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How To Play 3-Set Rummy, A Gin Rummy Type Game

Updated on February 24, 2016

Standard playing cards have certain characteristics that are used to play card games. A set of two to four cards can have the same rank (pair, three of a kind, four of a kind). A set of three or more cards can be in sequence (straight or run). A set of three or more cards can have the same suit (flush). A set of three or more cards in sequence can have the same suit (straight-flush).

Rummy and Gin Rummy use 2 sets - three or four of a kind, and straight-flushes with three or more cards. Cribbage uses pairs, runs, and flushes. Poker uses a pair, three of a kind, four of a kind, a full house, a straight, a flush, or a straight-flush. Even trick-taking games use suit and sequence.

A New Game

A Gin Rummy type game can be played where the object of the game is to form 3 distinct sets - a three of a kind, a 3-card straight, and a 3-card flush. Each set must be connected to at least one other set by a card.

For instance, you can have a three of a kind with

Seven of Clubs (*),
Seven of Hearts,
Seven of Spades,

a straight with

Six of Diamonds,
Seven of Clubs (*),
Eight of Hearts (*),

and a flush with

Four of Hearts,
Eight of Hearts (*),
King of Hearts.

The Seven of Clubs connects the three of a kind and the straight, and the Eight of Hearts connects the straight and the flush. In a manner of speaking, the three sets overlap.

This is easier to understand with a picture:

As you can see, the total number of cards used by each player is seven cards.

It is possible for each of the sets to be connected to both of the other sets of cards:

Here, the Seven of Clubs connects the three of a kind and the straight, the Eight of Hearts connects the straight and the flush, and the Seven of Hearts connects the three of a kind and the flush.

We will call the new game 3-Set Rummy.

Instructions

3-Set Rummy is a card game for two to four players in which each player tries to collect 3 overlapping sets of cards.

Seat the players around the table, and place a deck of cards, a sheet of paper, and a pencil on the table. Write the players' names across the top of the sheet to record the scores. Each player can shuffle the cards.

Then choose the first dealer. You can just pick a dealer, or you can use the cards to pick the dealer. To do the latter, each player picks a card, and the player with the highest card is the first dealer. If two or more players have cards of the same high-rank, those players keep picking cards until one player picks the high card.

The dealer shuffles the cards, and deals them around the table one at a time beginning with the player to the dealer's left and moving clockwise around the table until each player has seven cards. The dealer places the remaining cards face-down at the center of the table as a draw-pile, and flips the top card face-up next to the draw-pile as the start of the discard-pile.

Then the players take turns playing beginning with the dealer and moving clockwise around the table.

Turns

On your turn, take the top card from the draw-pile or the discard-pile.

If you do not have 3 sets of cards (3 of a kind, a straight, and a flush) in your hand with the proper 2 or 3 cards connecting the sets, lay a card face-up on the discard-pile, and your turn ends.

If the draw-pile runs out of cards, the dealer lays the top three cards of the discard-pile face-up on the table, shuffles the remaining cards from the discard-pile, and places them face-down on the table as the draw-pile.

End of Hand

If during a turn a player has 3 sets of cards (3 of a kind, a straight, and a flush) with the proper 2 or 3 cards connecting the sets, that player lays a card face-down on the discard-pile, and lays the sets face-up on the table. The sets can be laid in an overlapping pattern as in the pictures above. If there are 2 connections between the sets, the player scores 1 point. If there are 3 connections between the sets, the player scores 2 points. Add this score to any previous score.

If nobody has scored 3 or more points, the game continues. The player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer. The new dealer collects and shuffles the cards, and deals them to the next hand.

Winning

When a player scores 3 or more points, that player wins the game.

Variation

You can play a set number of hands, say 8 hands, and the player with the most points after playing those hands wins the game.

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