11 cards and the dealer 10, and no card is turned up. The non-dealer's first turn is simply to discard a card, after which the dealer takes a normal turn, drawing the discard or from the stock, and play alternates as usual.
Although the traditional rules prohibit a player from taking the previous player's discard and discarding the same card, it is hard to think of a situation where it would be advantageous to do this if it were allowed. The Gin Rummy Association Rules do explicitly allow this play, but the player who originally discarded the card is then not allowed to retake it unless knocking on that turn. The Game Colony Rules allow it in one specific situation - 'action on the 50th card'. When a player takes the third last card of the stock and discards without knocking, leaving two cards in the stock, the other player has one final chance to take the discard and knock. In this position, this same card can be discarded - if it does not improve his hand, the player simply turns it over on the pile to knock.
Some people play that the bonus for going gin is 25 (rather than 20) and the bonus for an undercut is 20 (rather than 10). Some play that the bonus for an undercut, the bonus for going gin, and the box bonus for each game won are all 25 points.
Some play that if the loser failed to score during the whole game, the winner's entire score is doubled (rather than just doubling the 100 game bonus to 200).
A collection of variations submitted by readers can be found on the Gin Rummy Variations page.
In this popular variation the value of the original face up card determines the maximum count of unmatched cards with which it is possible to knock. Pictures denote 10 as usual. So if a seven is turned up, in order to knock you must reduce your count to 7 or fewer.
If the original face up card is a spade, the final score for that deal (including any undercut or gin bonus) is doubled.
The target score for winning Oklahoma Gin is generally set at 150 rather than 100.
Some play that if an ace is turned up you may only knock if you can go gin.
Some play that a player who undercuts the knocker scores an extra box in addition to the undercut bonus. Also a player who goes gin scores two extra boxes. These extra boxes are recorded on the scorepad; they do not count towards winning the game, but at the end of the game they translate into 20 or 25 points each, along with the normal boxes for hands won. If the up-card was a spade, you get two extra boxes for an undercut and four extra boxes for going gin.
Playing with 3 or 4 Players.
When three people play gin rummy, the dealer deals to the other two players but does not take part in the play. The loser of each hand deals the next, which is therefore played between the winner and the dealer of the previous hand.
Four people can play as two partnerships. In this case, each player in a team plays a separate game with one of the opposing pair. Players alternate opponents, but stay in the same teams. At the end of each hand, if both players on a team won, the team scores the total of their points. If one player from each team won, the team with the higher score scores the difference. The first team whose cumulative score reaches 125 points or more wins.
Other Gin Rummy pages
The Gin Rummy Association's Gin Rummy Tournaments page has information about forthcoming Gin Rummy events, including regular live tournaments in Las Vegas, and the site includes a summary of the rules used in these tournaments.
The Gin Rummy pages of Rummy-Games.com give rules for many Gin Rummy variants, plus reviews of Gin Rummy software and online games.
Several variants of Gin Rummy are described on Howard Fosdick's page (archive copy).
Gin Rummy rules are also available on the Card Games Heaven web site.
Jim from Triplesgames has provided a video introduction to Gin Rummy.
A comprehensive set of rules for Gin Rummy in German can be found on Roland Scheicher's Gin Rummy page.
Rummy.ch is a German language site offering rules for Gin Rummy and many other rummy games, plus strategy articles and reviews of online rummy sites and a forum.
Software and Servers
Gin Rummy software:
- With DreamQuest Software's Championship Gin Pro you can play against a computer opponent. Available for Windows, Palm OS and Pocket PC.
- Malcolm Bain's classic Gin Rummy program for Windows is available from Card Games Galore.
- A shareware Gin Rummy program can be downloaded from Meggiesoft Games.
- The collection HOYLE Card Games for Windows or Mac OS X includes a Gin Rummy program, along with many other popular card games.
- The Gin Rummy Pro computer program is available from Recreasoft.
- Special K Software has software to play the game of Gin Rummy. This software is available at www.specialksoftware.com.
- Best Gin Rummy by KuralSoft is a program for iOS with which you can play Gin Rummy against a computer opponent.
