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How To Play Gin Rummy Plus

Updated on November 10, 2014

I’ve never played Gin Rummy. I’ve only seen people play it in movies and on television shows. I had a basic understanding of the game, but I didn’t know the exact rules until I looked them up. It’s a game that looks simple but has its share of complexity.

How to Play Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy is a card game for two players in which each player tries to collect sets of cards. Each set contains three or four cards of the same rank, or three or more cards of the same suit in sequence. Aces are low.

Ten cards are dealt to each player, and the rest of the deck is laid face-down on the table as a draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is laid face-up as the start of a discard pile.

If the non-dealer does not want the face-up card but the dealer does, then the dealer takes the first turn. Otherwise, the non-dealer takes the first turn.

On your turn, take the top card from the discard pile if you wish. Otherwise take the top card from the draw pile. Then lay a card face-up on the discard pile.

If after taking a card a player has just a few cards not in sets, extra cards, that player can "Knock". The extra cards must total 10 points or less. (Face cards each count 10 points, Aces count 1 point, and other cards count their rank.) The knocker lays a card face-down on the discard pile, and then lays her or his sets and any extra cards face-up on the table. The opponent also lays his or her sets and extra cards on the table.

If the knocker has no extra cards, she or he has “Gin” and scores 25 points plus the total points of the opponent's extra cards. The hand ends.

Otherwise, the opponent can reduce the number of his or her extra cards by adding as many as possible to the knocker's sets. Then the two players compare extra cards.

If the point total of the knocker's extra cards is higher than the point total of the opponent’s extra cards, the knocker scores the difference. Otherwise, the opponent scores 25 points plus the difference.

The winner of the hand deals the next hand.

If after a player has discarded there are just two cards left in the draw pile, the hand ends in a draw. The dealer collects the cards and deals a new hand.

The game ends when one player scores 100 points. That player scores an additional 100 points, and each player scores 25 points for each hand won. The final score is the difference between the two scores.

Some Comments

Gin Rummy is not for everyone. It is fairly complicated. But a similar game could be playable even for children. Let’s call it Gin Rummy Lite.

How to Play Gin Rummy Lite

Gin Rummy Lite is a card game for two to four players in which each player tries to collect sets of cards. Each set contains three cards of the same rank, or three cards of the same suit in sequence.

Six cards are dealt to each player, and the rest of the deck is laid face-down on the table as the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is laid face-up as the start of a discard pile. Then the players take turns playing beginning with the player to the left of the dealer and moving clockwise around the table.

On your turn, take the top card from the discard pile if you wish. Otherwise take the top card from the draw pile. If after taking a card you do not have two sets of cards, lay a card face-up on the discard pile.

But if you do have two sets of cards, you win the hand. Lay a card face-down on the discard pile, and lay your sets face-up on the table.

Each of the other players lays up to two sets or partial sets (two cards that could form a set) and any extra cards on the table.

The sets and partial sets can be 1) one set and one partial set, 2) two partial sets, 3) one set, or 4) one partial set.

The winner scores 1 point for each of the other players' extra cards.

If the draw pile runs out of cards, the dealer lays the top several cards of the discard pile face-up on the table, and shuffles the rest of the cards. The dealer then lays these cards face-down as the draw pile.

After each hand, the player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer.

Keep playing until one player has scored 20 points. That player wins the game.

Alternately, you can change the game so that a player must have one of each type of set to win a hand. A player must have a set of three cards of the same rank, and a second set of three cards of the same suit in sequence.

Two Versions

Gin Rummy and Gin Rummy Lite are similar games. If you want to play a more challenging game, play Gin Rummy. If you want to play a simpler game, try Gin Rummy Lite.

You may enjoy playing both games at different times.

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    • matthewJlillie profile image

      Matthew 2 years ago from toronto

      thanks this was very helpful

    • pchoemke8 profile image
      Author

      pchoemke8 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I appreciate your comment very much

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