Gin Rummy

Game Description: Play a game of Gin Rummy against the computer.

How to Play Gin Rummy:

  • The game of Gin Rummy is played with a standard deck of 52 cards.
  • In this version of Gin Rummy you will play against the computer.
  • For each deal, you and the computer will be dealt 10 cards each.
  • Your cards are dealt face up at the bottom of the screen.
  • The computer's cards are dealt face down at the top of the screen.
  • You get the first play. (Unless the computer has an exceptionally good hand and knocks immediately. If you are familiar with the game of Poker, think of knocking like 'calling' in Poker. What this means is that a player is confident enough, and ready, to compare their hand with that of their opponent. More about knocking later).
  • At each round you will see two yellow arrows. One arrow points to the top card on the discard pile (the face up card). The other arrow points to the top card of the stock pile (the face down card).
  • For each round you select which card you want to place in your hand by clicking either the top card in the discard pile, or the top card in the stock pile.
  • To complete the round, you will discard one of the 11 cards in your hand to the discard pile by clicking on the card you wish to discard. This brings your total cards back to 10.
  • After the first round, play alternates between the computer and you.
  • The cards in your hand form melds and deadwoods.
  • A meld is 3 or more cards of the same rank; or 3 or more consecutive cards of the same suit. Here are some examples of melds: 3 sixes, 4 jacks, the Ace, 2, and 3 of diamonds, the 7, 8, 9, 10, and Jack of clubs. Note: When forming melds, the King and Ace cannot be matched together to form a meld. For instance, if you have the Queen, King, and Ace of hearts this would not count as a meld.
  • Each card can only belong to one meld. The remaining cards are deadwood cards. (Note: Gin Rummy will automatically place your melds on the left side of your hand. Deadwood cards will be placed on the right side).
  • Cards that form melds do not have points.
  • Each deadwood card has a point value as follows: Ace=1, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=5, 6=6, 7=7, 8=8, 9=9. Each 10, Jack, Queen and King=10 points.
  • The object of the game is to reduce your deadwood points as quickly as possible before either you or the computer knock and compare hands. (Gin Rummy will constantly calculate your deadwood points for you and display the result at the lower right side).
  • After discarding, if your deadwood points are less than or equal to 10, then you can choose to knock. You may also choose to wait if you believe it will be to your advantage.
  • When a player (either you or the computer) knocks, the other player can then lay off his deadwoods if they form melds with the knocker's melds. This is called 'laying off'. For instance, lets say that you knock and you have 3 tens in your hand. If the computer has the fourth 10 in its hand, it could lay off its 10 and that would reduce the computer's deadwood by 10 points. You don't need to worry about laying off. The game will automatically do all of the laying off for both you and the computer after the end of each hand. Note: The knocker himself cannot lay off. It is only the opponent of the knocker that is allowed to lay off cards.
  • Scoring: When a player knocks, and after the laying off takes place, if the knocker's deadwood points are lower than his opponent's, then the knocker will receive a score equal to the difference between their deadwood points and their opponent's. But if their opponent has lower deadwood points, then their opponent will get 25 points plus the difference between deadwood points.
  • If you knock while having zero deadwood (this is called 'Going Gin'), then your opponent cannot lay off his deadwoods, and you will get an extra 25 points!
  • If you can have zero deadwood with your 11 cards even before discarding, then you will get an extra 6 points.
  • The first player to reach 100 points wins!

Gin Rummy Game Options: The game options may be accessed by clicking the object that sort of looks like a gear shaft; located just to the right of the question mark near the upper right corner of the game. The game options are as follows:
  • The game sounds may be adjusted.
  • The music volume may be adjusted.
  • The game may be played in full screen mode (a very nice feature to make the cards nice and big).

Gin Rummy Playing Tips:
  • Even though Gin Rummy will automatically calculate your deadwood points for you, it is important that you learn to do this for yourself. Here's why. You can knock at 10 deadwood points or less. So, you need to be clear on how to get down to 10 points. Remember, melding is only one way to reduce your deadwood. The other way is to place lower cards in your hand. Let me give you a simple example. Let's say you currently have 15 deadwood points and you also have a nine in your hand that is not part of a meld. You see a three on the discard pile. If you pick up the three and discard your nine this reduces your deadwood points by 6 points (9 minus 3). This now gives you 9 deadwood points (15 minus 6). Now, you have the option of knocking. Do you now see why it is important to be able to calculate your own deadwood before you make each play?
  • It isn't always the best idea to knock when you can. Knocking is a judgement call. Remember, you do run the risk that if the computer ends up with less deadwood than you, the computer will get 25 points plus the difference between deadwood points.
  • Try not to keep too many high scoring deadwood cards in your hand for too long. The reason is obvious. If you get caught with high scoring deadwood, these points go to your opponent. This not only includes tens, jacks, queens, and kings; but also includes eights, and nines. Of course, you may be tempted to keep a pair of high scoring cards, such as a pair of kings, hoping you will get that third king. This is another judgement call you will have to make. But, I feel it is probably better to replace these cards with lower cards as soon as possible rather than waiting for that third king that may never come.

Richard's Rating: 4 out of 5.

Comments: I have been searching, for a long time, for a good Gin Rummy game for my site. And this version of Gin Rummy fits the bill quite nicely. If you enjoy playing card games, you should really enjoy Gin Rummy especially when played in full screen mode.

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  1. Richard

    Hello, I've enjoyed playing your Gin Game very Much. I can't find anyone to play with me, and the computer and I are about neck in neck. It's really hard to teach someone Knock Gin. Ha Ha

    Now you need Canasita, ( Sorry spelling is bad) Again Thank YOu.

    I would like to play against the Computer in Canasita, is that possible??

    Have a good Christmas, and New Year

    Karen Lind

  2. Hello Karen,

    Try doing a Google search for Canasta online and maybe you will find a site you like. But make sure that the one you choose is actually free to play. Some sites have competitions where they award prizes but there is a fee to play, or else they want you to buy their game. I don't know about you, but I don't like that.

    I have certainly thought about adding a Canasta game to my site but after 3 years of doing this blog, I am currently on an extended break so I will not be adding any new games for a while. Of course I still monitor all comments on a daily basis and answer all questions.

    Anyway Karen, I hope you find a good site to play Canasta against the computer and I also wish you a good Christmas and New Year.

    Richard, from Richard's Game Reviews

  3. I am very excited that I have found your post because I have been searching for some information about it for almost three hours. Thanks for saying Gin Rummy rules.