- Blyts have published Gin Rummy Free in versions for iOS, Android and web browser.
Servers for playing Gin Rummy on-line:
- Game Colony offers head to head Gin Rummy games and multi-player tournaments, which can be played free or for cash prizes.
- AOL games (formerly games.com / Masque publishing) offers Gin Rummy and Oklahoma Gin
- Ludopoli (Italian language)
- PlayOK Online Games (formerly known as Kurnik)
- Gameslush.com offers an online Gin Rummy game against live opponents or computer players.
|Alternative names||gin, knock poker, poker gin, gin poker|
|Skills required||Memory, tactics, strategy|
|Card rank (highest first)||K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 A|
|Playing time||15 min.|
|Conquian, American Mahjong, Desmoche, Rummy, Viennese Rummy|
Gin rummy, or simply gin, is a two-player card game created in 1909 by Elwood T. Baker and his son C. Graham Baker. It is a variant of rummy. It has enjoyed widespread popularity as both a social and a gambling game, especially during the mid twentieth century, and remains today one of the most widely-played two-player card games.
Magician and writer John Scarne believes gin rummy to have evolved from 19th-century whiskey poker (a game similar to Commerce, with players forming poker combinations) and to have been created with the intention of being faster than standard rummy but less spontaneous than knock rummy.
David Parlett finds Scarne's theory to be 'highly implausible', and considers the game of Conquian to be gin rummy's forerunner.
Gin rummy is played with a standard 52-card pack of cards. The ranking from high to low is King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace.
The objective in gin rummy is to score points and reach an agreed number of points or more, usually more than 100, before the opponent does.
The basic game strategy is to improve one's hand by forming melds and eliminating deadwood. Gin has two types of meld: Sets of 3 or 4 cards sharing the same rank, e.g. 8♥8♦8♠; and runs of 3 or more cards in sequence, of the same suit, such as 3♥4♥5♥ or more. Deadwood cards are those not in any meld. Aces are considered low—they can form a set with other aces but only the low end of runs (A♠2♠3♠ is a legal run but Q♠K♠A♠ is not). A player can form any combination of melds within their hand; all sets, all runs, or some sets and some runs.
The deadwood count is the sum of the point values of the deadwood cards—aces are scored at 1 point, face cards at 10, and others according to their numerical values. Intersecting melds are not allowed; if a player has a three-card set and a three-card run sharing a common card, only one of the melds counts, and the other two cards count as deadwood. For example; within the five cards 7♣7♠7♦8♦9♦, the seven of diamonds can be included in the set (7♣7♠7♦) or included in the run (7♦8♦9♦), but it cannot be included in both.
Dealership alternates from round to round, with the first dealer chosen by any agreed upon method. The dealer deals 10 cards to each player one at a time starting with their opponent, and then places the next card in the deck face up. This begins the discard pile. The face down pile is known as the stock pile.
On the first turn of the round, the non-dealing player has first option of taking the upcard on the discard pile or passing. If the non-dealing player takes the upcard, they must then discard a different card to the discard pile. The player acting second can take the top card from the pile of their choice. However, if the non-dealing player passes the upcard, the dealer is given the opportunity to take the upcard or pass. If the dealer also passes, the non-dealing player must draw from the stock pile, then the next turn and after, players can draw from the pile of their choice.
On each subsequent turn, a player must draw either the (face-up) top card of the discard pile, or the (face-down) top card from the stock pile, and discard one card from their hand onto the discard pile.
Players alternate taking turns until one player ends the round by knocking, going Gin, or until only two cards remain in the stock pile, in which case the round ends in a draw and no points are awarded. The game ends when a player reaches 100 or more points (or another established amount). In tournament rules the game is played in best of five with 250 points per game.
In standard gin, only a player with 10 or fewer points of deadwood may knock. Knocking with 0 points of deadwood is known as going Gin or having a Gin hand, while knocking with deadwood points is known as going down.
To knock, the knocking player discards as usual, announces knocking (generally by simply placing a discard face down), and the hand is laid out with the melds clearly indicated and deadwood separated. The other ('defending') player is then entitled to lay out any melds in their hand and can then lay off any of their remaining deadwood cards that fit into the knocking player's melds, provided that the knocking player does not have a gin hand.
