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Gin Rummy Online

Online casinos are perhaps noted most for their slots, and a few core table games like Roulette and BlackJack in all their variants, but have you ever considered Gin Rummy?

Far from being the type of card game you’d play for matchsticks or counters on a wet Sunday afternoon with your Granny, Gin Rummy is an exciting, fast moving gambling game which shouldn’t be overlooked.

We’ll outline the rules, here, before going on to suggest some tactics and strategies, then finally give some pointers as to where to play Gin rummy online.

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Gin Rummy is a 2 player card game (in the online Gin rummy game you will generally be playing against a computerized player).

It comes in several types including Single Match Gin, Straight Gin and Hollywood Gin (the basic game didn’t evolve, in fact it was invented, just like that, in 1909, by one Elwood T. Baker of Evansville, Indiana, US).

Basic Gin Rummy rules

Gin Rummy utilises 1 deck of 52 cards. The aim is to be the first to get a set number of points, usually 100, which can take several hands to attain. A player should have 10 or 11 cards at any one time.

Cards score at their face value, with Aces scoring 1 and Face cards as 10.

Points are achieved as ‘melds’, which are made up either of 3 or 4 of a kind (eg. 4 sixes) or as runs (like straights in Poker – 3 or more cards which are consecutively numbered).

Players are dealt 10 cards in the first instance, but as you’re unlikely to have melds immediately, you and your opponent enter a series of drawing cards alternately.

The undealt cards (remember, you are playing against the computer as ‘dealer’) are classed as the ‘stock’ pile, and the first card of these is upturned as a ‘discard’ which the player can accept (making 11) or not. If the computer also passes on the discard, the player MUST take the first stock pile card.

The stock pile card is face down and unknown, and has not been in either player’s hand before.

Conversely the discard pile is made up of cards which have previously been in a hand, and the top one is visible (you can also usually see the card which your opponent is discarding).

These 2 piles are central to how to play Gin Rummy.

In any case the player (or computer opponent) can sometimes begin with 11 instead of 10 cards; 11 can provide the best way to win (see below).

With each turn, the player takes one card from EITHER pile (stock or discard) and discards one to the discard pile at the same time, so the number of cards held remains constant.

As the game progresses the discard pile starts to grow (remember it begins with just the 1 card).

If the stock pile gets down to 2, a draw is declared, so your stake would push back.

However, you want to be in it to win it, so here are the remainder of the basic rules of Gin Rummy, to help you do just that!

The key to this is the existence of ‘deadwood’ cards. As their name suggests, deadwood doesn’t fit into a meld (see above) and so is undesirable.

In order to challenge for victory, you can ‘Knock’. You can do this when you have 10 points of deadwood cards or less (eg. if you had an ace and a 9, that would count as 10 points of deadwood, if all your remaining 8 cards fitted into melds).

When you play Gin Rummy online you should see a button for knocking (which will only be active once you have 10 points or less of deadwood), and the computer will automatically separate your melds from your deadwood accordingly.

Now, what about the opposing player? Well, in this case it’s the computer, which will ‘layoff’ its deadwood cards against your cards which are in melds, in other words deadwood cards which could fit into one of your melds.

So for instance if you have 3 Kings, and the computer has the 4th, that King will be ‘laid off’ against your 3 Kings, and not count as deadwood any more.

Similarly if you had a meld which was a run of 2-6, and the computer had a 7, that 7 could be laid off as it could be added to that meld.

After this process is complete, your deadwood points will be subtracted from the computer’s deadwood, to give you your points from the hand.

But what if the computer has less deadwood than you do? In this case the computer will receive 25 points plus the difference in deadwood points (the computer would also receive 25 points if the deadwood score turned out to be the same).

So only knock when you think you’re likely to have less deadwood than the computer.

Remember, the winner is usually the player who reaches 100 first (or some other pre-set amount - check with your casino).

A more spectacular way to win is to ‘Go Gin’, which happens if you get a hand made up entirely of melds, with no deadwood at all (remember you don’t have to knock when your deadwood gets down to 10 or less, you can press on, although you run the risk that the computer might then knock before you).

If you Go Gin, however, you get 25 points plus the number of deadwood cards the opponent has.

And that’s not all – if you get 11 cards (instead of 10 – see above) and all fit into melds, you can declare a 'Big Gin', which gives either 31 or 50 points (depending on casino) plus the opponent's deadwood as above.

That’s about it so far as the Gin Rummy casino game goes; some variants may allow you to play against live players, and the final scores are calculated once a player gets to 100 as noted.

Additional points are added, which can increase your winnings (consult the paytable with your casino before playing).

The computer will calculate these for you. Usually the game finishes when a player reaches 100 points (or another prearranged amount).

In addition to this the player receives 25 more points for every hand won in the game. If the player wins EVERY hand in the game, the points for that game are doubled before the 25 points are added for each hand.

Casino Gin Rummy tactics

First of all, it’s a good idea to try Gin Rummy online free, which is easy enough to do.

By playing free online Gin Rummy, you naturally get to play and practice without committing yourself, as a way to ‘try before you buy’.

It’s also good to train yourself to memorize which cards have been discarded and which have not (remember, discarded cards can still be picked up by a player later) or, since you’re likely to be playing in front of a computer, you can even note them down!

But what about more advanced Gin Rummy strategy?

Here’s a brief overview of some Internet Gin Rummy tips:

-Hold on to sevens – they are useful for holding melds together;
-watch what the computer discards – and if you can, discard a card from a different suit which is 2 numbers away, or failing that an equal ranking card from a different suit;
-remember a meld which is a run can be extended more than a 3 of a kind (which can only be extended by one);
-also remember the online version may scramble the order of the discards (and possibly even the stockpile) as part of its programming, so don’t count on being able to remember where a card which has been discarded is in the pile;
-it’s better to knock early on rather than hold out for a Gin or Big Gin. ‘Early’ is typically at half to 2/3 distance, so when 26-34 cards have already been drawn;
- when knocking, if a card can go either with a set of 4 or as part of a run, always use it to make up a set of 4 – that way your opponent cannot offset deadwood against it;
-retain high ranking cards even if they are singles;
-it’s better to draw from the stock pile rather than the discard pile (unless the card you can see on the discards makes up a meld).

That’s about it – be sure to check back with our site for all the best online casino news, views, hints and tips, about Gin Rummy and indeed everything else!



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