Gin rummy

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A gin hand

Gin Rummy , shortly Gin or Gin Rummy is a card game for two people, which in 1909 by Elwood T. Baker from Knickerbocker Whist Club in New York was invented; Hollywood discovered the game in the 1940s and gin rummy quickly became popular.

The name rummy is derived from rum , on the one hand , because drinks were often played around - as can be seen from the name schnapps - on the other hand, rummy means something like strange .

From the Mexican card game Conquian , which is to be regarded as the ancestor of the rummy games, a poker variant called Rum or Rum Poker or Rummy Poker , a rather "strange" type of game, developed. At that time they also played a variant of poker called Whiskey , and this is how Baker named his game after the drink gin "in order to keep the liquor in the family".

The rules


Gin Rummy is played with a pack of 52 French playing cards; In practice, two packets with different backs are usually used and each player gives with his own package.

Before the start of a game you shuffle a package and each player draws a card: The player with the higher card chooses his place and a card package, the player with the lower card takes the other package, shuffles, lets cut and deals the cards: The not - Dealer receives eleven cards, the divider receives ten cards. The remaining cards are placed face down in a pile on the table and form the talon . The non-dealer begins the game by discarding a card.

The following variant is very common: Both players receive ten cards, the top card of the talon is placed face up as the first card of the discard pile. Forehand, d. H. the non-dealer may now choose whether or not to take the revealed card. If he refuses, the dealer may claim this card for himself. If he also declines, Forehand draws a card from the stack. The player who picks up a card first, be it forehand or the dealer, now checks whether this card fits into his hand or not, then he discards a card that he cannot use on the discard pile.

Card combinations

Each player tries to arrange his cards in hand according to combinations, combinations are

  • Sets of three or four cards of equal rank, e.g. B. three kings or four threes, etc.
  • Consequences (including sequences ) of three or more consecutive cards of the same color such as 5-6-7-8 in heart or A-2-3 in Pique, but DKA as the ace in Gin Rummy not should not be applied to the King .

Value of the cards

To calculate the eyes, tens and face cards each count ten points, aces one point and counting cards 2 to 9 according to their printed value.


If a player has his hand as far improved by Buy-and-drop that the total sum of his cards he can not use them in combinations that only amounts to 10 points or less, he may knock ( knock ). However, a player is not forced to knock at the first opportunity, he can continue to play and try to reduce the total of his bad cards further, perhaps even to achieve a gin or, if his opponent knocks, an undercut (see below) .

When a player knocks, he puts his combinations on the table, his unusable cards ( deadwood ) next to it, states their total and puts a card face down on the discard pile.

Then puts the opponent off his combinations, this also has the right to additional cards to combinations of the knocker, if it is possible to create .


  • The knocker places 2– 3– 4. Keeps his opponent A and 5 in hand, he may these two cards to the designed result of the knocker create .
  • The knocker places Q– Q– ♠ Q. Keeps his opponent ♣ Q in his hand, he may this card to the designed set of knocker create .


  • The knocker places Q– Q– ♠ Q– ♣ Q. His opponent keeps K and J in hand, he may now but not the Q from the message of the knocker rob and K and form a separate message J.

If the knocker has fewer points in bad cards than his opponent, he writes the difference as good points; However, if the opponent of the knocker has fewer or the same number of points than the knocker after the display of his reports and the possible placing of further cards on the reports of the knocker, the opponent of the knocker writes the difference between the sums of the eyes of the bad cards as good points, plus a bonus of another 10 points, the so-called undercut bonus .


A special rule applies in the event that the knocker can lay out all of his cards in combinations, i.e. he knocks with zero points; this situation is called gin . The opponent of the knocker may now choose his combinations - but not place cards on the hand of the knocker. The knocker now credits the total of the bad cards of his opponent, plus a bonus of 20 points, the so-called gin bonus .

No game

When a player has drawn the third from last card in the deck and discarded a card, i.e. H. The game ends immediately, except for the last two cards. If the player does not knock or make gin during this turn, the game is not scored ( no game ).

If you play a different way, you have two options in this situation:

  • The player whose turn it is now picks up the card his opponent placed last, discards another card and knocks or makes gin.
  • If he is unable to do so, the game ends and is not scored.

The last two cards of the pile must never be picked up. In the case of no game , the player who split deals the cards for the next game.


A game ( game ) generally consists of several individual games ( hands ). The credit points from each individual game are continuously added up, and as soon as a game is settled, the loser (!) Of the last game divides the cards for the next hand.

