It is possible for a beginner to learn the basics of Oklahoma Gin strategy while playing the game. However, a newcomer to the game would do well to take the time to follow some simple strategic guidelines, such as the ones below. This effort will be repaid by a noticeable improvement in the way you play the game.
The first point to bear in mind when it comes to Oklahoma Gin strategy is that alertness as far as discarded cards are concerned is essential. You should know what cards have been discarded, so that your hand is not waiting for something that has long gone into the discard pile.
It is always better to draw a card from the pack rather than the discard pile, since this way your opponent learns nothing new about your hand. Of course, this does not mean that you should let a card you need go just because it is in the discard pile, but if you have a choice, go to the stock pile of cards. There is one more advantage to doing this – by taking a card from the stock pile you could be preventing your rival from getting a good card that he or she is waiting for.
Try to ‘knock’ as soon as possible, particularly if you are playing Oklahoma Gin online. However, do not follow this rule if you are lagging significantly behind as far as the score is concerned, your rival is not far from success, and you are not far from going gin. Under such circumstances early knocking is not advised.
Don’t forget that cards bearing high point values are best gathered in the early stages of the game. And bear in mind that a game of Oklahoma Gin usually last as long as about half the cards in the stock pile. So when this point in the game is approaching, try to do away with all the unnecessary high value cards in your hand. This way, you will not be giving your rival a large number of points; also your chances of knocking yourself improve.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Oklahoma Gin strategy is baiting, which is also known as advertising or fishing. Here, you deliberately throw away a card that is connected to one you are looking for, in the hope that your opponent takes the bait and discards such a card. However, you should be careful not to fall into such a trap yourself, and remember that the first few cards played by a skilled Oklahoma Gin player are often bait cards.
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but the importance of practice in this game cannot be overstated. Keep playing with your friends, for fun or for low stakes, till you get the hang of the various situations in a game of Oklahoma Gin and how best to deal with them. This practice will stand you in good stead when you are playing in serious Oklahoma Gin games, and you will be amazed by your improved proficiency at the game.