Gin rummy, or simply Gin, is a simple and popular two-player card game created in 1909 by Elwood T. Baker and his son C. Graham Baker. According to John Scarne, Gin evolved from 18th-century Whiskey Poker and was created with the intention of being faster than standard rummy, but less spontaneous than knock rummy.
Gin is played with a standard 52-card pack of playing cards. Aces are only played low—the ranking from low to high is A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K.
The objective in Gin Rummy is to score more points than your opponent.
The basic game strategy is to improve one's hand by forming melds and eliminating deadwood.
Gin has two types of meld:
- Sets of 3 or 4 cards sharing the same rank. For example, 8♥-8♣-8♠.
- Runs of 3 or more cards in sequence, of the same suit. For example, 3♥-4♥-5♥-6♥.
Deadwood cards are those not in any meld. The deadwood count is the sum of the point values of the deadwood cards—aces are scored at 1 point, face cards at 10, and others according to their numerical values. Intersecting melds are not allowed; if a player has a 3-card set and a 3-card run sharing a common card, only one of the melds counts, and the other two cards count as deadwood.
Dealership alternates from round to round, with the first dealer chosen by any agreed upon method. The dealer deals a ten-card hand to his opponent and himself. The 21st card, the upcard, is placed face up in a central location known as the discard pile. The remainder of the pack, placed face down next to the discard pile, is called the stock pile.
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