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Gin Rummy Game Rule


The rummy game is played with a normal deck of 52 cards. Dealership alternates from round to round, with the first dealer chosen by any agreed upon method. Each player is dealt 10 cards, face down, one at a time alternately. The next card from the deck is turned face up to indicate the start of the discard pile. The remaining of the deck, positioned face down, is called the stock pile.

Ranks and Groups
Ranks of cards from low to high: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King.
Value of cards: Face cards are 10 points each. Ace is 1 point. Other cards, their index values.

Once the cards are dealt, each player takes up his hand, fans it, and if desired, arranges the cards into groups of "melds":

  • A Run (sequence): Comprised of 3 or more cards in the same suit and in consecutive order.
  • A Set: Comprised of 3 or 4 cards that are of the same rank and of different suits.
  • A Deadwood: Unmatched or unmelded cards.


The objective of the game is to finish with a hand consisting most cards formed into Sets and/or Runs. A card can be used only once in a Meld. You cannot use the same card for both a Run and a Set.

During the gameplay, the two main elements in a single turn are the draw and the discard:

  • The Draw  On the first turn of the round, the non-dealing player must take a card from the stock pile or the upcard on the discard pile and add it to the 10 cards in his hand.
  • The Discard  After drawing one card, he must now decide which one card he needs the least (not fitting to create a set or a run). He must then take this card out of his hand and put it on the discard pile, facing up.


  • Knocking  You can end the game at your turn if, after drawing a card, you can form sufficient melds (sets and/or runs). Knocking is done by discarding one card face down and laying the 10 cards face up. The other player must now expose his cards as well, placing his melds on the table.

    Note that you can knock on any turn (including the first) provided you have deadwood with 10 points or less. However, you are never forced to knock even if you are able to. You may choose to carry on playing, to try getting a better score.
  • Going Gin  Knocking a hand of 10 cards with no deadwood (unmatched cards) at all is called Going Gin. The player Going Gin receives a Gin bonus of 25 points (or another agreed amount) plus any deadwood points in the opponent's hand.
  • Laying Off  Provided that the knocker did not Go Gin, the opponent is allowed to Lay Off any unmatched cards that he has by using them to extend the sets and/or runs laid down by the knocker. For example, the knocking player has a meld of three Queens. The opponent has a Queen deadwood. The opponent can Lay Off that Queen, reducing his deadwood count by ten. This is a way to reward the opponent for holding on to cards that the knocker might need.

    Note that cards cannot be Laid Off on the knocker's deadwood. For example if the knocker has 2 Aces as deadwood and the opponent has a 3rd Ace, this cannot be laid off on the 2 Aces to make a set of 3 Aces. Also note that the knocker himself is never allowed to lay off cards in this way.
  • Last cards  The game also ends if there are only two cards left on the stock pile and the player who took the third to the last card on the pile discards a card without knocking. In this situation, there is no winner and another round can begin.
  • Scoring  After the round ended, the scores are counted. This game play can go several rounds and the one with the highest total score is the winner.
    • Knock Scoring (Score goes to the knocker.)  Each player need to count the value of their deadwood cards. If the knocker has a lower deadwood points, he adds to his score the difference between the two deadwood counts.
    • Undercut Scoring (Score goes to the opponent.)  If a knocker does not go Gin and his deadwood point is equal to or higher than his opponent, then he has been Undercut. His opponent adds to his score the difference between the two deadwood counts and receives a bonus of 25 points.
    • Gin Scoring  A player who goes Gin scores additional 25 points on top of his cards values, plus the opponent's deadwood count, if any. A player who goes Gin can never be Undercut.
    • Game Bonus  Players can keep dealing the cards for subsequent rounds until one reaches 100 points or other pre-agreed target score. The first one to reach 100 points receives a "game bonus" of 100 points.
    • Line Bonus  Each player earns 20 points bonus for every hand won. This is known as the line or box bonus. These are not counted towards the goal points (usually 100 points) required to win a game of Gin Rummy.

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