Rules of the Card Game Gin

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Gin, or Gin Rummy, is a card game played with a standard 52-deck of cards. You need at least two players to play. According to PBS.org, Elwood Baker of the Knickerbocker Whist Club in New York City introduced the game around 1910. However, Gin did not become popular until the 1930s. The object is to score as many points during each hand as possible. Here are the rules of the game.

Dealing

  • The first dealer is chosen at random. Every player will alternate as the dealer until someone wins. Deal 10 cards to each player, one at a time. After every player has been dealt, place one card face-up next to the remaining cards in the deck. This is the discard pile.

Sorting the Cards

  • Sort the cards in your hand. Look for either a "run" or a "set." A run is a sequence of three or more suited cards in numeric order. Example: ace of hearts, two of hearts, three of hearts. A set is a group of three or four cards of the same number. Example: four of spades, four of hearts, four of diamonds. You cannot use the same card to complete a set and a run. In Gin Rummy, aces are always low.

Drawing

  • Draw a card from either the card pile or the discard pile. Discard one card from your hand and place it face-up on top of the discard pile. This round of drawing continues until one player "knocks."

Knocking

  • Knock when you have satisfied enough runs and sets out of the 10 cards in your hand. Discard one card and reveal the rest of the cards in your hand. Any remaining cards that are not used in a run or a set (known as deadwood) must total 10 points or less. If you use every card in your hand in either a run or a set, you can call "Gin!" Each card is worth however many points indicated by the card number. For example, a five of diamonds is worth five points. Face cards are worth 10. Once you have knocked, the other players must reveal their cards. They may lay down any of their deadwood cards that go with your melds, reducing their deadwood total. Players count the total value of their unmatched cards, and if your count is lower, you score the difference between the two counts. Any player who calls "Gin!" receives 20 extra bonus points as well as the sum of the other players' unmatched cards. The first player to reach 100 points (or an agreed upon point total) wins the game.

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