Gin Rummy Rules

If you are looking to play Gin Rummy, it is vital that you first understand the rules of the game. Gin Rummy can be played with 2 - 4 players. A deck of 52 cards is used to play this game and jokers are not included in the deck.

The sequence of the cards from low to high are – A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K

Points Breakdown

  • Ace = 1 point
  • Numbered cards – Points depend on the number. For example, 3 of Hearts will have 3 points
  • Face cards = 10 points

The dealer of the game is chosen randomly. They alternate turns to deal the cards. The players are dealt with 10 cards each. The 21st card is placed face up. The remaining deck of cards are put face down. This deck is called the Stock Pile.

The players should sort their cards in the following ways

  • Run or Sequence – Sorting 3 or more cards with the same sign in the sequential order. Example: Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts.
  • Set or Group – Sorting 3 or more cards with the same numbers but different signs. Example – 6 of Hearts, 6 of Diamonds, 6 of Clubs.

A card can be used for only one combination at a time. It cannot belong to a Run or Set at the same time. A Card that does not belong to either a Run or a Set is a Deadwood or Unmatched card.

Playing the game

The 2 main steps involved in a player's turn are:

  • Draw – The player starts the game by drawing the displayed card or from the stock pile. The player adds this to the 10 cards and subsequently chooses another card from the hand to discard.
  • Discard – If a card in the players hand does not have the potential to form a Set or a Run, the player discards this card. The card should be discarded face up.

A player cannot draw and discard the same card from the discard pile.

Ending the game

When a player has formed sufficient combination of Sets and Runs, the player ends the game by discarding one card face-down and placing the remaining cards on the table to display to the opponent players. The player may or may not have Deadwood cards. However, the player can end the game only if the total value of the Deadwood cards is not more than 10 points. The manner in which the player wins is called Knocking. At this point the opponent players must place their cards face-up on the table. The first player to win 100 points is the winner.

If the Knocker did not have any Deadwood cards, it is called Going Gin. The knocker earns a 25 point bonus for going gin. The player also wins the points from the opponents’ unmatched cards.

The game can also end when there are only 2 cards remaining in the stock pile and the player who has drawn the 3rd last card from the pile does not Knock. Here, neither player wins and the round ends.