Rules of Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy was first created in 1909 by E.T. Baker. It was called GIN after the alcoholic drink, by analogy with the name of the parent game, then called RUM (Rummy). It became a nation wide favorite in 1941. It is played with a standard 52 card playing deck.


Each hand is dealt 10 cards. The next card in the deck is turned over to form the first UpCard. The dealer's opponent has first choice to take this card, if he wants it. If he declines, the dealer then has the option to take the card. If the dealer also declines, The opponent starts play by drawing 1 card from the top card of the deck. Once a player has drawn he then must discard 1 card from his hand to create a new UpCard. Play rotates between players by drawing from the deck or drawing the current UpCard and then discarding until one player is ready to lay down their hand.

Play of the Game:

The object of the game is to lay down your hand before your opponent and score more points by either Gin or Knock hands.

Each player tries to accumulate consecutive runs of 3 or more cards in the same suit; i.e. 4,5,6 of Hearts or 3 or 4 cards of the same denomination; i.e. 3 Kings, etc. If 10 or 11 cards in your hand can be laid on the table, you have a GIN hand. Cards used in runs cannot be used to also form duplicates. They can only be used in one or the other configurations described above. Each card has a value equal to it's face. Aces are only low and have a value of 1. 10 to King values are all 10. If you can lay down most of your cards and the remaining combined value of cards left in your hand is 10 or less, you have the option to "Knock" your opponent.

Knock hands:

After drawing a card from the deck or the UpCard, your hand has 11 cards. Say your hand contains the following card combinations:

4,5,6 of hearts; 8,9,10 of clubs; 3 Queens and a 5 and Ace of spades. The 5 and Ace of spades are not playable and their combined value is 6. The 5 of spades can be discarded leaving only 1 unplayable point (Ace). If you "Knock" now, your opponent must also expose their hand. Any combinations of runs or duplicates (3 or more) are playable cards in the opponents hand and not counted in their "Trapped points" value. Additionally, if any unplayable cards in the opponents hand can be played on any combinations of the "Knocker's" hand, these cards are "Played Off" on the "Knocker's" hand and deducted from the opponents "Trapped points". If the remaining total "Trapped points" of the opponent are greater than the "Knock value", the Knocker scores the difference in the two values. If the opponents "Trapped points" are equal to or below the "Knock value", the Knocker is "UnderCut" and the opponent scores the difference in points plus a 25 point bonus.

GIN hands:

Gin hands are 10 or 11 playable cards. If the hand has 10 playable cards, it is GIN with a discard. If the hand has 11 playable cards (after a draw), it is GIN with out a discard. Gin hands score a 25 point bonus plus the sum of all "Trapped points" in the opponents hand. The opponent is not permitted to "Play off" trapped points as in the Knock scenario.


The winner of each Hand in a game scores an additional 25 points in the Box scores for every hand they win; Knock, Gin or Undercut. These points are only added to the total game score after one player has reached the game limit, 100 points or more. Once a player achieves 100 or more points, an additional 100 points is added to that players total Game Score. The Box scores are added to the totals of both players. The hand with the highest combined score wins the game and the difference between the total combined scores are accrued to the winner's "SLAM" points.

A SLAM is achieving 500 total points in successive games. The MENU of the game tracks the total SLAMS, won/lost by the South hand. These points are sometimes used to settle cash debt when the game is played as a gambling game between players.

Each player's accrued SLAM points are displayed on the game table during play of a game.


GIN hands can be hard to put together unless the cards are coming your way. Plan your Knock values based on the number of rounds played in each hand. The higher the round, the lower the safe Knock value will be. A round is the completion of each player making 1 draw and discard.

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