This continues until a player has reached a total of 100 or more points; that ends the game.


After the end of a game, the following rewards are awarded:

  • game bonus : the first player to reach the 100-point mark receives a bonus of 100 points for ending the game.
  • shutout bonus : if the opponent has zero points, the player receives an additional bonus of 100 points.
  • box bonus : every player receives a bonus of 20 points for every single game they win.

These bonuses are added to the score at the end of the game and then subtracted from each other: the player with the lower number of points pays the difference to his opponent.

Note : The first player to reach the 100 mark does not necessarily have to be the winner of the game, as - in rare cases - the number of boxes can make the difference.


Gin Rummy is played in many different variations; the most common differences concern

  • Existence and amount of the premiums for undercut , gin , boxes , shutout and game ,
  • who gives the cards
  • whether the talon can be used up completely or whether the last two cards must remain,
  • whether the ace may be placed on the king in a sequence, or whether - furthermore - sequences KA-2 ( Round the Corner Gin ) should be allowed, and
  • whether you can put unusable cards on a gin sheet.

You should definitely clarify these questions before starting a game.

A variant of the classic gin rummy is Oklahoma Gin , in which both players receive ten cards, the next card is opened and the value of this card determines the limit for knocking: if a seven is revealed, you can only knock with seven or fewer points In most cases, it is also required that the game can only be ended with gin in the case of an ace.


Similar to backgammon or écarté , gin rummy can also be played as a chouette with three (or more) people.

Each of the three players draws a card. Whoever drew the highest card is declarer and plays against the other two who also write joint accounts. The address of the two partners is therefore kept in a column.

The first game is shared between the two partners who drew the higher card and continues to play until he loses a game. Then his partner takes over the game.

This continues until either declarer or the team of both partners scores 100 or more.

The declarer pays out the winnings to both opponents if he loses, or he collects the winnings from both opponents. In this type of game, the non-player may advise his partner, but the decision is always made by the person involved.

If the declarer has won the last game in a game, he remains declarer and in the first game of the next game he meets the player who was last paused and who also deals the cards.

However, if the declarer lost the last game, the winner of the last game becomes the new declarer. In the first game of the next game, he meets his previous partner, who deals the cards while the previous declarer pauses.


The game Gin Rummy is at the center of Donald L. Coburn's two-person play The Gin Game , which was best known for its performances on Broadway with Jessica Tandy and her husband Hume Cronyn .

In Death Knocks ( Death knocks by Woody Allen , set to music by Christian Jost ) Death is persuaded by his victim to a game of gin rummy and loses, giving his opponent a longer life. The title of the piece is a play on words, as the word knock also has a special meaning in the game (see here ).


English-language literature

  • Ely Culbertson : Culbertson System of Playing Gin Rummy , 3rd revised edition, Philadelphia, 1944
  • Sam Fry: Gin Rummy - How to Play and Win , Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1960/78
  • Oswald Jacoby : How to Win at Gin Rummy , Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 3rd printing, 1963
  • The United States Playing Card Company, Joli Quentin Kansil, Editor: Official Rules of Card Games , 90th Edition, 2004
  • John McLeod: Gin Rummy [1]
  • Albert H. Morehead, Richard L. Frey, Geoffrey Mott-Smith: The New Complete Hoyle Revised , Doubleday, New York, 1991
  • Albert H. Morehead, Geoffrey Mott-Smith: Hoyle's Rules of Games , 2nd revised edition. A Signet Book, 1983
  • David Parlett : Oxford Dictionary of Card Games , Oxford University Press Oxford New York 1992/96
  • David Parlett: The Oxford Guide to Card Games , Oxford University Press Oxford New York 1990
  • John Scarne : Scarne on Card Games , New York 1949/65, Courier Dover Publications Reprint 2004

German-language literature

A detailed German-language description can be found under [2]

  • Fritz Babsch: International and Austrian card game rules , Piatnik Vienna 1983
  • Johannes Bamberger: The most popular card games , Verlag Perlen-Reihe , Volume 648, 21st edition, Vienna 19 ??
  • Claus D. Grupp: card games. Falken-Verlag Erich Sicker, Wiesbaden 1975, ISBN 3-8068-2001-5 , pp. 71-72.
  • Claus D. Grupp: Rummy and Canasta in all variations , Falken-Verlag Niedernhausen / Ts, 1982
  • Rudolf Heinrich [d. i. Rudolf Bretschneider]: Rummy - Rummy international Alle Spielarten , Verlag Perlen-Reihe, Volume 650, 7th edition, Vienna 19 ??

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