Gin Rummy, sometimes referred to simply as "Gin" is one of the most popular forms of rummy. The game is usually played by two players, each receiving ten cards.
One standard deck of 52 cards is used. Cards in each suit rank, from low to high:
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
Ace 1 point
Number cards are worth their spot (index) value.
The first dealer is chosen randomly, and the turn to deal alternates between the players. 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
The object of the game is to arrange as many as possible of the ten cards in your hand into sets. There are two kinds of sets: sequences and groups.
a sequence consists of three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order, such as 4, 5, 6 or 8, 9, 10, J.
a group is three or four cards of the same rank, such as 7, 7, 7.
A card can belong to only one set at a time - you cannot use the same card as part of both a group and a sequence.
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 is not permitted.
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.
The play ends when a player knocks. This can be done on any turn (including the first), immediately after drawing, provided that you can form sufficient of your cards into sets. Having knocked, you complete your turn by discarding one card as usual and then spreading your remaining cards face up on the table, arranged as far as possible into groups and sequences. Any remaining cards from your hand which are not part of a set are called unmatched cards or deadwood. In order to be allowed to knock, the total value of your unmatched cards must be ten points or less. Knocking with no unmatched cards at all is called going gin, and earns a special bonus.
You are never forced to knock. A player who is able to knock may choose instead to carry on playing, to try to get a better score.
The opponent of the player who knocked must then spread their cards face-up, arranging them into sets 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 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.
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 oppponent's sets.
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.
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 knocker gets the 20 point bonus the other player scores nothing.
The game continues with further deals until one player's cumulative score reaches 100 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.
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.
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).
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.