Gin Rummy is a card game that can be played by between 2 and 4 players at one time. It is played with a single deck of cards. This is a skill-based game.
The Aim of the Game
The aim of the game of gin rummy is to create sets or sequences of cards using as many cards in your hand as possible, thus resulting in the lowest possible remaining point hand value.
Playing the Game
When two players are playing gin rummy, each player is dealt 10 cards, whereas when 3 or 4 players are involved, each player is dealt 7 cards. Once all the players have their cards, the next card in the pile is turned face up and becomes the beginning of the discard pile. The remaining cards are placed in a pile, face down and they become the stock.
Each player has a turn to play their hand. They must draw one card into their hand from either the stock or the discard pile and then discard one card from their hand. If you draw a card from the discard pile, you may not discard that same card in the same turn.
Cards two through ten are valued at their face value, face cards are valued as ten and Ace is always played low and valued at one.
Sets and Sequences
A set is a hand that contains 3 or 4 cards of the same value. A sequence or a run is a set that contains 3 or more cards in sequence, in the same suit.
Winning a Round of Gin Rummy
There are three ways to win a game of gin rummy – gin, knock or undercut.
Gin – The player melds all the cards in his hand into sets. The player places one card face down on the discard pile and lays down the remaining cards in his hand to display his sets or sequences. The player has no deadwood (unmatched cards) remaining in his hand. This can be done at any of the player’s turns. If you gin, you win and score a bonus.
Knock – The player melds all the cards in his hand, but remains with deadwood. The deadwood cards equal a total point count of lower than 10. Players are not required to knock, even if they are able to. You can continue playing in an attempt to improve your score.
Undercut – An undercut is when the player’s deadwood point count is equal to or lower than the knocker’s.
Once one of the players has knocked, the remaining players are required to spread their cards face up and create as many melds as possible. You are able to lay off cards by adding them to the melds of other players, as long as the other player did not go gin. This means that the knocker gives the other players an opportunity to reduce their hand point count, while this is not possible following a gin. The knocker is not able to lay off cards.
In a case where play continues until there are only two cards left in the stock, the game ends with no points awarded. The same dealer is kept for the next round.
Winning a Multi-Round Game
A player who gins is awarded a bonus payout, which is the highest possible payout in the game, while those who are defeated are given penalty points based on their deadwood count. The undercut and the knocker are also awarded points in the game. The winner of a multi-round gin rummy game is the player with the highest number of points at the end.