For example, the knocking player has a meld of three Kings. The defending player's deadwood has a king. The player can lay off that king, reducing the deadwood count by ten. The knocking player can never lay off their deadwood into the defending player's melds. Once a player knocks or declares gin the round is over and scores are tallied, players cannot draw.
The knocking player then subtracts their deadwood points from the defending player's deadwood points. The result is the number of points the knocking player receives. An undercut occurs if a player knocks and the defending player's deadwood points are less than or equal to the knocking player's. In this case the defending player receives an undercut bonus (usually 25 points) plus the difference in deadwood points. If the defending player has less or equal deadwood to the knocking player's deadwood after laying off any of their deadwood, then it is still a valid undercut.
How Do You Count Points In Gin Rummy Rules
If all 10 cards in a player's hand fit into melds and thereby the player has no deadwood, they can choose to go Gin in which case the round ends and the player going Gin receives a Gin bonus of 25 points (or another established amount) plus any deadwood points in the opponent's hand. The defending opponent can only lay out their melds and cannot lay off any deadwood into the melds of an opponent that has declared Gin. A player can go Gin with a hand of three or fewer melds as long as all cards fit into a meld. Players can also have an 11 card gin, see Big Gin Variant below.
Gin hands normally consist of 10 cards. However, if a player chooses to draw so that 11 cards fit into melds, they can declare Big Gin in which case the player receives a Big Gin bonus of 31 points (or another established amount, commonly 50 points instead of the standard 31 points, depending on rule set) plus any deadwood in the opponent's hand.
Aces are scored at 1 point, face cards at 10, and all other cards are scored at their numerical values. The number of points awarded for bonuses may vary from region to region. No matter what the bonus amounts are, points are scored in Gin for the following:
- Knock points
- After a player knocks, and the layoffs are made, the knocking player receives a score equal to the difference between the two hands. For example, if a player knocks with 8, and the defender has 10 deadwood points in their hand after laying off, the knocking player receives 2 points for the hand. If a player is able to knock before any cards are accepted, it is considered a misdeal.
- Gin bonus
- After going gin, a player receives a bonus of 25 points plus the entire count of deadwood in the opponent's hand. There is no chance to lay off when a player goes gin.
- Undercut (or underknocking)
- Occurs when the defending player has a deadwood count lower than or equal to that of the knocking player (this can occur either naturally or by laying off after a knock). In this case, the defender scores an undercut bonus of 25 points plus the difference in deadwood in the knocking player's hand. (In some rule sets, the bonus is only 10 or 20 points, or is not awarded in case of a tie.)
- Game bonus
- Once a player has acquired 500 points (or some other agreed-upon number) the game is over, and that player receives a game bonus of 100 points (or another agreed-upon number).
- Line bonus or box bonus
- Added at the end of the game. For every hand a player won during the game, 25 points is added to their score.
- Big gin
- Prior to knocking, if all 11 cards in a player's hand form a legal gin, the player can retain the extra card as part of their hand, and is awarded 31 points plus entire count of deadwood in their opponent's hand. (In some rule sets players may be awarded 50 points or another established amount plus the entire count of deadwood in the opponent's hand)
- Shutout bonus
- If a game is completed with the winner having won every hand, the points for each hand are doubled before adding the line bonus.
In some variations, if the winning player beats the losing player by exactly 50 points, the winning player must forfeit the match.
In straight gin, players are required to play until one of them can go gin. Knocking is not allowed. Scoring and rules remain the same as standard gin rummy.
Similar to straight gin, knocking is not allowed. However, more than one card may be taken, in order, from the top of the discard pile. If more than one card is taken, the lowest position card taken must be used in a hand: e.g. <bottom> 8♠3♥5♥ <top of discard> 8♠ is the lowest position card and must be used in a hand; continue with one discard). Cards are shown to the table, with opponents being able to add on to straights of the same suit or finish a three of a kind with the fourth card for points. After a player has gin, points are added, with cards on the table being added up and cards in hand being subtracted. The player who gins receives 25 additional points, 2 through 9 = 5 points, 10 through K = 10 points, A = 15 points.
