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Gin Rummy Rules

Gin Rummy is a card game of skill that allows from 2 to 4 players to play. The game uses one standard deck of 52 cards for each hand dealt.

The aim of Gin Rummy is to be the first player to get rid of all your dealt cards by making them into sets and laying them down on the table. The making of sets is often called “melding,” a term commonly heard when playing Mahjong.

A "set"contains 3 or 4 cards the same numerical value. A “run” has 3 or more cards, of the same suit, which are consecutive numerically. When cards are grouped together in Gin Rummy, they are said to be "melded."

To start a 2 player game, each player is dealt 10 cards, if there is 3 or 4 players then each player is dealt 7 cards.

When playing Gin Rummy rules, an Ace card counts as 1 point and face cards, Jack, King, Queen, count as 10.

When it is a players turn to act, they must start off by either drawing a card from either the stick pile or discard pile. This card is added to their hand. Upon completion of the players turn, they must place one card, from any held in their hand into the discard pile.

Gin Rummy rules give players three different ways to win a round. They are termed Gin, Knock and Undercut.

Gin – Gin is made when a player melds all of the cards held in their hand and lay them all down on the table at once. The last card is placed in the discard pile. This leaves the player with no un-matching cards.

Knock – A Knock is where players meld all the cards held and the remaining total points left is 10 or lower in value. Surplus cards that can’t be used to make any melds or sets are termed, deadwood.

Undercut – An Undercut is where a players remaining points, or deadwood, is equal or lower to the Knocker’s.

After a players Gin, all other players may take their melds, or sets, and lay them onto the table. This lowers their deadwood count and hence the amount of penalty points accumulated. After players Knock, again, the other players lay any melds onto the table and add then add their matching cards onto the Knocker's original melds. This way, the Knock move provides the other players, who have lost the hand an opportunity to reduce their amount of penalty points gained. Much higher than is a player plays a Gin hand.

In Gin Rummy multi-round games the winner is the player that has accumulated the highest amount of points. Playing a Gin hand gains the most points reward and the player scores 25. The other, defeated players, receive their deadwood count doubled, but as penalty points.

An Undercut hand gains the player 20 points and their defeated opponents receive the difference in the count of the round winners deadwood and their own, again as penalty points.

The final winning move, the Knock scores 10 points. Again defeated opponents are landed with penalty points to the sum of their deadwood count minus the Knocker's deadwood count.

Reading the Gin Rummy rules above may not make instant sense to a complete beginner but these are the basics of an easy game to play. The real learning, as with any game, comes when you start to play. Download and play Gin Rummy to further your understanding and fully learn the rules of the game.

Have you tried our interactive How to Play Gin Rummy tutorial?

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