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Gin Rummy Rules

Gin Rummy Rules | Playing Online


At, gin rummy is played by two players with a standard 52-card pack. The players can choose the maximum points for a game (from 50 to 300).  In 100 points game, the game is won by the 1-st player who reaches 100 points which may take several deals.

Cards rank A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K where ace ‘A’ costs 1 point, subsequent cards cost their nominal value up to 10, however Jack, Queen, King cost also 10 points each.

The object of the game is to collect sets of 3 or more cards that ‘go together’, either being of the same rank, like all sevens, or forming a sequence of the same suit – like 7,8,9 of hearts. Such matching collections of cards are called melds.

At the end, whatever cards are left in player’s hand that are NOT in melds, are called deadwood.  Deadwood incurs penalties equivalent to the sum of their values.   In the course of the game, players would try to discard unwanted cards and collect cards that would form melds.


In the example on the left, the player's own cards are on the bottom (they are open) & the opponent's cards are on top (closed).

The up card (10 of Diamonds) is visible to both players. The deck has 30 cards left in it (indicated by number 30).

It is the turn of the 'bottom' player whose cards are visible to make a discard (there are 11 cards in hand).
The player is about to make a discard by dragging one of the cards from hand to cover the up card (10 of Diamonds).

The player whose cards are visible has 1 meld in hand (3 Kings). The rest of the hand is deadwood. The current value of the deadwood in points (before the discard) is: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 8 + 9 = 38 points.

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In the online game of gin rummy, ten cards each are dealt to 2 players. The 21-st card is opened face up (upcard) and put next to the deck. At each turn you draw a card by dragging it from the deck or from upcard. When you discard a card, you place it on top of the current upcard so the newly discarded card becomes an upcard.

Only at the start of the game the non-dealer would consider either exchanging one of his cards with an upcard or passing the opportunity. The rules of the game do not allow yet any drawing from deck. In case of passing, the dealer would consider exchanging with the upcard or passing it. Again, no drawing from deck is yet allowed.

If both of gin rummy online players refuse the very first upcard, the non-dealer must start a game by drawing the top card from the deck, add it to his hand and discard ANY card face up on top of the original upcard to continue the waste pile.

Thereafter, each player in turn must draw and add to his hand either the unknown top card from the deck OR the known upcard on the very top of the waste pile. In either case, the online player completes his turn by discarding one card face up to the waste pile. It is not permitted to draw the upcard & discard it on the same turn.

The melds that the player is building may consist of

  1. either 3 or 4 cards of the same rank
  2. sequence of 3 or more cards in the same suit (Ace & King are not considered consecutive, but Ace and 2 are ).

A hand consisting entirely of melds with no deadwood is described as gin and carries a bonus. The online player, however, does not have to wait for gin but may end up a game as soon as the total value of his unmatched deadwood is 10 or less. (This is called maximum knocking value. It is set at 10 for pure gin rummy. 

During online play melds are not revealed – they are kept secretly in hand.

Oklahoma Variation

While in regular Gin the knocking value is always 10, for the optional Oklahoma variation, that supports, the maximum knocking value can be lower than 10
The knocking value is determined by the value of the initial upcard. For example, such knocking value can be 2 if the initial upcard is 2. Initial Ace as an upcard, however, is a special case in Oklahoma -- the knocking can happen only with a Gin hand (0 points).
Oklahoma variation is sometimes played with a rarely used optional double-spades rule. This rule, however, is present in amateur games only as it diminishes the level of total required skill. Standard Oklahoma without double-spade rule is implemented at GameC

Knocking, Ginning and Laying-off

When an online player is satisfied with low value of his deadwood, he/she ends the game by ‘theoretically’ knocking on the table AFTER he/she has drawn an 11-th card and BEFORE discarding the last card [knock button]. The final discarded card is placed face up on the closed stock.

Knocking will be disallowed if the auto-calculated deadwood in knocker's hand will be greater than the maximum knocking value. After knocking, both the knocker and the opponent will see their cards on the table face up, arranged in melds. The opponent has the privilege of ‘laying off’ any cards of his own deadwood which may be matched with any of the knocker’s melds in order to reduce the penalty value of his deadwood. This privilege does not apply if the knocker has a gin hand with no deadwood. When both players' cards are shown, the opponent of the knocker can lay-off or attach his/her own deadwood cards to opponent's melds by dragging the cards towards opponent's ones. If a player has a gin hand, still the same 'Knock' button has to be pressed and the extra 11-th card has to be discarded. The system will determine automatically whether it was a gin hand or not.

If the knocker has the lower count of deadwood, he/she scores the the difference between their values of deadwood. For gin, the knocker adds a 25 point bonus.

If the knocker has higher or equal value of deadwood, the knocker receives a 25 point penalty for undercut plus any difference in deadwood values.

The 2 last cards of the deck may not be taken. If neither player has knocked before then, the deck is reshuffled.

The score is kept cumulatively for each player online. The winner adds his score for the hand to his previous total in order to make clear when 100 has been reached or exceeded. At 100 total points is a default, but players can choose 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300

The game ends as the player reaches the agreed upon number of points.

Auto-selection and player selection of melds at knocking

Unless a player uses 'Dont Mark Melds' table preference, melds are shown as straight vertical or horizontal lines drawn on cards. If a player knocks in a way where multiple meld-wise interpretations of the knock are possible, a player does not have to rely on co mputer selection of melds. Instead, a player can select (even right before such knock) another Table Preference "knocker selects All Melds". With this option, the player will be in control of how to mark/select melds at knock time.

Gin Rummy Rules | Playing Online