In this version of gin rummy, the value of the first upcard is used to determine the maximum count at which players can knock. If the upcard is a spade, the hand will count double. So if the first upcard was a 4, you can knock and go out with only 4 or fewer points in your hand; and if the card was 4♠, you would get double points that hand. in this variation it is possible to knock any of cards from the discard pile so as long as you put down a suit or pair.
Another version in this variation (mostly in match play) and in Hollywood gin (see below), a second deck of cards will be used to determine the knock value of a hand. The knock value card will be dealt from the bottom and turned over on top. Above rules apply but both players are dealt ten cards with the last hand winner picking first from the deck.
This is a scoring style, not a rules change to the game of gin. In Hollywood gin, scoring is kept for three different games at the same time. A player's first win will be recorded in their column in Game One. A player's second win will be recorded in their columns for both Game One and Game Two. Their third win will be recorded in their column for all three games. Hands are played until all three games are finished.
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Similar to Oklahoma gin, except aces can be used high or low, and runs can be formed 'around the corner' (such as K♠A♠2♠). If you are caught with an unmelded ace, it counts as 15 points against you. Hollywood scoring of three games to 200 when playing head-to-head or with two-person teams. Three-person teams play to 300, 25 points extra if all three teammates win. 50 points for four-person team, etc. This is a more complex gin game for all levels of player.
When a single match is to be played, the players will continue to play rounds until one player has 100 points or more. This player wins the match.
In multi-match games, match scores are reset to zero with the start of each match, while game scores accumulate until a predetermined winning score is reached, perhaps 500 or higher. Each individual match ends when one player scores 100 match points. At the end of the match, players' match scores are credited toward their game scores, as well as:
- 25 game points for each individual round won,
- 100 game points to the winner of the match, and
- 100 bonus game points to the match winner if the loser won no rounds.
- Stu Ungar, widely regarded as the greatest gin rummy player of all time, was described by many as having a near clairvoyant ability to see his opponents' hands. Ungar's almost total dominance of the game during the 1970s and 1980s is thought to have been a factor in the decline of gin rummy as a tournament game in Las Vegas and other gambling venues. (Ungar eventually switched to poker.) 
- Oswald Jacoby, best known as a contract bridge and backgammon champion, also played high-stakes gin rummy and wrote several books on the game.
- Ernie Kovacs, the comedian and television pioneer, published a book in 1962 called How to Talk at Gin.
- Fictional characters
- The villain Auric Goldfinger cheats at gin rummy in the key introduction scene of the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964), with the help of an accomplice looking at the opponent's cards through binoculars. The film script changed the game to gin rummy from two-handed Canasta in the source novel by Ian Fleming.
- ^'C.G. Baker, Helped Devise Gin Rummy'. New York Times. May 17, 1950. Retrieved May 22, 2008.
C. Graham Baker, writer and producer of motion pictures and co-creator of the card game gin rummy, died today at his home in Reseda in the San Fernando Valley. ..
- ^ ab'Parlett's Historic Card Games: Gin Rummy - David Parlett'.
- ^Scarne, John (2008). Scarne on Card Games: How to Play and Win at Poker, Pinochle, Blackjack, Gin and Other Popular Card Games. Courier Dover Publications. p. 37. ISBN978-0-486-43603-6.
- ^Hainline, John; Hainline, Lily Ann (2018). 'Gin Rummy Rules for Tournament Play'(PDF). ginrummytournaments.com. Palm Desert: Gin Rummy Association. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- ^'Glossary of gin rummy terms'. rummytalk.com.
- ^Ungar, Stu (June 29, 2006). One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stu Ungar (documentary). USA: Szymanski, Al.
- ^Michael Konik (April 1, 1999). 'The Gin Mill'. Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- ^'Goldfinger (1964) - Miami hotel pool scene'. Retrieved July 18, 2019 – via YouTube.
How To Count Points In Gin Rummy
- Rules of gin rummy at Pagat.com