|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. ; and runs of 3 or more cards in sequence, of the same suit, such as 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 ( is a legal run but 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 , the seven of diamonds can be included in the set ( ) or included in the run ( ), 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.
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:
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> <top of discard> 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, 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.
Similar to Oklahoma gin, except aces can be used high or low, and runs can be formed "around the corner" (such as ). 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:
Canasta is a card game of the rummy family of games believed to be a variant of 500 Rum. Although many variations exist for two, three, five or six players, it is most commonly played by four in two partnerships with two standard decks of cards. Players attempt to make melds of seven cards of the same rank and "go out" by playing all cards in their hand. It is "the most recent card game to have achieved worldwide status as a classic".
500 rum, also called pinochle rummy, Michigan rummy, Persian rummy, rummy 500 or 500 rummy, is a popular variant of rummy. The game of canasta and several other games are believed to have developed from this popular form of rummy. The distinctive feature of 500 rum is that each player scores the value of the sets or cards they meld. It may be played by 2 to 8 players, but it is best for 3 to 5.
Rummy is a group of matching-card games notable for similar gameplay based on matching cards of the same rank or sequence and same suit. The basic goal in any form of rummy is to build melds which can be either sets or runs. If a player discards a card, making a run in the discard pile, it may not be taken up without taking all cards below the top one. The Mexican game of Conquian is considered by games scholar David Parlett to be ancestral to all rummy games, which itself is derived from a Chinese game called Khanhoo. The rummy principle of drawing and discarding with a view to melding appears in Chinese card games at least in the early 19th century, and perhaps as early as the 18th century.
Shanghai rum is a Rummy card game, based on gin rummy and a variation of Contract rummy played by 3 to 8 players. It is also known as California rummy.
Tonk, or tunk, is a matching card game, which combines features of knock rummy and conquian. Tonk is a relatively fast-paced game that can be played by 2-4 players. It was popular with blues and jazz musicians in southern Louisiana in the 1930s, including Duke Ellington's orchestra, and was played during breaks in the back rooms of bars and saloons. It has been played in military barracks to the battlefield and In many other places it has become a popular pastime for workers while on their lunch breaks. It can be played for just points or for money wagered.
Conquian, Coon Can or Colonel is a rummy-style card game. David Parlett describes it as an ancestor to all modern rummy games, and a kind of proto-gin rummy. Before the appearance of gin rummy, it was described as "an excellent game for two players, quite different from any other in its principles and requiring very close attention and a good memory to play it well".
Contract rummy is a Rummy card game, based on gin rummy played by 3 to 8 players. It is also known as Combination rummy, Deuces Wild Rummy, Joker rummy and Phase 10.
Rumino is a knock rummy card game of Italian origin played up to 6 players in which players try to form sets or sequences of cards. It may possibly have been devised in American during the 1940s by Italian immigrants by adapting the game Scala Quaranta to Gin rummy. It is usually played for small stakes Two 52-card decks are used plus four Jokers comprising 108 cards.
Three thirteen is a variation of the card game Rummy. It is an eleven-round game played with two or more players. It requires two decks of cards with the jokers removed. Like other Rummy games, once the hands are dealt, the remainder of the cards are placed face down on the table. The top card from the deck is flipped face up and put beside the deck to start the discard pile.
Bing rummy is a variant of kalooki invented in the mining towns of Alaska. The game can be played with 2 to 8 players but works best with 3 to 6 players. It is unknown how the game came to be called “bing” although it may be because of the mining terms: unit of weight equal to 800 pounds, or a pile of rich lead ore. It is probably the second definition that gives the game its name referring to the pile of coins that accumulate throughout the game; especially as it is the Galena lead mines that popularized the term “bing ore”. These mines opened in 1919 about the time the game was developed.
Continental Rummy is a progressive partnership Rummy card game related to Rumino. It is considered the forerunner of the whole family of rummy games using two packs of cards as one. Its name derives from the fact that it is played throughout the continental Europe, the United States, Mexico, Canada, and also in South America. According to Albert Morehead, it was "at one time the most popular form of Rummy in women's afternoon games, until in 1950 it lost out to Canasta."
Chinchón is a matching card game played in Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Cape Verde and other places. It is a close variant of Gin rummy, with which it shares the same objective: making sets, groups or runs, of matching cards.
Indian Cherokee Rummy is a card game in India with little variation from original rummy. It may be considered a cross between Rummy 500 and gin rummy. Indian Rummy is a variant of the rummy game popular in India that involves making valid sets out of 13 cards that are distributed among every player on the table. Each player is dealt 13 cards initially; if the number of players is 2, then a 52 cards deck is chosen for the game and if there are 6 players, two decks of 52 cards each is combined for the game. Each player has to draw and discard cards by turns till one player melds his/her cards with valid sets that meet the Rummy validation rules. It could be that Indian Rummy evolved from a version of Rummy in South Asia, Celebes Rummy, also called Rhuk.
Ponytail Canasta is a variation of the card game Canasta. The rules for Canasta were standardized in North America around the 1950s, it was this version of the game that gained worldwide popularity. In many countries, Classic Canasta is still played in more or less its original form, sometimes alongside a number of variations.
Buraco is a Rummy-type card game in the Canasta family for four players in fixed partnerships in which the aim is to lay down combinations in groups of cards of equal rank and suit sequences, there being a bonus for combinations of seven cards or more. Buraco is a variation of Canasta which allows both standard melds as well as sequences. It originated from Uruguay and Argentina in the mid-1940s, with apparent characteristics of simplicity and implications that are often unforeseeable and absolutely involving. Its name derives from the Portuguese word "buraco" which means “hole”, applied to the minus score of any of the two partnerships. The game is also popular in the Arab world, specifically in the Persian Gulf; where it is known as 'Baraziliya' (Brazilian). Another popular variation of Buraco is Italian.
Penang rummy or si rummy is a variant of the rummy card game that was believed to have been invented in Penang in the late 1980s and became popular in Malaysia. The word si in Penang Hokkien language means 'dead'. It reflects the nature of the card game, where the hand is dead, with no drawing of new cards or exchanging of cards, throughout the whole game. It is this feature that distinguishes Penang rummy from other rummy variants.
The following is a glossary of terms used in card games. Besides the terms listed here, there are thousands of common and uncommon slang terms. Terms in this glossary should not be game-specific, but apply to a wide range of card games. For glossaries that relate primarily to one game or family of similar games, see Game-specific glossaries.
German Rummy or Rommé is the most popular form of the worldwide game, Rummy, played in Austria and Germany. It is a game for 2 to 6 players and is played with two packs of French playing cards, each comprising 52 cards and 3 jokers. There are no partnerships, every player plays for him- or herself. In Germany, the Germany Rummy Association is the umbrella organisation for local rummy clubs and organises national competitions. The game is often just known as Rommé in Germany and Rummy in Austria.
Treppenrommé is a card game for two to four players, which is a variant of Rummy played in Germany and Austria. The name means "Staircase Rummy" and comes from the fact that the discard pile must be arranged such that every card is partly covered and partly visible, forming a so-called 'staircase' (Treppe). The game appears to be closely related to 500 Rum, but there are several differences.
Viennese Rummy is a matching card game of the Rummy family for 2-6 people played in continental Europe.
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. ...