Gin Rummy is one of those classic kitchen table card games that nearly everyone learns as a child. While Poker seems to be the rage these days, you can still find Gin games taking place in country clubs, tree houses, and rec rooms everywhere.
Like many popular games, Gin Rummy is easy to learn, but mastering it takes serious effort. Unlike many card games, strategy plays a major role in the outcome of a Gin Match.
Some basic Gin Rummy strategies include:
Knock Early – Whether you are playing standard Gin, or Oklahoma Gin, if you get the chance to knock early in the hand, do so. You won’t earn a 25 point bonus for knocking the way you would for going Gin, but you’ll earn points for the extra deadwood in your opponents hand plus the line score.
That line score can sure help once the match is over.
You can work towards an early knock by breaking your hand into three melds. Two of the melds will need to be runs or sets, and one meld is simply a collection of low cards that total less than the knock number.
As the hand wears on, knocking becomes a less attractive option. The more time your opponent has to make melds, the less of a chance that you can catch him with more deadwood in his hand than you have in yours.
Don’t Speculate – Every time you take an exposed card from the discard pile, you give your opponent information about your hand. For instance, if you take the seven of hearts from the pile, your opponent knows that you’ve either got running hearts or are collecting sevens. They will use that information during the rest of the hand.
By speculating, you are giving away information about cards that you have in your hand that are not even melded. This makes his defense plays even more effective because not only is your opponent not going to play into your melds, he can keep you from even making one. And, those unmelded cards will remain as deadwood in your hand and count against you at the showdown.
Advertising – One common play in Gin Rummy is to throw a card of a rank in hopes that your opponent will throw one of the same rank. For instance, you need the six of diamonds to make a diamond run. By throwing the six of clubs, you advertise to your opponent that you are not collecting sixes, making him more likely to feel safe about throwing the six of diamonds.
Pay attention to whether of not your opponent advertises for cards. Also pay attention to whether they fall for your advertisements.
Gin Rummy is a simple game that has many layers of strategy. These basic strategies are just the beginning tools you can use at the Gin table.
Mongoose spends a lot of time playing card games. He also maintains the Gin Rummy website Gin Player Online.